Monthly Archives: May 2018

NPL Northern NSW Round 12: Hamilton Olympic travel away to Charlestown City

Charlestown City Blues v Hamilton Olympic

Sunday 3rd June, 2:30 pm at Lisle Carr Oval

It’s Old Boys Day at Lisle Carr Oval on Sunday, and the Blues will want a hearty crowd behind them as they look to return to form.

Two goals from former Olympic man Scott Smith helped Charlestown take the spoils in a 3-2 win back in round one of this season. It set the Blues on their upward trajectory, and they’ll be looking for a similar boost this weekend.

The form which shot Charlestown to first place has evaded them in the past weeks, and they’ve now just four points from their last four league matches. Their most recent outing was that defeat to Jets Youth on Sunday, an 80th-minute goal condemning them to a 1-0 defeat.

Hamilton has had a much kinder time in their last four. They’ve taken nine points from those matches, including a win over Lambton and defeat to Magic. Last weekend saw them escape with all three points in a 2-1 win over Weston which they could have tied up earlier than the 84th-minute goal which won it.

In a welcome boost this weekend, Olympic welcome back Simon Mooney and Scott Pettit after they served mandatory one-match suspensions for yellow card accumulation. Rhys Cooper also returned last weekend after spending time with the Australian futsal team in Spain.

Key men in Kane Goodchild and Riley McNaughton remain out for Charlestown, but there were positive signs last weekend as Daniel Minors got through 60 minutes in his return from a calf injury. Zac Lloyd is also nearing closer to a return to the pitch.

Lisle Carr Oval has been a happy hunting ground for Olympic, and they haven’t lost there since Charlestown returned to the top flight in 2012. Of the six matches the two have played at Whitebridge since then, Olympic has won four and drawn two.

First place is potentially on the line for Charlestown, and they’ll be determined to ascend given they blew the chance to sit equal on top last weekend. Hamilton could move one place up the ladder to sixth, and go within just two points of the top four after an underwhelming start to the year.

What the coaches said:

Peter McGuinness (Hamilton)
“It’ll be a very tough game, Charlestown hasn’t picked up too many points of late and they’ll be looking to pick up points and continue on from the good first round of the season they had.

“In round one they were probably not as fit as what they are now, and they’ve also got some combinations going because they’re a relatively new group together. They’ve probably got a lot more cohesion than what they had at the start.

“Simon Mooney and Scott Pettit will both add some speed to the team, which will be good on our behalf because they’re always looking to get in behind defences. That will help us and probably allow us a little bit more space than what we’ve had without them.

“Stuey (Musalik) played a bit of time in the 20s last weekend which was good, but we’re not sure on Jarryd Sutherland. He picked up a knock last weekend at Weston, and we’re hoping he’ll be okay.”


Hamilton Olympic – Lake Macquarie City on Saturday 2nd June at Darling St Oval

U13s kick off at 10.00am

U14s kick off at 11.30am

U15s kick off at  1.00pm

U16s kick off at  2.30pm

Weston Bears v Maitland Magpies

Sunday 3rd June, 2:30 pm at Rockwell Automation Park

It’s this year’s second edition of the Coalfields derby, dubbed the ‘El Classicoal’, and it promises to be as fiery as ever.

The home side comes into this match off the back of two defeats in Hamilton in their last two matches, one in the league and another in the cup. They sit ninth, and a four-point gap between them and eighth threatens to widen this weekend.

Maitland is on the road in the search of three points that could potentially put them back into the top four. Last weekend’s draw put them out of the finals positions for the first time this season since round three.

Round one this season was the last time these two sides met, and a late surge from Maitland seen them score two goals in the final ten minutes to snatch a 2-1 victory from the jaws of defeat.

In fact, since Maitland was promoted to the top tier in 2015 they’ve only lost to Weston once. In three matches at home against the Magpies, Weston has only taken a single point away.

Goals are something which Weston has had to fight for so far this season, and they’ve scored 15 in their 10 matches this season. It’s the equal-second lowest output in the league, and given Maitland’s defensive structure it may be a tall order this weekend.

That defensive structure last weekend made Maitland the first team this year to keep Broadmeadow at bay in last Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Magic Park. It could well have been a 1-0 victory though if only Ryan Clarke had finished the game’s only clear-cut chance late in injury time.

In fact, the defence has been a positive feature of Maitland’s game this season and they’ve conceded just 13 goals in ten matches. Magic coach Ruben Zadkovich praised the way midfielders Matt Thompson and Andrew Swan screened the defence last weekend.

That experience will prove tough to break down for Weston, who welcome back coach Steve Piggott to the technical area after he served a three-match ban for match official abuse. Kew Jaliens has stood in while Piggott served his ban as the former Dutch international edges closer to a return to the pitch.

FFA Cup is something which neither of these sides has to contend with, which means they’ll each have the upcoming long weekend away from the pitch. For both Weston and Maitland, going into that period with a win under their belts would be invaluable.


Edgeworth Eagles v Lambton Jaffas

Saturday 2nd June, 2:30 pm at Jack McLaughlan Oval

The reigning premiers meet the reigning champions once more, this time at Jack McLaughlan Oval and with it all to play for.

The last time these two sides met it took a 93rd minute goal to declare Lambton the victors in a stunning tit-for-tat battle which ended 4-3 Jaffas. It was the fourth time in the last five matches that Lambton has beat Edgeworth.

Edgeworth is for a clinical touch after a late Will Bower goal secured a 1-0 victory over Valentine last weekend. It could have been five goals by half-time had the Eagles been ruthless in front of goal, a fact which coach Damien Zane lamented in the aftermath of the victory.

That clinical touch might be something which Lambton look for this weekend also. A 2-1 win over Lakes on Saturday consisted of two goals in the first half, but a Pat Brown shot in the second half hit the crossbar and a number of other chances went begging.

There are only two goals which separate the goal differences between the two teams this weekend. Edgeworth has scored 20 and conceded 12, while Lambton has also scored 20 but conceded 14. A third of Edgeworth’s conceded goals this season came in the opening round against Lambton.

There is quality aplenty among both sides this weekend, but the key Lambton men to watch at the top end of the pitch are undoubtedly Ryan Griffiths and Braedyn Crowley, who have six and four goals respectively. The latter has played just league four matches and is currently scoring at a rate of one goal a game.

Combinations up front are starting to solidify between Edgeworth’s two front men Daniel McBreen and Jamie Byrnes, who have themselves four and five goals respectively. That experience, especially McBreen’s, will be invaluable this weekend.

There’s a long way to go in the season, but this match is shaping as a real ‘six-pointer’ for both sides. An Edgeworth win would send them seven points clear of Lambton and ensure they stay at the top, whereas a Lambton win would trim the gap to just a point and blow things open in the race for the premiership.


What the coaches said

Damien Zane (Edgeworth)

“The form book goes out the window when we play Lambton. We expect to be taking on the competition favourites, they’ve got the best squad on paper so we’re not going to look into their injuries. We’ve all got injuries, it’s about dealing with them and they’ve got experienced players and I’m sure we’ll get up for this match, no problem at all.

“We’re expecting it to be tight, a lot of intensity, we won’t be taking it easy but we’ve been travelling okay and improving each week ourselves. It’s a game that we want to win, and hopefully, it’d set us up for the second half of the year. I’m sure Lambton will come out and get up for this match a bit easier, it’s a big clash and it’s another game that we want to win.

“The last two weeks, we’ve had probably one recognised first grader on the bench so we’ve been dealing with our own injuries. Mitch Dobson (futsal), Liam Spurway and Aaron Oppedisano (injury) are all back in the mix, Dylan Holz continues to look better and better each week so we’re hoping to build him up for the back half of the year.”


Adamstown Rosebud v Newcastle Jets Youth

Sunday 3rd June, 2:30 pm at Adamstown Oval

Back at Adamstown Oval for the first time since the start of May, one of the league’s most in-form sides returns from the bye with a huge task ahead.

Adamstown was the location for the last clash between these two sides, which was a 2-all draw way back in round one. It was the only point which Adamstown picked up in the first four rounds.

Speaking of points, the Jets Youth nabbed three last weekend at Charlestown against the heavyweights through a gritty performance. The 1-0 win was the typical type of mentality which Lawrie McKinna and Labinot Haliti are attempting to instil in some of Newcastle’s best and brightest.

Tough slogs and three points are fast becoming synonymous with Adamstown too, with gutsy wins over big boys Edgeworth and Lambton just two of the four victories they amassed prior to the bye.

It was that run which propelled them from just two points and eleventh place after six rounds to now 14 points and sixth place after ten games played. Adamstown is just four points away from the top four – near unimaginable after a horror start to the year.

Jets Youth have done similarly this season, albeit a yo-yo of results. They haven’t yet strung together back-to-back victories, but have won four and currently sit on 13 points and in eighth place.

This weekend shapes as an interesting tactical battle between two sides who have preferred the counter-attack this season. Jets Youth used it to devastating effect last weekend and Adamstown have fine-tuned their approach as the season has progressed.

More goals will be the order of the day for both sides this weekend. Adamstown boasts just 12 goals this season while Jets Youth has 15 – the second and equal-third worst outputs in the league respectively. Kent Harrison has six goals for Jets Youth and Connor Heydon five for Adamstown – they’re key up front this weekend.


What the coaches said:
Shane Cansdell-Sherriff (Adamstown)

“Jets Youth are a well-organised side, a good footballing side, they’ve got a lot of energy and enthusiasm… there are players all over that team that can hurt us and we’ve got to respect that, there are good players and they’re the players of the future.

“We’ve changed in various different ways since we played them in round one, we’ve come together a little bit better now as a team and we understand each other better and work as a team now rather than individuals… hopefully, we can work together and get the result that we want.

“The boys spent the weekend off bonding, they had a good weekend together which is great. The atmosphere and the team spirit amongst the boys is great considering where we’ve come from, such a young new group has come a long way. We’ve come back this week and it’s training as usual.”


Labinot Haliti (Jets Youth)

“Adamstown has won their last four, they’ve got a coach who’s played at a top level and they’re getting good results so it’s just like any other game where we have to make sure we turn up and respect them, but not fear them. It’s going to be a good game, we come in from a win and they’ve had four wins and a bye.

“Building confidence is a process that leads from one game to another, the win last weekend is a big plus and we had obviously a very young squad so it’s good to get a win. It’s important that we are competitive, that we do perform and that we try to be in matches and try to stay in them, not just throw them away.

“We had three or four weeks where we had a few injuries and we were very light on bodies, we started hitting some form at the wrong time with injuries. Since we’ve come back from Hong Kong, it was a good trip and we’ve got a few more coming back (from injury)… there are some boys who were a bit lighter through the week, but we’re all good with injuries.”


Broadmeadow Magic v Lake Macquarie City

Sunday 3rd June, 2:30 pm at Magic Park

Things are dire at the bottom and it’s looking more and more like a two-horse race for last place – Lakes have a lot of work to do in order to move away from Valentine and could potentially jump into ninth with a win on Sunday.

Back in round one, Magic hit Lakes for six. Four from James Virgili and two from Kale Bradbury secured a stunning 6-0 Broadmeadow win on an extremely hot day at Macquarie Field.

Unsurprisingly, those two men now lead the goal-scoring charts with eight goals apiece. If awards were handed out now Virgili would pip Bradbury to the golden boot given he’s played one less game (nine), but they’re not and the focus for each man will undoubtedly be on the team.

Eight goals in nine games has Lakes’ Sam Walker right on their tails, and he added another one to his tally last weekend with a thunderbolt in the 2-1 defeat to Lambton. The big matches keep on coming for Lakes, and despite the defeat, they’ll have taken confidence ahead of this weekend’s encounter with a second-place Magic side.

It’s a team which boasted ‘five or six’ players at its front end which underperformed last weekend, according to coach Ruben Zadkovich. Broadmeadow was held at bay for the first time this season on Sunday in a scoreless draw against Maitland. Despite the lack of flair up front, it was Magic’s fifth clean sheet of the season.

Magic have one of the tightest defences in the league with just eleven goals through in ten matches, and it’s that type of defensive resolve which Lakes need to find on Sunday. They’ve conceded 25 this season (equal-highest with Adamstown) and have kept just one clean sheet.

The way these two sides set up tactically will be interesting to see this weekend. Magic like to press high and exploit the space in behind, but finding that space may be difficult against a Lakes side which tends to sit deep and play quickly on the counter.

One to watch this weekend will be former Magic man Paul Sichalwe, who spent a number of years at Broadmeadow but wasn’t able to pin down a first-team position. He’s scored four times for Lakes this season, but one this weekend against his former club might be the sweetest yet.


What the coaches said:

Nick Webb (Lakes)

“Magic will press pretty high and push pretty hard, they’ve got a quality squad and they’ll be looking to bounce back from their draw against Maitland. We’ll be aware of that, and we’ll be looking to counteract that.

“Round one, like I said after the game back then we chased the Heritage Cup and were extremely tired, it was 40 degrees and it’s completely different now. Although we’re equal last, we certainly should have got something out of the weekend, we set up well and it was just two mistakes that cost us goals. Other than that, we had the lions share of possession and a lions share of the chances, we just didn’t take them.

“You can try all you like to coach the boys to eliminate errors from their game, at the end of the day it’s lapses in concentration that cost us. Guys can be quick but we have to be a little bit smarter and understand that, we spoke about it but we didn’t do it at the end of the day.

“Training was good on Tuesday night and we’ll look to lift that intensity again on Thursday night and be ready for Magic Park.”


NPL Northern NSW Round 11: Hamilton Olympic come away with a 2-1 win over Weston Bears

Weston Bears 1 (Burtson 72’) def. by Hamilton Olympic 2 (Sutherland 15’, Treble 84’)

Sunday 27th May, 2:30 pm at Rockwell Automation Park

The third and final game without Steve Piggott on the sideline for Weston was a topsy-turvy one – crucial for a Bears side looking to close the gap on the pack.

A returning Rhys Cooper played his role as Hamilton conceded the lead and then won it back through youngster Kane Treble for their fourth win of the season.

The home side had a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the 12th minute when Tega Marcus was played in by Chris Hurley. The Bears striker only had the ‘keeper to beat but managed to hit it straight at a diving Tyler Warren.

It’d prove a costly miss just minutes later. An under-hit pass to the last line of defence was swooped upon by Olympic’s Jarryd Sutherland, who dribbled into space and had the confidence to nutmeg Weston keeper Kane Runge for the opening goal.

It was almost two just three minutes after the opening goal when Jordan Jackson got under a back-pass and sent it goal bound. Runge was backpedalling and managed to head it behind to avert a calamitous own goal.

Weston had a pair of good chances in the opening stages of the second half, but Beau Wilkins and Josh Maguire both put their chances from the edge of the area over the crossbar.

The visitors should have made it two in the 70th minute after an incisive breakaway. Jake McGuinness carried the ball half the length of the pitch and played a ball through a crunching sandwich tackle to Jed Hornery.

The number 13 squared it to Rhys Cooper who was virtually free of defenders but he decided to play Hornery back in. A charging Chris Hurley dove in and defused what was one of Hamilton’s most clear-cut chances of the match.

As did Weston with their missed chance earlier in the match, Hamilton would soon regret theirs. The Bears charged up the other end and had a pair of set pieces – a corner floated to the back post was met by the head of Jackson Burston, and it was 1-all.

It was Hamilton who’d ultimately claim their second victory over Weston in as many weeks. A free kick in the 84th minute fell kindly to young substitute Kane Treble, and he had little to do but connect from little more than a yard out to secure victory for Olympic.

Hamilton coach Peter McGuinness was pleased to get the result he felt his side deserved.

“On the balance of the first half I thought we deserved the lead, second half I thought we dug ourselves into a hole,” said McGuinness.

“They changed a bit of their formation and changed the personnel, they had us on the back foot and we countered off that and as a result probably had four opportunities with one v ones, two v ones and we didn’t take any of them.

“We paid the penalty with a poorly defended corner, but probably got what we deserved with a goal from the young substitute.

“It’s always tough at Weston, it’s never easy up there and it’s good to come away with three points.”

The introduction of Rhys Cooper, Joe Temperley and Kane Treble off the bench helped to turn the tide in Olympic’s favour, and McGuinness was pleased with their contributions.

“Rhys had a positive impact with his presence, and it was good for young Kane Treble to come off and get the goal,” said McGuinness.

“Joseph Temperley out of the 20s, those two boys (Temperley and Treble) are young boys who have been with Olympic for a number of years now and they’re coming through the ranks.“They got a bit of a show this week, they’ve both played [first grade] before and they both did quite well.”

Under 20s Weston won 0-1
Under 18s drew 2-2

NPL Youth
Olympic vs Jets Youth
Under 16s Jets won 3-5
Under 15s Olympic won 4-2
Under 14s Olympic won 3-1
Under 13s Jets won 2-4

Zone League 2
Kahibah vs Olympic
1st Grade Olympic won 5-2
2nd Grade Kahibah won 1-2

Community Juniors
Under 12s Olympic 2-5 Valentine
Under 13s Olympic 4-2 Charlestown
Under 14s Olympic 1-2 Kotara
Under 16s Olympic 1-2 Lambton

Charlestown City Blues 0 def. by Newcastle Jets Youth 1 (Hayes 80’)

Sunday 27th May, 2:30 pm at Lisle Carr Oval

A perfect home record was on the line as Charlestown returned to action after their bye last weekend.

Jets Youth returned from their own weekend abroad in Hong Kong and apparently much better for it securing a hard-fought, gritty win to ensure they kept in touch with the pack.

Young Jet Joseph O’Connor had the first chance of the afternoon in the fifth minute thanks to a whipped ball in from Ryan Goodhew, but Charlestown’s Danny Ireland proved equal to the challenge. Blues leading goal scorer Scott Smith had a golden opportunity to put his side ahead shortly after, but he wasn’t able to beat Noah James one-on-one.

It was thrill-a-minute type stuff at Lisle Carr. In the ninth minute of play, Kieran Hayes was the recipient of an O’Connor cross, but his shot deflected out for a corner.

Smith had another brilliant chance to give Charlestown the lead in the 16th minute, and with just the keeper to beat, Smith managed to uncharacteristically send his shot high and wide.

Jets Youth looked like they may have had a goal in the 33rd minute when Kent Harrison was played through and finished between the legs of Danny Ireland, but Harrison was offside and the play was called back for after a Charlestown foul in the build-up.

The Blues almost opened their account once more in the 39th minute when a deep Matt Tull corner found the head of Daniel Laiman, whose good shot was stopped superbly by James. Jackson Frendo forced a fantastic save from Ireland early in the second half after the Jets man’s dipping free kick.

Jets Youth had a good chance in the 70th minute after an incisive breakaway had Cai Tipaldo and Jack Simmons running at a barebones Charlestown defence. The ball eventually fell to the late-arriving Kieran Hayes, but he wasn’t able to find the back of the net.

Rene Ferguson had a good chance just moments later when he was found free at the back post, but his first touch allowed James to rush out and shut things down.

It was end-to-end stuff, and in the 78th minute, the Jets had a good chance to open their account. A shot from a long way out from Cai Tipaldo was palmed away, and the resulting cross to the back post was headed over the top by Hayes.

Counter-attack looked to be the flavour of the day, and it would pay dividends for the Jets in the 80th minute. An incisive breakaway, a botched interception and a nice ball through from Cai Tipaldo found Hayes. The captain finally found the back of the net, and it was 1-0.

Perhaps the most remarkable moment of the match was to come though – in the 87th minute, Laiman must have thought he equalised after his shot from the edge of the area was hard and true. James dived down to his right and pulled off a save which any keeper in the world would have been pleased with.

Charlestown desperately searched for a winner, and their desperation saw tackles flying in thick and fast. They earned three yellow cards in the final minutes for their enthusiasm.

Despite all the Blues’ pushing on, it was Jets Youth who had the best chance in the final stages. Cai Tipaldo was one-on-one, and went near post but seen his shot hit the post and rebound out. Jack Simmons took the ball to the corner and drew a foul from Kevin Davidson, but the referee decided enough was enough and the Jets were winners.

Charlestown coach David Tanchevski called it a disappointing result.

“We had some really good chances to put the game to bed early, Scott Smith had a couple of really good one-on-one’s, two clear but one-on-ones which he didn’t put away,” said Tanchevski.

“Traditionally in other games, we’d have taken those chances and won, but it wasn’t our day in front of goal and we had more chances in the second half too… we didn’t take them, we threw men forward and conceded one up the other end.

“Disappointing to take when you feel like you should have won the game, but Jets Youth are a good side and they had their chances and played quite well, I was impressed with them.”

The Blues have now lost won just one of their last four matches in the league now, but Tanchevski denied it’s something which he’s worried about.

“We drew with Edgeworth which I’d take any day of the week, we lost to Adamstown which wasn’t expected but they’re in form,” said Tanchevski.

“I’d be concerned if we didn’t play well or create chances, I’m disappointed we didn’t take our chances and if we weren’t creating them I’d be concerned.

“We’re going through a few injuries, middle of the season at the moment so we haven’t been outplayed… we’ve played the top five teams and only lost to one of those teams, so no alarm bells for me at the moment we just need to get back to basics.”


Lambton Jaffas 2 (Crowley 26’, Griffiths 38’) def. Lake Macquarie City 1 (Walker 25’)

Saturday 26th May, 2:30 pm at Arthur Edden Oval

A 25th-minute goal had Lakes ahead early in this one away to Lambton on Saturday afternoon.

Pegged back just moments later and put behind before the turn of the half, the Roosters eventually succumbed to their eighth loss of the season.

Mitch Hunter let off a range-finder in the sixth minute of play as Lakes and Jaffas battled for control early in this match. The visitors were nearly ahead in the eighth minute when a Hunter cross was met by Lambton’s Ridge Mapu, but his own-goal bound effort deflected off another defender and away from danger.

Lakes was enjoying some good field position and they were creating the chances to match. Paul Sichalwe fired one off past the post in the tenth minute of play and Morgan Okeno fired over two minutes later.

Lambton nearly opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Braedyn Crowley found himself with only the keeper to beat but managed only to hit it straight at Stuart Plant. Joel Griffiths wasn’t able to connect with a ball into the box two minutes later, it missed his head by inches.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 26th minute when a Sam Walker shot from some 25 yards out whistled home past Brad Swancott and gave Lakes the lead.

Keen not to stay behind for too long, it took just a minute for Lambton to draw level. Joel Griffiths played Braedyn Crowley in down the right-hand side, and the youngster made no mistake to make the score 1-all.

They’d be level before half-time, and it was again Joel Griffiths who provided the goal. His touchback across the face found brother Ryan, and he scored his sixth league goal of the season and Lambton’s second of the day.

Tom Sparre nearly scored for Lakes in the 60th minute in the aftermath of a corner but his header was straight at the keeper. Braedyn Crowley could have had a second in the 65th minute, but his shot was stopped by a sliding Joey Cacic.

Lakes more than had their chances to score an equaliser towards the death, but the finishing touch just wasn’t there. Tom Walker blazed one over and Tom Sparre had a goal-bound effort deflect wide.

Nor was it there for Lambton – they hit the post through Pat Brown in the 90th minute and had a number of efforts called offside late on. In the end, Jaffas couldn’t extend their advantage, Lakes couldn’t equalise and the match would end 2-1 Lambton.


Edgeworth Eagles 1 (Bower 87’) def. Valentine Phoenix 0

Saturday 26th May, 2:30 pm at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Last time these two teams met just a fortnight ago in the FFA Cup, it was a tight affair with only a solitary goal the difference.

It was a repeat on Saturday night as both sides battled and eventually Edgeworth clawed their way back to the top of the ladder.

Valentine was subjected to an onslaught from the home side in the opening stages of this, and Edgeworth wasn’t threatened. Daniel McBreen hit the post with a wicked shot in the sixth minute which was just inches from bulging the back of the net.

McBreen looked to provide in the 21st minute as he headed down a long ball to Adam Cawley, but his shot went wide. Cawley shanked what looked to be a certain goal in the 26th minute, after some good work from Tyson Jackson down the right-hand side.

Jamie Byrnes had a good chance in the 32nd minute which saw him admonished for not striking through the ball by the Edgeworth coaching staff, but the Eagles were building the pressure and a goal looked inevitable.

Pat Wheeler forced a good low save from Scott Carter in the 37th minute, but a goal looked like it may well have been coming at the other end in the 42nd minute after Josh Evans missed a cross which fell at the back post for Josh Carroll. His shot deflected out, and the resulting corner found the side netting.

The play was halted temporarily in the 57th minute as a sizeable divot deep in the Edgeworth half was attended to by ground staff. Tyson Jackson forced another good save low from Carter ten minutes later, and McBreen made him go high in the 68th.

Valentine should have opened the scoring in the 75th minute. A Christian Kershaw ball across the face of goal fell to Joel Wood at the back post, but he seemed surprised by it and wasn’t able to put enough power on it to send it in.

Josh Low chose to live dangerously in the 78th minute when he received the ball and played it around an onrushing Aaron Niyonkuru. Valentine had a shout for a penalty waved away a minute later, when Matt Paul looked to have been brought down in the area but the ref said nothing doing.

The deadlock looked destined to be broken though and in the 86th it was. A one-two put Will Bower in front of goal, and he managed to slide the ball underneath Scott Carter and put it away to shoot Edgeworth back to the top of the ladder.

Edgeworth boss Damien Zane believed the game should have been over at half-time.

“It’s probably the best half we’ve put together this year, we created heaps and hit the post twice, missed about three open goals and you can’t afford to dominate like that and not bury a team,” said Zane.

“Valentine came out second half and it was a lot tighter, we used up all the time we could to find a winner and it’s a credit to us because we’re good at doing that and finding a way to win

“We should have been up 3-0 at least at half-time and been able to relax, we can’t afford to keep missing those chances (especially) against even better teams.

“It comes down to taking ownership, our defenders are brought in to defend and we’ve kept three clean sheets in a row.

“It’s the attacker’s job to get into the position to score goals and then put them away, we’re getting into positions but we’re not finishing and it comes down to putting your hand up and wanting to be the guy that scores goals.

“If you’re scoring goals, I can guarantee you’re in my starting eleven every week.”

Valentine assistant coach Sam Griffin was frustrated his side didn’t take something away from Jack McLaughlan Oval.

“It’s a bit tough, twice within the space of two weeks we’ve gone down one-nil to Edgeworth at their home ground and possibly should have got something out of ti,” said Griffin.

“We definitely rode our luck in the first 25 minutes or so, Edgy put us under the pump a bit but they didn’t take their chances and towards the end of the game we probably had a couple of chances to win it so not getting anything out of it is a bit of a kick.”

With Valentine last and Edgeworth first on the ladder, most might have been satisfied with the performance but Griffin rued the points surrendered.

“We weren’t happy, we felt we should have got something and in the end, you walk away disappointed.”

Valentine now faces a lengthy stretch on the sidelines, with the bye next weekend and FFA Cup action the following weekend.

For a side with a swag of injuries and a poor first half of the season, it will allow Phoenix to reflect and recharge ahead of the second half.

“It will be a good chance to give a few boys that are running on empty and with illness, minor injuries to get back to 100 percent,” said Griffin.

“Being the midway point of the season, it’s a good chance for us to reset our goals a bit and obviously we’ve made it hard for ourselves in terms of making semi-finals but it’s about looking at what we can achieve for the year.

“We’ve got a bit of a break now and time to reflect, I think we’ll reassess and look at where we want to finish, a points tally and clean sheets and actually set some targets for the end of the year.”


Broadmeadow Magic 0 drew Maitland Magpies 0

Sunday 27th May, 2:30 pm at Magic Park

A win was all but necessary for both sides here – the home side looking to stay top of the table, the visitors needing to reclaim their place in the top four.

In the battle of attrition which ensued, Maitland was able to dig in and prevent a rampant Magic outfit from scoring for the first time this season and pick up a valuable point away from home.

The home side had the first real chance midway through the first half when Shane Paul worked hard to create a chance for Kale Bradbury, but the competition’s equal-leading goal scorer’s shot took a deflection on its way to goal and went for a corner.

Magic lost Takumi Sunada to injury, who went off in the 29th minute after a heavy challenge from Chris Fayers which earned him a yellow card.

Both sides went at one another with neither able to find a real opening, with a Ryan Clarke shot in the 73rd minute flashing wide. Maitland’s Grant Brown had a chance at the front post flash over the crossbar two minutes later.

It was a heart in mouth stuff for Maitland in the 79th minute, as the final 15 minutes blew this match wide open. An under-hit back-pass was pounced on by Kale Bradbury, and Magpies’ keeper Matt Trott had the come 30 yards and slide in superbly to clear the danger.

Returning to the Broadmeadow side off the bench on Sunday, Mitch Oxborrow nearly stole the headlines in the 84th minute with a shot from outside the area which dipped just over the crossbar.

The golden, and perhaps the only clear-cut chance of the afternoon came in the 91st minute when Matt Thompson set Ryan Clarke off. Clarke, who had managed to stay onside, was one-on-one with Paul Bitz but hit his shot straight at the Magic keeper.

John Majurovski was inches off getting his head to a deep cross to the back post, but he wasn’t able to connect. Magic and Maitland shared the points for just the second time in league history.

Magic coach Ruben Zadkovich called it a ‘good game’ despite the scoreless stalemate.

“I thought it was a good game all around from both teams, it was physical and the boys from both sides were ripping in,” said Zadkovich.

“Tactically it was an interesting game, we had most of the ball and most of the play and Maitland set up to counter-attack and be patient; they have quality up front.

“The game went to plan, at the end of the day a draw was probably a fair result… They had the best chance of the game there at the end with (Ryan) Clarkey, but we probably had the better of the play for most of it.

“[Magpies coach Michael] Bolchy is a guy that I have a lot of time for, he knows how to set his teams up hard to beat and he has some quality players as well so I’m happy to have got through with the clean sheet.”

It’s the first time Magic hasn’t scored in the league this season, and Zadkovich wasn’t pleased with the way his attacking players performed.

“I was a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get something at the front end, to be honest, our front five or six were pretty poor,” said Zadkovich.

“It’s a pretty good sign if you can have a nil-all draw but have five or six boys who aren’t playing very well, but it’s not a concern because we have the best attack in the league so we’re certainly not worried.

“Maitland’s back four and two sixes, they [the sixes] screened the back four really well and there wasn’t much space, they protected the space in behind so the credit belongs their back four as well.”


NPL Northern NSW Round 11:Hamilton Olympic travel away to Weston Bears

Weston Bears v Hamilton Olympic

Sunday 27th May, 2:30 pm at Rockwell Automation Park

Just eleven days will have gone by when these two sides meet again on Sunday, and judging by that match this weekend it’s anyone’s game.

That match, a sixth-round FFA Cup clash ended in a 2-0 win to Hamilton but wasn’t a straightforward affair. There have been 25 encounters between these two sides since 2008, and Weston has won ten of them. Hamilton takes bragging rights though with 14 wins and has won the past eight encounters between the two.

The Bears haven’t played since the last time they met Hamilton, thanks to a round nine bye and their round ten match against Jets Youth which was brought forward to May 9th.

Weston won that match against Jets Youth 2-1 but went down to a near full-strength Hamilton side 2-0 last Wednesday. A win on Sunday could take Weston above this weekend’s opponents, and as high as seventh on the ladder.

The likes of Josh Maguire, Cooper Buswell and Kamon Bol weren’t on the team sheet for Weston in their FFA Cup match, while Chris Hurley started on the bench. A side closer to full-strength may give Weston a good chance at a result.

Full-strength is something which Hamilton won’t be at this weekend after yellow cards last Sunday mean Scott Pettit and Simon Mooney are suspended for this clash.

The 4-2 loss to Magic at the weekend brought a halt to a good run of form which Hamilton had built up and denied them a shot to close the gap on the top four.

Peter McGuinness’ side has enjoyed some solid results on the road so far this season, winning four of their five matches away from home across all competitions. They’ll be keen to make it five this weekend.


What the coaches said

Peter McGuinness (Hamilton)

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s 2018 or 2008, it’s always a tough game up there at Weston and they’ve always been very strong at home which is something I don’t expect to be any different this time around.

“The players Weston promoted in the FFA Cup match acquitted themselves well, they were pretty organised, tough to break down and they did a good job which says there’s a bit of depth in the club. They should be a little more experienced this weekend, whether they have more energy than the youngsters maybe, maybe not, but they’ll be certainly much more experienced than they were on that night.

“Rhys Cooper comes back into the squad, but we lose Simon Mooney and Scott Pettit which takes away a fair bit of speed. They’re two pretty quick players up front, they can get forward pretty quick but it takes away a little bit of penetration from us. Jed Hornery will come in as well, he played in the FFA Cup match and he’s coming back through from injury.

“Stuart Musalik will get some game time in the 20s this week which is great for him, great for the club. He’s worked really hard to put himself back in the picture, he’s had a few knockbacks and a few injuries and different things that have gone on, he’s ready to get some minutes this week.”


Hamilton Olympic vs  Newcastle Jets at Darling St Oval on Saturday 26th May

U13s kick off at 10.00am

U14s kick off  at 11.30am

U15s kick off at  1.00 pm

U16s kick off at   2.30pm

 Charlestown City Blues v Newcastle Jets Youth

Sunday 27th March, 2:30 pm at Lisle Carr Oval

Both Charlestown and Jets Youth have had a weekend away from the NPL NNSW pitch, but each spent it vastly differently.

The now third-placed Blues had the bye which pushed them out of top spot, while Jets Youth claimed the Main Plate at the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens.

The history between Charlestown and Jets Youth doesn’t give either an advantage – they’ve each won six each since 2012. The Blues won both matches last season, scoring four times in each encounter.

Without a match in 11 days thanks to the bye, Charlestown will be fresh, fit and keen to get back to the top of the league this weekend. They finished off on a high, beating Valentine 2-0 in the league and progressing to the final eight of the FFA Cup with a 3-1 win over Lakes.

The Blues have relied on a strong defence to carve out their lead at the top, and have conceded just ten goals this season. They have scored the least out of the sides in the top four – just 16.

This weekend will be a good test of where Charlestown are now in the aftermath of the bye. What will encourage them is the best home form in the league – four wins from four games at Lisle Carr Oval.

A large swath of the Jets Youth squad arrived back in Australia early this week after they claimed the Main Plate at the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens over the weekend.

Their trip overseas meant their last match in the NPL NNSW was a fortnight ago at Magic Park, where they went down 4-2. It was their third loss in eight days, but a cup win will have imbued the squad with some confidence.

Kent Harrison is the man to watch up front for Jets Youth. He’s scored six goals in nine matches for the side in the NPL NNSW this season and has double that of his next closest teammate Cai Tipaldo.


What the coaches said

Labinot Haliti (Jets Youth)

“We’ve just come back from Hong Kong and we’ll train again a few times before Sunday, obviously it’s great to play Charlestown because they’ve been the benchmark of the league so far. We’re looking forward to it, it’s great for our boys to be playing teams like that.

“The young kids will see first hand what those experienced boys can do and the benchmark… they’ve got a good side, our boys are looking forward to it and I’m sure it’ll be a good game.

“We haven’t looked too much into Charlestown given we’ve just got back from a massive week in Hong Kong, so it’s been about refreshing and trying to get rid of niggles. As we get closer to the game, we’ll look at more things, where their strengths are… I’ve watched some of Charlestown’s games through the year and there’s a lot of experience there, they totally deserve to be where they are.”

Lambton Jaffas v Lake Macquarie City

Saturday 26th May, 2:30 pm at Arthur Edden Oval

Two sides with contrasting fortunes in recent weeks will be a crucial clash for both Lambton and Lakes as it will be all on the line for them.

In six fixtures between these two sides since 2013, Lakes hasn’t claimed a single win over Lambton. Jaffas has five wins, including a clean sweep with two wins in their two league matches last season.

The defeat last weekend would have left Lambton a long way from the top four and a shot at the premiership, but a rampant first half against Maitland did enough to edge out a 3-2 result.

A swag of attacking ability seems to be doing the trick for Lambton as they look to hit a good run of form. They’ve lost just once in the past five matches and won the other four, and sit just a point outside the top four.

Braedyn Crowley has helped give Lambton a bit of a kick-start since his arrival, with three goals in three league matches. Ryan Griffiths leads their goal-scoring charts with five goals in the league.

Without a win in the league since their round five demolition of Valentine, Lakes are sailing precariously close to the wind at the bottom of the ladder. They’re in tenth, level on points with last-placed Valentine but ahead with a goal difference which is four better.

The Roosters went close last weekend against a high-flying Edgeworth, but were unable to take anything away from the match and went down 2-0. It means they’re only scored once in their past three outings.

It’s not like Lakes are short of goalscorers though – Sam Walker has seven, and Mitch Hunter and Paul Sichalwe each have four. That’s 15 of the side’s 17 goals this season, so chances are if Lakes are to win it will be because of one of these three.

What the coaches said

James Pascoe (Jaffas)

“Lakes are a bit of a handful, they haven’t been disgraced in any of their games and have had a couple of wins, really competitive. We tend to follow them in the draw so I’ve been out and watched a fair bit of Lakes, I think they’re dangerous and have goals in them in Sam Walker and Paul Sichalwe. They’re youthful in big parts of the team which gives them lots of energy and intensity so it will be an interesting game.

“Results have been a little bit frustrating but confidence hasn’t really dropped, we know what we’ve got within our roster and what we haven’t had the opportunity to do is play people week in, week out and get that stability into the starting 11 and even on the training pitch. The more results we can string together the better everyone feels, including the FFA Cup games we’ve won four of the past five now.

“Our top 15 players are all available this weekend, but out of that 15, there are three or four that if they were to start they’d be making only their first or second start of the season. We’ve relied on a core group of about nine payers that have played a lot of minutes, and the other half dozen have only had dribs and drabs because of various reasons.”

Edgeworth Eagles v Valentine Phoenix

Saturday 26th May, 5 pm at Jack McLaughlan Oval

Despite this match standing as a clash between second place and last place, it’s far from a result set in stone as Valentine desperately fight for a positive result ahead of the bye.

In 20 meetings between these two sides since 2008, Edgeworth has won 11 of the encounters. Things were close just last week when the Eagles edged out Valentine 1-0 in their sixth round FFA Cup fixture.

Bouncing back from that shock 1-0 loss to Adamstown in round nine was the goal for Edgeworth at the weekend, and they managed just that with a 2-0 win over Lakes last Saturday.

Just one loss in the past ten for Edgeworth has them sitting level on top, and deservedly so. A side which was gutted by a number of departures at the end of last season has suffered another hit, with goalkeeper Nate Cavaliere heading now to Kingston City in the Victorian NPL.

Cavaliere has helped Edgeworth take the mantle of one the best defensive sides in the competition, a position which they’ve adopted again this season conceding just 12 goals in nine games. Josh Low will now step up as the side’s first-choice goalkeeper, and with two clean sheets in his Edgeworth’s last two matches looks a worthy replacement.

Contrasting fortunes for Valentine has them sat down in last-place and with the least amount of goals of any side in the competition (ten) they may be hard-pressed to find one this weekend.

Just the one goal last Sunday in a 2-1 loss to Adamstown which prevented them from moving away from the bottom spot, but it could have been two and a point if the finishing had been slightly improved.

One man on whom Valentine lean on for goals is striker Joel Wood, who missed last weekend through injury. If a return is on the cards for him this weekend, he’ll need to have his eye in and make the most of any chances which come his way. Zac Sneddon and Chris Brown are also in line to return.

What the coaches said:
Damien Zane (Edgeworth)

“A few people said to me after the cup match against Valentine ‘they’re not a bad team’, and I know that the boys didn’t take that match easier. They’re a team which has lacked a bit of luck and have been unlucky not to get a result or two and at the moment it’s probably what’s separating the league… we won’t be underestimating them.

“It’s a good opportunity for Nate [Cavaliere], we knew about it [the move to Kingston City] and Josh Low has had two games, the cup and the NPL game and has kept two clean sheets, he had a decent start and we’ve been prepared. When someone moves along, someone moves up into that spot and we have every faith that Josh is ready.

“We told Josh that next season was yours but it’s happened early, he has been very good this year and has improved more than we expected, and he’s probably ready now. Dylan Holz trained Tuesday so we’re hoping he’ll be back in this weekend, Aaron Oppedisano next week and Mitch Dobson next weekend.”

Sam Griffin (Valentine assistant)

“It’ll be same old Edgy, they’ll be high tempo and up in your face and getting forward quickly, which everyone wants to do but they just seem to execute it better than most. We were reasonably successful in the FFA Cup playing quite direct against them, I think we were unlucky not to push them a little further so we’ll probably try to play similar and cause enough problems to get something out of it.

“The performance against Edgeworth in the FFA Cup will give us confidence, to walk away disappointed against the premier team in the competition because we didn’t get something out of it because we felt we could have got something out of it is the best way we can take a loss.

“Touch wood, all three (Brown, Sneddon and Wood) will make an appearance, as long as they get through training on Thursday night. It’d be really good to see Chris Brown back on the park, he lifts everyone because he’s that good a bloke that everyone wants to play with him and be around him.

“He’s so passionate about the game and about Valentine that he lifts the other players on the field, and training as well the level increases and it’s another steady head at a crucial time in the game. He’ll be invaluable.”

Broadmeadow Magic v Maitland Magpies

Sunday 27th May, 2:30 pm at Magic Park

There’s an outside chance that Maitland could jump Magic into first place with a win on Sunday, but it’s certainly a tall order.

This weekend’s home side has the advantage when you look at the history between the two since they’ve shared the NPL NNSW stage. Broadmeadow has won five of their six encounters, but Maitland’s sole victory was that 7-1 battering at Magic Park last year.

Seven wins on the trot now for Magic has them flying, equal leaders with Edgeworth and Charlestown but Broadmeadow is the side which currently sits atop on the top of the ladder thanks to a superior goal difference.

26 goals in nine games is the best output of any side in the league, four of those coming in the 4-2 win over Hamilton last weekend. It means Magic now boast the two top scorers in the league – James Virgili and Kale Bradbury both have eight goals each.

Last time Maitland and Magic left, Virgili scored one and Mitch Oxborrow also got one in what was his last match for Broadmeadow before he signed for Brisbane Roar. His return this weekend would strengthen an already solid Magic side.

It could have been a four-way dead heat at the top last weekend, but an injury-hit Maitland stumbled and went down 3-2 at the hands of a classy Lambton outfit. The Magpies are now sit in fourth, three points from the top spot and one clear of fifth place.

Those injured men included attacking weapon Ryan Clarke, and now there’s confirmation that Josh Dutton-Black has ruptured his ACL and is out for the season after he went down early in the first half.

One aspect of Maitland’s season which is less than stellar so far is their record against the league’s big sides. They’ve lost matches against Charlestown, Edgeworth, and Lambton so far this year.

What the coaches said

Michael Bolch (Maitland)

“Magic are the form team of the comp at the moment, I think they’ve won their past eight including the FFA Cup, scored the most goals and conceded the least so they’re obviously buzzing but realistically we’ve got to deal with their front three. Bradbury and [James] Virgili are leading goalscorers at the moment, Dino is doing well too.

“They seem to dominate teams that leave space in behind by using their pace, so we’ve just got to be wary and switched on as to how high a line we play, and the boys have to be mindful of their roles for the 90 minutes. We’ve got to do the one percenters, they punish mistakes and they’re very good in transition, chasing the ball, and counter-attacking really quickly.

“The losses to those teams in the top five is not a concern at this stage, I’ve noticed it myself and coming towards the end of the year I’ be a lot more concerned. You need to beat those guys to be in the semis and the run we’ve got coming into the semis is Magic, Jaffas, all those sorts of sides. We’re probably just a little bit off those two or three sides at this point in the year, we need to be better in key areas.

“Josh [Dutton-Black] has ruptured his ACL and he’ll be out for the season. It’s a big loss, he’s been good and has been doing quite well. We get Grant Brown back [on Sunday] thanks to work commitments, Mat Swan is still out after a knock he picked up against Lake Macquarie [in round nine], and Alex Read and Ryan Clarke are probably 50/50.”

NPL Northern NSW Round 10: Hamilton Olympic defeated 4-2 by Broadmeadow Magic

Hamilton Olympic 2 (Mooney 54′, Pettit 62′) def. by Broadmeadow Magic 4 (Virgili 30′, 61′, Bradbury 46′, 77′)
Sunday 20th May, 2:30pm at Darling Street Oval

A crucial match for each team at what’s nearly the midway point of this NNSW NPL season, it was a chance for Magic to go top and for Olympic to make a charge on the top four.

Hamilton without Rhys Cooper and Broadmeadow without Mitch Oxborrow, it was the visitors who dealt with that absence best as they triumphed – but it wasn’t easy going.

Magic did open the scoring from the penalty spot just prior to the half-hour mark when James Virgili was brought down inside the penalty area by Tyler Warren. Initially awarded a free kick outside the area, the referee changed his mind after consultation with his linesman.

Virgili sent Warren the wrong way when he finally stepped up and converted the penalty which he won.

It took just forty seconds into the second half for Magic to double their lead, and it came from a long ball over the top from ‘keeper Paul Bitz. Dino Fajkovic brought it down and held off some attention, and played in Kale Bradbury who buried his seventh goal of the season.

Ten minutes later, and Olympic were back in with a shout. Jarryd Sutherland created the goal, carrying the ball quite a way and playing in a nice little cross. Simon Mooney got airborne, and acrobatically firing home to make it 2-1.

A goal from nothing restored Magic’s two-goal advantage in the 61st minute. Matt Hoole played a ball into Dino Fajkovic, whose first-time pass found James Virgili in behind. He finished well for his second of the day, and Magic’s third.

Not 60 seconds later, Olympic had clawed one back. Virtually from the kick-off, a long ball was played to Scott Pettit on the right-hand side. The former Magic man took it first time, chipping the onrushing Paul Bitz and grabbed his fourth in as many league matches.

The game was decided by Bradbury’s second goal in the 77th minute, but it wasn’t without controversy. A long ball through the lines found its way to Virgili and allowed him to square up Bradbury, who finished for his eighth league goal of the season.

Hamilton was filthy with the goal however as centre-back Kyle Hodges had stopped and waited alongside a downed Dino Fajkovic. It looked as if the Olympic defence expected Magic to stop and put the ball out but instead, they played on and scored the goal to shoot them to the top of the ladder.

Speaking to BarTV Sports after the win, goal scorer Kale Bradbury said it was a massive win for his Magic side.

“It keeps the roll going, I think that’s eight in a row including the FFA Cup so look, it’s extra special today obviously beating the Greeks [Olympic] at their home ground, so move on to next week and hopefully keeping the roll going on,” said Bradbury.

“The tactic before the game was press really hard early, and we did and it sort of opened up in the second half and towards the end of the first half, so credit to Rubes [Zadkovich], his tactics worked.

“The last eight games I don’t think we’ve had a bad player on the park, everyone’s contributing so that’s a big reason for why we’re going so well, it’s just extra special today.”

Under 20s Olympic won 2-1
Under 18s Olympic won 10-1

NPL Youth
Olympic vs Mid North Coast
Under 16s Mid Nth Cst won 2-3
Under 15s Olympic 3-0
Under 14s Olympic 5-0
Under 13s drew 2-2

Zone League 2
Olympic vs Charlestown
1st Grade Charlestown won 2-3
2nd Grade Olympic won 1-0

Community Juniors
Under 12s Olympic 3-3 Charlestown
Under 13s Olympic 1-0 Valentine
Under 14s Olympic 1-0 Charlestown
Under 16s Olympic 3-1 Maitland


Lake Macquarie City 0 def. by Edgeworth Eagles 2 (Bizzarri 22′, Byrnes 55′)
Saturday 19th May, 2:30pm at Macquarie Field

Edgeworth momentarily fought their way back to the top of the ladder with a smash and grab victory over a struggling Lakes on Saturday.

After Sunday’s results though, Edgeworth sit in second while Lakes remain off the bottom thanks to Adamstown’s win at Valentine.

Dom Bizzarri opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with his second goal of the season. It was a move which was started from back at the goalkeeper, but Jamie Byrnes was the man who dug something out.

He received a long ball and fought with Lakes’ Tom Walker for possession, winning out and running into the box. A petite cut back found Bizzarri, and he made it 1-0 Edgeworth.

The visitors could have had a second in the 32nd minute when Adam Cawley sent Lakes’ Corey Fletcher one way, then the other, got him and found himself one-on-one with ‘keeper’ Stuart Plant – but couldn’t beat him.

Lakes had a chance of their own up the other end just two minutes later, but Sam Walker was unable to beat Josh Low in the Edgeworth goal.

Edgeworth doubled their advantage shortly after half-time, with a goal which was somewhat controversial. A long goal kick found its way to Jamie Byrnes at the point of the attack, and he touched around Josh Low and headed toward goal.

The ball took a deflection off the post and bounced around the goalmouth, and didn’t hit the net but was adjudged to have crossed the line. A decision which some on the Lakes side didn’t agree with, but Jamie Byrnes had his fifth goal of the year and Edgeworth’s second of the day.

The home side had a good chance to get back in it in the 75th minute after Mitch Hunter put Sam Walker in front of goal, but he could only drill his shot into the palms of an impenetrable Low.

Walker would hit the post in the 77th minute too, although he might not have known so much about the header which was palmed onto his head as Edgeworth dealt with a dangerous cross into the area.

Despite a lot of possession and some good field position, Lakes were ultimately unable to find a way through a stoic Edgeworth defence. The defending premiers shooting momentarily back to the top, the Roosters remaining just shy of last.

Lakes boss Nick Webb said his side were ‘desperately unlucky’ not to come away with at least a point on Saturday.

“We didn’t play well enough first half, but second half we certainly put them under enormous pressure but didn’t score,” said Webb.

“There were numerous chances to score which was great, but the result didn’t go our way again… a bit of a rev-up at half-time, (talking about) sticking to the structures instead of not playing to the game plan and once we stuck to the game plan, we did super well.

“There were just a couple of super costly errors from long balls which cost us the game, they weren’t well-constructed goals.”

Lake Macquarie is now without a win in the league since the 6-1 drubbing of Valentine, but Webb says the confidence is still there.

“We’re not scared of any team, we’ve certainly tested most teams and after we got those couple of wins I thought we were on the right track, it’s just poor mistakes that have cost us goals and unfortunately, at the end of the day, that’s why we are where we are.”

Edgeworth coach Damien Zane was ‘pretty happy’ to get the three points.

“I’ve just had a look at it actually, when we got to 2-0 I thought we fatigued a bit and went a little bit soft but overall we were in control and it was good to bounce back,” said Zane.

“That was what it was all about, bouncing back from the loss and we did that so we were happy.”

“I thought he worrying about goals a bit too much, as strikers do, and we told him to concentrate on what he’s doing and the goals will come and he got one, and probably should have had another one or two,” said Zane.

“We told him not to go away from what you’re doing, and focus on yourself and stick to what the team’s doing, and I thought it was a really positive game for him.

After the dust settled on round ten, Edgeworth (goal difference of +7) sit second – level on points with Broadmeadow (GD of +15) above them, and Charlestown (GD of +6) below them.

Despite that logjam and the arm wrestle underway for top spot, Zane isn’t having his players focus on the premiership just yet.

“It’s one match at a time, our first focus is semi-finals football, we lost six players and were probably counted out by most people,” said Zane.

“We’ve given ourselves a good shot at being there in the semi-finals, and as it gets closer if there’s anything else we need to refocus we’ll do it but at the moment, at the middle part of the year it’s just week by week, grinding out wins.”


Valentine Phoenix 1 (Kershaw 5′) def. by Adamstown Rosebud 2 (Vallone 10′, 23′)
Sunday 20th May, 2:30pm at CB Complex

An absolute howitzer from American import Christian Kershaw had Valentine ahead early and momentarily off the bottom of the ladder on Sunday.

Adamstown looks unstoppable at the moment though, and a first-half fight-back was enough to secure their fourth league win in as many attempts.

That first goal was created and finished by Kershaw. He started his run from inside his own half out on the right hand side, firing in what looked like a mishit cross. A bullet, it somehow beat Benn Kelly at the near post and hit the underside of the crossbar and found its way in for Kershaw’s first goal in Phoenix colours.

The hero at Edgeworth last weekend, Luke Vallone stepped up again just five minutes later to get Adamstown level. He was the beneficiary of a nice ball in behind from Chris Berlin and cut back nicely onto his right foot to slide a finish past Scott Carter and make it 1-1.

In the 22nd minute, Vallone had his third goal in two games. Backtracking and under considerable pressure, Shinji Shozu attempted to play a ball back to his keeper. Vallone swooped on it and angled a nice finish with his right foot inside the far post to make it 2-1.

Valentine almost had one back in the 51st minute, when a Josh Carroll free kick just whizzed past the post. Carroll had another good chance in the 64th minute when he made his way in behind however fired over the crossbar.

The visitors were put on the back foot for much of the second half but managed to keep their lead intact. They had a big shout for a penalty turned down in the 76th minute when Connor Heydon looked to have been pulled down inside the area, but the referee said nothing doing.

Phoenix controlled much of the ball and the territory but was Adamstown who had one of the best chances in the late stages of the match after a breakaway in the 93rd minute. Connor Heydon found himself with only Scott Carter to beat, and decided to square up to Zane Winslade – but he was offside.

The home side went back up the other end and a ball across the goal fell perfectly to Aaron Niyonkuru, who only had to hit the target to score. His first-time shot went over the bar and with it, Valentine’s hopes of clawing their way off the bottom of the ladder.

Adamstown boss Shane Cansdell-Sherriff was pleased with a win which he described as ‘not a pretty game’.

“It wasn’t good football, attractive football, but three points is three points,” Cansdell-Sherriff.

“We looked tired and a bit sluggish, the pitch didn’t help, it was quite bumpy and you could see that in back passes to the keeper going up and hitting him in the shins, we had a couple of boys off their game a little but we fought hard and defended well.

“Valentine were lucky with their first goal, aiming to cross the ball and it somehow found it’s way in the top corner at the near post but the boys didn’t put their heads down, got two goals back quite quickly.”

Six wins on the trot now have Adamstown flying ahead of the bye next weekend, but Cansdell-Sheriff believes minds are still firmly on the task ahead.

“The boys are happy, they’re in a good place but they know they’ve worked hard and they have to keep working harder,” said Cansdell-Sherriff.

“Next weekend we have a break, but then it starts again and we have the second half of the season, we’ve got to start how we finished and go on from there.

“We’ll keep going and take it one game at a time, won’t look too far ahead of ourselves and deal what’s in front of us.”

Cansdell-Sherriff also gave his thoughts on his side drawing Broadmeadow Magic in the seventh round of the FFA Cup.

“We played Magic not too long ago and although we lost the game 4-0, it was one of those games where we were in the game for large parts of it,” said Cansdell-Sherriff.

“They’re a big team, good well organised, well structured and some good players in there so we’re looking forward to the challenge.”


Maitland Magpies 2 (Comerford 57′, Thompson 80′) def. by Lambton Jaffas 3 (Crowley 21′, 45′, Griffiths 40′)
Sunday 20th May, 2:30pm at Cooks Square Park

Perhaps the most crucial match for Jaffas so far this season, they needed three points here today. A win would take them to within one point of the top four, a loss would have left them potentially seven points adrift.

They faced an injury-hit Maitland side which started without Alex Read, Grant Brown, Ryan Clarke and Mat Swan. Things got worse though just twenty seconds into the match for Maitland as they lost Josh Dutton-Black after he fell awkwardly.

Worryingly for Maitland in the fifth minute, Dutton Black’s replacement Louis Townsend went down with an injury. He was able to carry on, but only after some attention from medical staff.

An early goal would have helped calm things down for Lambton, and it was an early goal they got in the 21st minute. Keeping up the pressure after a corner, Bren Hammel floated a ball back into the box which was turned in by the head of Braedyn Crowley.

One before half-time is always a bonus, and Lambton were the beneficiaries of just a goal which was helped in only by the lightning-quick reactions of Ryan Griffiths. The ball in from Ridge Mapu was tricky, the way he beat Liam Thornton in the lead up even more so.

Left to run by the Maitland defence, it fell behind Griffiths but he had no trouble in pulling it out for his fifth goal of the season.

If one just before half-time is good, then two are even better and Crowley grabbed his second in the 45th minute. Played in over the top by Joel Griffiths, Crowley poked his shot past Matt Trott, who did get a hand to it but wasn’t able to keep it out and Lambton went to the sheds three goals to the good.

It was going to take something special for the home side to get back into this match, and inspiration came in the form of Matt Comerford. Charging down the right-hand side, he looked to have worked himself into a prime position to fire in a cross.

Instead, the number seven lashed at it and hit the far corner of the goal to get Maitland back into it.

In a welcome return for Jaffas, Jobe Wheelhouse made his way onto the pitch in the 63rd minute after speculation he may have severely reinjured his troublesome ankle and was set for an extended period on the sideline.

In the 80th minute, Comerford turned provider to give Maitland hope. Played in by Andrew Swan, his cross to the back post was met by the head of Matt Thompson and he made it 3-2.

Another boost for Jaffas came in the 85th minute, as Michael Kantarovski made his way onto the pitch and returned from injury. He helped Lambton keep their defence compact and prevented Maitland having a sight on goal in the final ten minutes, securing all three points for the visitors.

Weston Bears beat Newcastle Jets Youth 2-1 on June 9.


Hamilton Olympic Annual Winter July Junior Coaching Clinic

Hamilton Olympic FC are  holding their  ANNUAL Winter 5 Day Indoor July Junior  Coaching Clinic in the first week of the July  School holidays at Genesis Fitness, Cooks Hill.  from Monday, 9th July  until Friday, 13th July, 2018,  inclusive.

It’s indoor, so guaranteed to be on!

All registered players from ages 5 years to 14 years from all clubs are welcome.

Please follow the link for further information on how to enrol.

source:Tom Tsamouras

NPL Northern NSW Round 10: Hamilton Olympic clash with Broadmeadow Magic

Hamilton Olympic v Broadmeadow Magic

Sunday 20th May, 2:30pm at Darling Street Oval

It’s one of the biggest battles in Northern NSW football given the history between two of the local heavyweights, and this weekend’s clash is especially vital for both sides.

Magic could go top and Hamilton could go within touching distance of the top four with a win, but the history between the two sides won’t offer any clear favourite. In the 27 encounters since 2008, Hamilton has won 13 and Broadmeadow 11.

Hamilton hasn’t enjoyed the best start to the season and currently sit six points off the top four. With two league wins on the trot though, they’re back in form and looking for another scalp on Sunday.

Last Saturday was a tight, gritty 2-1 win over a quality filled Lambton side while Wednesday night they had a 2-0 win in the FFA Cup against fellow NPL side Weston, and their fourth win in as many matches.

If Hamilton can manage to keep a clean sheet this weekend, it may be the difference. They’ve kept just two in all competitions this season, but given Broadmeadow has scored on every outing this season, it may be a big ask.

The back end of last season saw Magic go on a magnificent run of victories and just miss out on a shot at championship glory, and now after six wins on the trot, things are looking up once more out at Magic Park.

Sunday is a chance for Broadmeadow to jump into top spot, given they have a higher goal difference and are just three points behind league leaders Charlestown who has the bye this weekend. That goal difference carries with it some of the best records in the league – they’ve scored the most and conceded the least.

Mitch Oxborrow was the key man on his second debut for Broadmeadow last weekend, and he’ll undoubtedly be so once again on Sunday. It will be interesting to see how Magic change their game, which usually places a lot of importance on their wide men, to adapt to the narrow pitch at Darling Street Oval.

Peter McGuinness (Hamilton)

“In patches last night (against Weston) we played quite well, we didn’t execute very well in the front third, we got in a lot of positions to create something and our final delivery wasn’t very good… the intensity was quite good, in the second half we got the goal we probably deserved, got a second late but the performance itself was quite good, happy to get through to the next round.

“Magic are a good side, they’ve got the best for and against and have scored more goals than anyone else in the league, they’ve got a lot of attacking threats, obviously they’re an experienced side with Piddo [Josh Piddington] at the back and Jon Griffiths whose very experienced, Luke Virgili, Mitch Oxborrow back gives them a little more attacking flair too.

“It’s one of the biggest games on the calendar, it’s probably the biggest derby and it has been for a number of years, even back to when I was playing they were always big games, and as a player you wanted to be playing in them because generally a good atmosphere, a good rivalry that isn’t over the top, it’s a sporting rivalry and it adds to the colour of the league.

“Our side isn’t young in age, but we’re young as a group and in how much time we’ve had together and the more time we spend together, playing games and training, developing those combinations and understanding how we want to play, that’s when we’ll get better. I’ve always thought our performances have been good but we’ve just not been smart enough to get points out of games, but that’s been getting better.”

 NPL Youth:

Round 11 Football  North Coast vs Hamilton Olympic at Taree Zone on Saturday 19 May.

U13s kick off at 10:00am

U14s kick  off at 11:30am

U15s kick off at 1:00 pm

U16s kick off at 2:30 pm

Lake Macquarie City v Edgeworth Eagles

Saturday 19th May, 2:30pm at Macquarie Field

Home hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Lakes so far this season, who host an Edgeworth side who have lost just the once on the road in 2018.

Losses for both sides last weekend will spur them on to improved performances on Saturday, but Edgeworth will have history on their side: they haven’t lost to Lakes since 2013.

Just one win in their past five matches for Lakes has them sliding slowly down the ladder. Currently in tenth place, the Roosters have lost their last two matches – 2-0 to Maitland on Saturday, and 3-1 to Charlestown in the FFA Cup.

That loss to Maitland was notable for the absence of Lakes mainstays Tom and Sam Walker, who returned in the loss to Charlestown midweek. As always, those two men will be key this weekend – especially Sam, who only just holds onto his spot at the top in the race for the golden boot.

Home form hasn’t been a strong point for Lakes this season. They’ve won just two of their six matches at home, one of those against a weakened Maitland side in the league. They’re one of the leakiest teams too – 21 goals have gone through in eight league matches.

Top of the league and flying high, unbeaten since Round One was Edgeworth this time last week. A shock 1-0 defeat to Adamstown at home knocked them down to fourth place and was followed by a tight 1-0 win over Valentine in the FFA Cup on Wednesday.

Something which may worry Lakes will be the strength of Edgeworth on the road. They’ve lost just once from four matches away from home this season, but are conceding at a rate of slightly more than two a match.

So, will there be goals? It’s tough to tell. Edgeworth is the leakiest of the teams in the top four with 12 goals conceded but have only let through three in their past five matches.


What the coaches said:
Nick Webb (Lakes)

“Our first-half performance against Charlestown (midweek in the FFA Cup) was really poor by our standards, but the second half we did really well and dominated in the second half but just couldn’t put it in the net, one of those games but the first half performance didn’t allow us to push it as far as we wanted to.

“We rested a few players so we’re right for this week, but all on deck… I expect a tough match, Edgy got beat last weekend so they’ll be fired up and ready to go, they’re coached by the best coach in the league for some years now so it’s going to be a tough game all around, but the boys take on every challenge so if we can just stay in the contest I’m confident we can get away with the three points.

“We’ll set up how we always set up, we have a structure and that’s how we play, look to exploit wide areas and that’s what we’ll be looking to do again, try to block up the midfield and stop the ball getting to McBreen who’s still one of the best players in the league at his ripe old age, which is a testament to him.

“The table doesn’t lie, at the end of the day we are equal last and we’ve just got to make sure we’re better every week… we know where we should be, and it’s in our own hands.”


Valentine Phoenix v Adamstown Rosebud

Sunday 20th May, 2:30pm at CB Complex

Back at CB Complex where they won their solitary league match of the season, Valentine desperately needs another three points but have it all to do against a red-hot Adamstown.

Rosebud have beat the league leaders two weeks running now and have lost to Valentine only once in recent history which stretches back to an FFA Cup clash in 2015.

Bottom of the ladder with six points, Valentine need a result. A 2-0 defeat to Charlestown in the second half last weekend was their fourth this year in the league.

Coach Darren Sills chose to rotate the squad on Wednesday night for the FFA Cup clash against Edgeworth, and it nearly paid off. A tight 1-0 defeat thanks to a second-half Dom Bizzarri goal denied them the opportunity to go to the quarter-finals.

The stats don’t make pretty reading for Phoenix – they’ve conceded twice as many goals as they’ve scored and hold the unfortunate record of the second worst goal difference in the division. They’ve snagged a win and a draw from their three matches at home – it’s a tough Adamstown they’ll face on Sunday though.

After going six rounds without a win at the start of the season, Adamstown is now one of the form teams of the competition. Five wins from their past five have propelled them from lingering around the bottom to within five points of the top four.

Two of those wins have been over the league leaders – their last triumph in the league was over Edgeworth, courtesy of a lone Luke Vallone goal in the second half. They overcame Raymond Terrace 3-0 in what shaped as a potentially tricky FFA Cup fixture on Wednesday night.

As the fairly new and fairly young cohort at Adamstown spends more time together, the better they seem to be getting. A red-hot run of form has turned heads around the competition however, with the bye next weekend, getting the three points on Sunday may be their most crucial task yet.


What the coaches said:

Darren Sills (Valentine)

“I’m very happy with how the side did on Wednesday night (in the FFA Cup loss to Edgeworth), we brought in some young guys from the 20s …I can’t fault the effort and the commitment of the lads, they did really, really well last night. We had a couple of chances, they had a couple of chances, it was a good game of footy.

“We had three blokes hit with the flu and one of them, Riley Russell, played a full 90 minutes at left back, and he was so crook… hopefully, he’s on the mend now. Chris Brown comes back hopefully after training on Thursday and plays in the 20s, he’s only played 15 minutes this season and his experience will be invaluable for some of the young blokes.

“Adamstown are on a crest of a wave, they’re going to be very very hard to beat, we have had trouble with them in the last two seasons and they’re similar to us, without being disrespectful they don’t have any out-and-out big names, former A-League stars… they’re a club like us, without a budget of some of the bigger clubs.

“What we have to do then is give some young blokes a go, give some people who are fringe players at other clubs a go, Cansdell-Sherriff has done a good job with them and turned their season around and I hope we can do the same.”


Maitland Magpies v Lambton Jaffas

Sunday 20th May, 2:30pm at Cooks Square Park

Two of the contenders touted by the pundits pre-season, the result at Cooks Square Park on Sunday will have a huge impact on the ladder no matter the winner.

A Jaffas win would close the gap between them and the four to just one point, whereas a Maitland win could potentially stretch it to seven. There’s no big advantage when you look at the history between the two teams – six played since 2015, with two wins for Maitland and three for Jaffas.

A loss to Edgeworth dented their hopes at going top of the ladder at the end of round eight, but given results last weekend a win over Lambton today could see them jump into first place.

All the stats look good for the Magpies so far this season – second-highest scoring side, with the equal second strongest defence in the league. Just the one defeat at home this season will give them confidence ahead of another tough outing on Sunday.

Maitland is the only NPL club playing this weekend which wasn’t involved in midweek FFA Cup action, and this might give them a slight advantage this weekend.

Especially so against a Lambton outfit which is currently struggling for some depth whose task won’t be made any easier on Sunday due to their midweek FFA Cup clash against Northern League One side Cessnock.

The 4-1 win puts them through to the sixth round of the FFA Cup, but coach James Pascoe will have their attention turned firmly back to the league. The season is just ten weeks old, but a loss on Sunday could potentially open up a seven-point gap between Jaffas and the top four.

One player who will be fresh for Sunday’s trip to Maitland is youngster Braedyn Crowley, who was ineligible for Wednesday night’s FFA Cup fixture. Former Jets Youth man Finn Parris has also signed for Lambton and started against Cessnock.


The Round 10 match between Weston and Jets Youth was played on the 9th of May, due to Jets Youth’s involvement in the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens this weekend. Weston won 2-1.


Charlestown has the bye this weekend

FFA CUP ROUND 5: Hamilton Olympic defeat Weston Bears 2-0

Two goals in the second half by Hornery and Bertos were enough to see Hamilton Olympic progress to round 6 of the FFA Cup !

Source: Tom Tsamouras

FFA CUP ROUND 5: Weston Workers Bears vs Hamilton Olympic

This Wednesday night we will travel to Rockwell Automation Park for our round 5 FFA Cup fixture against Weston Workers Bears FC Kick off is 7:00pm!

source: Tom Tsamouras

NPL Northern NSW Round 9: Hamilton Olympic defeated Lambton Jaffas 2-1

Lambton Jaffas 1 (Griffiths 8’) def. by Hamilton Olympic 2 (Mooney 13’, Pettit 43’)
Saturday 12th May, 2:30 pm at Arthur Edden Oval

An early Lambton goal in this one was shaping as crucial for an extremely undermanned side.

Ultimately the eighth minute Ryan Griffiths header wasn’t enough for Lambton as Hamilton roared back into form with their second come-from-behind victory in as many weeks.

Griffiths opened the scoring as he rose highest from a Bren Hammel corner, beating Hamilton keeper Tyler Warren to the ball and put the home side ahead 1-0.

A header inside the box just five minutes later from Hamilton’s Simon Mooney levelled things up. Olympic shifted the ball nicely from left to right, and a cut in and cross from Cody Lucas on the right-hand side found Mooney’s head who steered in a tight header under pressure.

Just minutes before half-time, Hamilton was ahead. Scott Pettit finished off a move which he started from the afters of a corner;  Pettit played a neat little one-two inside the 18-yard box with Jarryd Sutherland and buried the ball into the back of the net.

Pat Brown had a half-chance to get Lambton back on level terms in the 64th minute, but he wasn’t able to get enough power on his header and steered it wide of the post.

Another header inside the box could have put Lambton level in the 82nd minute, but Ben Hay’s bullet header from a Griffiths’ free kick went just wide of the post. There was to be no leveller in the end from Lambton, who fell to their second loss of the season.

Hamilton boss Peter McGuinness was pleased for his side to pick up their second win in as many weeks.

“I thought the first half we performed well and led. We responded well after going down and it was a pretty even sort of contest in difficult conditions,” said McGuinness.

“It was very windy at times, the pitch was bumpy and the conditions weren’t conducive to a good style of footy so ultimately I didn’t think it was the high standard of match that it could have been on a good surface on a clear day.

“Simon Mooney was good again, but I thought they all played well, to be honest, and we didn’t have too many players that didn’t dig deep, and the last 15-20 minutes or so we dug deep and looked to counter-attack as Lambton were driving on to get the equaliser, but they didn’t have much luck and we defended well and held on.”

McGuinness was pleased his side finally seemed to be getting their rub of the green, matching good results with good performances.

“We went down to Maitland and Edgeworth in the last minute of play, and this week we held on… our performances have been good.

“You have a little bit of fortune sometimes, and sometimes you don’t but what goes around comes around and it won’t stay away forever, that’s changed a bit.

“I think also, the mindset of the guys on the weekend, they wanted to reward themselves with a win and they fought hard, so that was pleasing.”

Under 20s Olympic won 2-0
Under 18s Olympic won 3-2

Zone League 2
Olympic vs Hunter Simba
1st Grade Olympic won 5-1
2nd Grade Olympic won 3-1

Community Juniors
Under 16s Olympic 1-5 Kotara South
Under 13s Olympic 1-0 New Lambton


Lake Macquarie City 0 def. by Maitland FC 2 (Dutton-Black 61’, Thornton 85’)
Saturday 12th May, 7 pm at Macquarie Field

After a win over Maitland nearly two weeks ago, Lakes may have been quietly confident despite their opposition personnel somewhat bolstered since that encounter.

Instead, Maitland reversed the FFA Cup result from just ten days previous to maintain their position inside the top four.

The visitors had a plethora of corners but were unable to do anything from them. Their best chance was from the set piece in the 39th minute, when Liam Thornton rose for the header but wasn’t able to turn it in.

Maitland built more and more pressure as the second half wore on, and in the 61st minute finally found a breakthrough. They moved the ball down the right-hand side, and a Chris Fayers cutback evaded everyone in the penalty area except Josh Dutton-Black on the far corner of the six-yard box. He had time to take a touch and pick his spot for his second goal of the season.

A loose pass from Alex Read at the back in the 67th minute nearly gave Lakes a chance to level the scores, but Manoli Papaspiropoulas was only able to find the side netting.

Lakes had the ball in the back of the net in the 78th minute after a quick transition moved the ball up to Paul Sichalwe, whose neat little dink over the top found Sam Walker. The whistle sounded for offside though, and his shot after the fact didn’t count.

After a number of corners in the first half that Maitland couldn’t make count, one in the dying embers of the second half would. Thornton made a late run into the box and called for the ball, which was duly floated over onto his head.

The strike hit the head of Lakes’ Jayden Saetta and the underside of the crossbar, but Maitland appealed that the ball had crossed the line and the officials agreed and awarded Maitland’s second.

Lakes boss Nick Webb was proud of his side’s effort despite the result.

“We were a couple of troops down with an injury, so we set up to play on the counter-attack and we did quite well for sixty minutes, they got a goal but I was quite proud of the boys,” said Webb.

“We tried a different shape to stop conceding as many goals as we have been, and we did okay but obviously didn’t get the points… the couple of boys out made an enormous difference to the way that we play, our normal attacking style, we did really well for sixty odd minutes and frustrated them.

“If we had have held on for another ten or fifteen minutes we could have gone on the attack and really got after them, but we didn’t get a chance to do that and this week will be a lot different, we’ll go back to our normal style and it’ll be a lot different.

“Tom and Sam Walker were both missing, Tom’s our centre back and Sam runs our midfield, we haven’t got a big first grade squad so it was a big hole to fill, the boys did really well and I’m proud of them, but at the end of the day the style that we played didn’t get us the result.”

Webb indicated there would be some rotation for Wednesday night’s FFA Cup clash at Charlestown.

“The boys are looking forward to it, they’ll be able to get back out and have a little bit of fun with this game, we’ll check what team we put out on the paddock and there’s probably a few boys out there that need a rest at the moment,” said Webb.

“I’ll throw a few of the younger boys in there to give them a crack, and see how we go.”

Maitland coach Michael Bolch described it as a scrappy match.

“You take the conditions, we were playing on the lake and it was pretty windy so it’s hard with ball control, but I was happy with what the boys did,” said Bolch.

“They [Lakes] were very defensively structured, got a lot of numbers behind the ball but did well, they held their structures well and didn’t come out of the line and it took a lot to break them down, the boys were patient and it took us sixty minutes until the opening goal.

“We had quite a few chances before then but I was happy with the patience the boys showed to grind out the win, it’s a tough place to go and Lakes haven’t done too bad this year, only our second clean sheet of the year so the defensive structures we’re putting in place at the moment are working, and it’ll hold us in good stead for the next couple of weeks.”

Bolch was especially pleased with the contribution of captain Carl Thornton on Saturday night.

“He was very good for us, defensively he just marshalled everything and won everything we needed to win, the last twenty minutes when we went one up and they had to come at us a bit, he just shut down everything,” said Bolch.

“Between him and the two Swan boys (Andrew and Mat) in front of him, they did really well.”

The return of Matt Comerford from injury was encouraging for Bolch, who believes there’s much more to come from him.

“He’s very much short of a gallop, he missed a chunk of pre-season then injured his shoulder and only had two training sessions back since that, he gave us a good impact coming off the bench and over the next few weeks as we get more minutes into his legs, he’s only going to improve,” said Bolch.

“We’ll get a lot better in the front third, he’s one of the best-attacking players in the competition and he’s probably only played 120 minutes so far this year so once we get some minutes back into his legs and get him playing 90, he’ll improve our side dramatically.”


Charlestown City Blues 2 (Smith 58’, 66’) def. Valentine Phoenix 0
Sunday 13th May, 2:30 pm at Lisle Carr Oval

It was a shock defeat for Charlestown last time out, and with only one win in their last four league matches, they desperately needed a boost before the bye next weekend.

They got just that, a Scott Smith double doing enough to propel Charlestown back to the top of the table.

Charlestown thought they’d scored in the 33rd minute when Kevin Davidson dispossessed Joel Wood on the halfway line. He played a one-two with Cal Lewis and charged on, getting it back and firing in a shot (or cross) which Lewis got to first and buried it home.

The sides had returned to the half-way line and were ready to go, but discussions ensued between the referee and linesman on the near side and eventually the goal was disallowed as Valentine keeper Scott Carter had come out of his goal as one of his defenders rushed in behind.

This made Carter the last defender rather than the outfield player, and Lewis was adjudged to be beyond the last defender when Davidson’s cross was fired in. A decision which wasn’t entirely agreed upon by all, with Charlestown protesting in vain.

An absolute rocket from Scott Smith in the 58th minute put Charlestown ahead properly for the first time. His free kick from around 30 yards out took a deflection on the way in which helped wrong-foot Carter in the Valentine goal and put the Blues ahead 1-0.

Another set-piece would wrap up the three points for Charlestown just eight minutes later when a Reece Pettit handball inside the Valentine box earned the Blues a penalty. Smith stepped up and buried his second of the day.

Rene Ferguson nearly scored a nice little flick in the 70th minute from a Smith free-kick and forced a good diving save from Carter in the 72nd minute. He wasn’t able to score though, but it didn’t matter for his team in the end as they returned to the top of the table.

Valentine assistant coach Sam Griffin was disappointed not to take anything away from Lisle Carr Oval.

“I think going in nil-all at half-time, after setting out to be in that position or even better gave us a chance to go on with it, but we didn’t really execute the way we would’ve liked in the second half,” Griffin said.

“I think we showed a bit too much respect to the other side, Charlestown are at the top somewhere but once you’re on the field it doesn’t matter where you are and you’ve just got to play what’s in front of you.

“I think we were a bit sheepish when we really should have taken the game to them, in the end, that’s what they did to us and that was the difference.”

Griffin was pleased with Valentine goalkeeper Scott Carter’s return to fitness following a shoulder dislocation.

“He was terrific, he pulled up okay which is good for us, you’ve never 100% sure how they’re going to come back.

“It probably helped that he was a bit fresher than others, but he did really well.”


Edgeworth Eagles 0 def. by Adamstown Rosebud 1 (Vallone 63’)
Sunday 13th May, 2:30 pm at Jack McLaughlan Oval

A win over Charlestown last weekend was a fantastic result for Adamstown, their third win in a row after a troublesome start to the season.

Doing their best to show that it wasn’t just a stroke of luck, Rosebud struck once again this Sunday and knocked a different side off top spot with a massively important win over Edgeworth.

Adamstown nearly opened the scoring in the 7th minute from a corner, when Connor Heydon flicked on a header from further out and forced a reflex save from Nate Cavaliere in the Edgeworth goal.

A glancing header from Pat Wheeler off a corner in the first-half injury time was perhaps Edgeworth’s best chance of the half, and it forced a good save from Adamstown keeper Benn Kelly.

The visitors took the lead in the 63rd minute. From the goal kick, Chris Berlin clipped on the ball to Luke Vallone who set off in behind the defence. A deft little chip from him cleared Nate Cavaliere, and the chasing defenders could only follow the ball into the back of the net as Adamstown went ahead.

Edgeworth’s best chance to level things up came late in the afternoon when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area in second-half injury time. Tyson Jackson stepped up but put his effort just wide.

The loss moved Edgeworth off the top of the table all the way down to fourth and was the first time they’ve been kept scoreless this season. Adamstown shot up to sixth on the ladder and are remarkably just two wins outside the top four.

Adamstown boss Shane Cansdell-Sherriff was pleased with the way his side pinched a goal, and then hung on to the lead.

“Great win, great effort, it was a hard and well fought-battle,” said Cansdell-Sherriff.

“It was 50-50, both had our fair share of chances and we knew at half-time that we had a fair chance of getting something out of the game, we battled on and managed to get a goal on the break which caught them out.

“We defended more in the second half than we did the first half, but we reduced them to shooting from long range and playing long balls which is a sign of a good defence, it’s never going to be a perfect game where we’d dominate such a good and experienced side against them.

“Once they’re down, they’re trying to score so they’re chasing the game a little bit, we’re trying to hold on so they gamble a little bit more and push forward a little bit more, which pushed us back and made us dig in, but a win’s a win, we’ll take the three points and move on.”

The Rosebud men have been handed the underdog tag the past two weeks as they’ve knocked off the top teams in the competition, but Cansdell-Sherriff hasn’t been using it as a motivator.

“I said to the boys from the start that we’ll take it one game at a time, we’re a new side and we’ve got to have realistic expectations and when I say that I don’t have the bar way above our heads, but we’re not quite there as a team yet.

“We’re a team that’s been developing from the start, a lot of new faces and young boys, I think we’ve had eight boys debut in the league and they’ve done very very well… let’s keep working at it, learn about ourselves as individuals and as a team and let’s build slowly.

“We needed a little bit of luck to fall our way and once it fell we knew we’d get results, we’ve had it lately and picked up results but the boys are working really hard, they give 100% every training session and I’m getting everyone at every session, which makes my job easier because I get to coach the whole side but difficult because it raises questions over who I pick at the weekend.

“When you get that, it breeds confidence and that mentality and we want to keep driving forward… we’ve worked hard for it.”


Broadmeadow Magic 4 (O’Connor OG 17’, Oxborrow 19’, Broadley 43’) def. Newcastle Jets Youth 2 (Harrison 33’,
Sunday 13th May, 2:30 pm at Magic Park

The big news throughout the week was the return of former Jets and Magic man Mitchell Oxborrow to Broadmeadow.

Oxborrow continued to steal the headlines on Sunday too, with two goals in a resounding Broadmeadow Magic victory which kept them in touch with the top spot.

The scoring was opened in the 17th minute after Oxborrow played a ball in from the left-hand side. It fell to Joseph O’Connor to clear, but his shanked attempt cleared Noah James and put Magic ahead.

A corner from the opposite side just two minutes later doubled the lead for Magic. It was Oxborrow on the end of it once again, and he managed to score directly from the corner for his first goal back in Magic colours.

Jets Youth clawed their way back into the match in the 33rd minute, and it was Kent Harrison with his second goal in a week. Ryan Goodhew played in the ball from the midfield, and Harrison unleashed a vicious shot from outside the penalty box and found the back of the net to make it 2-1.

Kale Bradbury was the architect of Magic’s third, which put them back ahead by two goals just before halftime. He cut in from the left-hand side and laid it back to Justin Broadley on the top of the box. Broadley took a touch and fired home with his right foot, his first goal in Magic colours.

Broadmeadow virtually put the game out of sight in the 59th minute, after two former Newcastle Jets combined to make it four.

James Virgili collected the ball after a goal kick and struggled to beat his man, but a sliding tackle on him sent the ball through to Oxborrow. One-on-one with James, he made no mistake for his second of the afternoon.

Jets Youth would pull back a goal late in the match, but it proved only a consolation. It was a good strike though, Kent Harrison involved as he laid off a ball to Cai Tipaldo. His strike was good from outside the area and made the final score 4-2.


NPL Northern NSW Round 9: Hamilton Olympic are away to Lambton Jaffas

Lambton Jaffas v Hamilton Olympic
Saturday 12th May, 2:30 pm at Arthur Edden Oval 

Two sides who have clawed their way back among the winners will each be desperate to make it two in a row, but each for different reasons. 

Jaffas has the upper hand in recent history between these two sides, beating Olympic 2-1 in both legs of their semi-final last season. Lambton also won the regular season clashes in rounds one and twelve, 3-2 on both occasions.

Before Saturday, Lambton hadn’t won since round three. They only lost one match in that time though, and with just two defeats so far this season they sit just a point off the top four.

Round eight was a good one for Lambton, their third win of the season against a tough Jets outfit. Two goals is a comfortable enough margin, and it may have been more if not for some desperate defending at the opposition end.

Home form has been one of Lambton’s strong points this season. From their four fixtures at home, they have ten points – their only stumble was a draw with Adamstown in round five.

Scoring goals haven’t been the issue for Olympic this year but rather conceding them – they’ve let through 16 in seven matches, conceding three goals in a single match on four occasions.

More goals than the opposition is the name of the game though, and Hamilton did just that last time out in a high scoring affair over Lakes. The winning goal, a penalty, was controversial but it won’t matter to Olympic who desperately needed the three points.

It ensured they avoided a slip to the bottom after results were largely positive for those at the bottom of the ladder. Repeat performances from the likes of Simon Mooney, last week’s hat-trick hero, will go a long way in securing three more points this weekend.

What the coaches said
Peter McGuinness (Hamilton)

“I watched Lambton play last week (against Jets Youth) and thought they were very well organised and they have a lot of quality across the park, a lot of experience and they play good football. They know their jobs, they know their roles, and they’re well-coached.

“We’ve got to reshuffle this week a bit, Jacob Bailey will be missing and so will Rhys Cooper, who’s going to Spain for futsal with the Australian side, so a little bit of a reshuffle but we just have to make sure this is a game where we don’t give things away easy and we stay disciplined and play to a good structure, if we do that we’ll do alright.

“Training has been good even though we’ve lost games because the performances have been quite good, the players have felt there’s not a game we’ve played this year where we didn’t think we could win it… the boys have been really good, they seem upbeat and they know they can play good football, it’s just about being a bit more disciplined.”


Lake Macquarie City v Maitland Magpies
Saturday 12th May, 7 pm at Macquarie Field 

There were defeats for both Lakes and Maitland in round eight, but an evening match on the lake may be just what they each need to jump back among the winners.

It will have only been 12 days since Lakes last played Maitland when the two sides kick off on Saturday evening after their clash in the FFA Cup last Wednesday night. Lakes won that match 2-0, but the Magpies won their two encounters in the league last season.

That midweek win over Maitland and a first clean sheet of the season would have been a big boost to a season for Lakes which has been up and down. A big win over Valentine is in contrast to consecutive league defeats to Jets Youth and Hamilton.

Last weekend’s result, the loss to Hamilton, was a tight one. Lakes were ahead twice early in the first half, but unable to see out that lead as they went down to a Hamilton side which was desperate for a victory.

Three goals in that fixture moved talisman Lakes striker Sam Walker to the top of the goal-scoring charts. He now has seven goals from seven appearances and will be keen to add to his tally this weekend to maintain his place at the top.

A good run for Maitland was brought to an abrupt halt last weekend against Edgeworth. That run, four league games without a loss was enough to ensure they shot into and remain in the top four.

Maitland boasts the equal-first most potent attack in the league, and they’ve managed to do it without any key stand out goal scorer. They have four players on three goals each so far this season – Ryan Clarke, Matt Comerford, James Thompson and Alex Read.

Incredibly, the Magpies have only played two matches away from home this season despite being eight rounds in – one in the league, and one in the cup. They’ve lost both of those, one at Lakes, and will be looking to put an end to bad away form before it can start.

What the coaches said:

Nick Webb (Lakes)

“We expect Maitland to be very strong, they were understrength in the pre-season and we played them understrength in the FFA Cup, we’re expecting them to be reeling from their loss on the weekend and going pretty hard, and we’ve got to stop leaking goals and put in a much more structured performance.

“I don’t think beating them in the FFA Cup gives us an edge, every game is a new game and they were undermanned in that game with about five or six out, we did really well but they certainly didn’t have Matt Thompson on the field and he makes an enormous difference to their squad.

“The loss last weekend won’t fire us up especially, we make sure to discuss all those things at training on Tuesday night and understand that there was a mistake and we move on. It might have been a point missed, but we’ve thrown away nine this year so it’s a bit hard to complain about one when we’ve thrown away nine. We’ve got to dig in and be defensively better.”

Michael Bolch (Maitland)

“Lakes are very good on the counter-attack, they set up well defensively and have a fair bit of pace up front. Sam Walker has been scoring a few goals lately so we’ll have to keep a close eye on him, he’s always a danger… they do very well on the break, (Nick) Webby has them set up very structured with the five-man back line.

“Things will be different from the FFA Cup loss, we rested six starters against them due to injury and fatigue so it’ll be a different game this weekend, three competition points up for grabs, we want to stay in contact with the top four so it’s a game that we want to win.

“We changed a few things up against Edgeworth last week and I thought we did really well for about 60 minutes against them, Matt Comerford back this weekend gives us a bit more of an x-factor in the final third. I think we’ve been a bit off the pace in the front third, we’ve created plenty of opportunities without being clinical so I think we need to improve that side of our game.”


Charlestown City Blues v Valentine Phoenix
Sunday 13th May, 2:30 pm at Lisle Carr Oval 

The match before the bye for Charlestown is one which they’ll be desperate to win and mark out some sort of advantage in the top four, but it won’t be an easy task given Valentine has finally snagged their first win of the season and will want to make it two. 

It’s been almost five years since Charlestown has beaten Valentine – a 7-1 victory back in August 2013. Phoenix beat the Blues on both occasions last year, the most recent a 3-1 win in late May.

After a barnstorming run to kick off the season, Charlestown goes into this weekend without a league win since round six. Last weekend’s loss to Adamstown was a shock to the league.

Their place inside the top four is safe no matter the result this weekend, and they’ll be eyeing a return to the top. A big win could do it, and they may be looking for more goals given they’re currently the lowest scoring side in the top four.

Injuries are mounting up at Charlestown with Kane Goodchild, Daniel Minors and now Riley McNaughton sidelined. McNaughton came off in the 17th minute in last week’s outing with a torn medial ligament.

Valentine has been hit with injury problems of their own, with striker Daniel Ott set to not play a single match for the club. The Achilles injury he suffered in the pre-season looks to have forced him into retirement.

Darren Sills has brought in Matt Paul as an injury replacement and he played his first league match for Valentine this season at the weekend against Weston. That match was their first win in the league this season.

This is the first of a difficult run leading into the bye for Valentine. Charlestown on Sunday, followed by Adamstown and Edgeworth. If they can spring a second upset on Charlestown, it bodes well for Phoenix who now sits bottom of the ladder after Weston’s midweek win.

What the coaches said

Sam Griffin (Valentine assistant)

“Charlestown will be a bit fired up given they’ve probably been below their own expectations the last couple of weeks so we’re expecting a bit of an onslaught I think.

“There will be times where we’ll sit and counter against them, but it’s just about playing what’s in front of us but we’ve turned a bit of a corner now and scored eight goals in two games, so we’ve gone from being really defensive to quite offensive so we’re still trying to find that middle ground, and we’re getting closer.

“There’s no powerful force in football than a win, just look at Adamstown at the moment who have hit a bit of form and they beat Charlestown last week who no one but they would have expected, so they’ve got the belief like we have and there’s no reason why we don’t see ourselves as a massive chance to win this game.” 


Edgeworth Eagles v Adamstown Rosebud
Sunday 13th May, 2:30 pm at Jack McLaughlin Oval 

The now league leaders and perennial premiers, Edgeworth will have to be wary of an Adamstown side which finally looks to have clicked if they want to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches.

Back at the top of the heap, it’s where Edgeworth was last year when they did away with Adamstown on two occasions last year – an aggregate score of 9-0 in their two fixtures last season. Rosebud hasn’t beat Edgeworth since July 2015.

Things are clicking for Edgeworth. They extended their unbeaten run to six matches at the weekend with a tight win over Maitland and exhibited the type of defensive performance to which we’re accustomed to seeing from the Eagles.

Daniel McBreen is one playing who seems to be enjoying a new lease on life this season as he scored his fourth goal in three appearances at Maitland on Sunday. His experience, combined with the pace of the players around him could cause Rosebud issues this weekend.

Edgeworth’s record with sides outside the top four so far is stellar this season – maximum points in the three games over Jets Youth, Weston and Hamilton. The Eagles have a recent form on their side, but Adamstown will be full of confidence after a fantastic week.

That fantastic week began with a round seven victory over Weston, followed by an FFA Cup win over Northern League One side Toronto and culminated in a huge upset victory over Charlestown.

Adamstown is likely to set up for this match similarly to how they did against Charlestown last weekend, given the success they had. It’s another well-drilled, experienced opponent this weekend and another big match.

One highlight of their season thus far has been the form of Connor Heydon, who currently has five goals from eight league matches this season. Those five account for more than half of Rosebud’s total of nine this season.

What the coaches said

Shane Cansdell-Sherriff (Adamstown)

“Edgeworth have a lot of experience, they’re well organised with a lot of confidence and we’re expecting a tough game. Our approach will be very similar to Charlestown, a lot of experience in the side so we have to respect that and their position in the league, the quality of the players in their team, we’ve just got to work hard and fingers crossed.

“The boys have taken a lot of confidence from the past three games, some good results but we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve had two good performances from the three results, I don’t think the Weston win was a good performance, but we’ve still got a long way to go, hard work to do and places where we need to learn things.

“Connor (Heydon) is always going to be a threat, so hopefully we can utilise him in the right way and I’m just happy he’s out there enjoying his football, he’s playing with a smile on his face which is great to see.”


Broadmeadow Magic v Newcastle Jets Youth
Sunday 13th May, 2:30 pm at Magic Park 

Fresh from a week on the sidelines, Magic will be keen to put the pressure on the top two with a win over a Jets Youth outfit this weekend which could jump into the four with a win.

A stellar record over the Jets will give Magic a little more confidence going into this match. An aggregate 7-1 record across two matches last year is in Magic’s favour, and they’ve not lost to Jets Youth since June 2014.

Magic slipped only one place last weekend with the bye, and are still both inside the top four and within reach of first place. They did play a match in that period though, a 4-1 win over Wallsend in the FFA Cup.

With seven games behind them, Broadmeadow currently boasts the best defence in the league. They’ve conceded just seven goals this season, two less than the next best side, Lambton.

They’ve also got the equal best attack in the league. It’s no surprise though, with the type of attacking firepower they’ve got up front though, which will only be boosted by the huge sign in of Mitch Oxborrow.

Oxborrow returns after a stint with Brisbane Roar and coach Ruben Zadkovich will hope he can have the same type of explosive impact he did for Magic last season. He will be especially important this weekend, given Magic will be without Dino Fajkovic (suspension), along with James Virgili, John Majurovski, Takebe Soma (injury). Kale Bradbury is also in doubt after copping a knock in their FFA Cup win over Wallsend last weekend.

It’s been a yo-yo type of season so far for Jets Youth, who haven’t been able to put two wins together despite three victories so far this season. This will be their third league match in eight days.

The first of that run was last Saturday against Lambton, where they went down 2-0. Misery was compounded on Wednesday night with a 2-1 loss against to a desperate Weston.

Despite the midweek loss, the inclusion of Angus Thurgate at Weston appeared to have a big impact on the side in the final third. They’re the third lowest scoring side in the competition, and they may look to the attacking midfielder to help create more.

What the coaches said

Ruben Zadkovich (Magic)

“I don’t read too much into recent results around the competition, what I do know about the Jets Youth team is they have some handy boys in there, people like Angus Thurgate are quite crafty and potentially some of the younger boys who are in there because they’re good footballers and they’re talented.

“I expect them to be good on the ball, mobile, and we’ll have to defend as a unit… we had four or five days off with the bye after the cup game last weekend, let the boys have time with the family, no football and a bit of a freshen up which was good.

“Mitch Oxborrow will bring hard work to the side. He’s a quality talent, he’s everything we want at Magic, he’s a good quality asset and he’s happy to play whatever role we give him, he wants to be there for the boys and having a player of his talent and his attitude is awesome. He trained with us Wednesday night.”


Weston has the bye