Lake Macquarie City Roosters 2 (S. Walker 73’, Charlesworth 87’) drew with Hamilton Olympic 2 (Kawachi 81’, Hornery 90+2’)
Sunday 14 July, 2:30pm, Macquarie Field
It was a game that saw four goals scored in the last quarter of the match as Lakes and Hamilton both grabbed two in an entertaining contest.
Olympic needed a victory to regain any slice of hope of playing finals football and came close to finding the first goal when Reece Pettit had a header saved from close range.
Daniel Minors and Sam Walker then linked up for the hosts for a play that look destined to end up in the back of the net, but goalkeeper Jez Murray used his legs to stop Minors’ shot.
Neither side could get the upper hand over one another and traded half-chances, but the first goal finally arrived when a low Nick Charlesworth cross sprawled across the face of goal and was knocked in by a diving Sam Walker.
His goal was cancelled out though by one of Hamilton’s Japanese men, Shinichi Kawachi, who’s outside of the boot shot ended up in the back of the net regardless of a block attempt on the goal-line.
With just minutes to go in the match, the Roosters looked as if they had acquired the winner as Sam Walker would turn provider for Charlesworth who’s low header skimmed its way past Warren in goals, however, there was still time a twist in the tale.
With the result of the match looking as though it had been decided, Jed Hornery jumped on the end of a bobbling ball and volleyed it hard past Stuart Plant in Lakes’ goal, stealing a point from under the noses of the hosts.
Lakes now continue to squander at the bottom of the table but will have a chance to move their way up in their upcoming matches with Adamstown and Valentine.
For Olympic, their chance of finals now look completely dashed, but they’ll still be focusing on finishing the year on a high and taking some points off the rival sides they want to be challenging next year.
NPL Northern NSW Round 17
Lake Macquarie vs Olympic
1st Grade drew 2-2
Goals: Shinichi Kawachi, Jed Hornery
Under 20s drew 2-2
Under 18s Lakes won 0-1
Olympic vs Lambton
Under 16s drew 1-1
Under 15s drew 1-1
Under 14s Olympic won 4-2
Under 13s Olympic won 5-0
Zone League 2
Olympic vs Kahibah
1st Grade Olympic won 3-2
2nd Grade Kahibah won 0-2
Adamstown Rosebud 0 def. by Edgeworth Eagles 1 (Atayde 44’)
Saturday 13 July, 2:30pm, Adamstown Oval
In celebration of the club’s 130th birthday, Adamstown put in a strong showing against the top side in the competition and defending premiers Edgeworth but came up just short as the Eagles extended their lead at the top of the table by winning their fourth straight.
Both sides battled in the early parts of the game for supremacy and the first real potential opportunity for a goal came when an Oliver Davies cross troubled Josh Low in Edgeworth’s goal, but just minutes later the visitors struck the only goal of the game.
An Eagles corner bumbled around in the box before popping back out for Jose Atayde who’s hit rocketed into the bottom corner of the goal to score his fourth for the year and just in time for the half-time break.
The defence of Edgeworth were able to keep Adamstown at bay for much of the second half and down the other end, Oliver Smith came within a whisker of doubling the lead but his shot from inside the box cannoned into the crossbar.
As the match neared its conclusion, hope for a celebratory Rosebud result looked slimmer as each minute passed but a defensive mix-up at the back gave Luke Vallone a half-chance but once again, Low stood firm in goals pulling off the save.
Nothing would eventually get past Edgeworth’s defence as the league leaders took out another set of three points and will now turn their attention to a massive clash with Maitland next weekend before their FFA Cup fixture in Darwin.
Edgeworth coach Damian Zane said due to the windy and dry conditions, free-flowing football was hard to come by, but he was pleased with the way his side grinded out a victory.
“It was tough conditions so I’m happy with the win,” said Zane.
“In those kinds of conditions, our football was never comfortable. We just couldn’t find that second goal and they [Adamstown] really lifted in the second half.
“The boys are in decent form and we’re looking forward to hopefully wrapping up a spot in the finals and then continue on in the cup.”
Lambton Jaffas 5 (Crowley 5’, 77’, Remington 25’, Kantarovski 40’, Own Goal 45+1’) def. Valentine Phoenix 2 (Garland 11’, Lawrence 32’)
Saturday 13 July, 2:30pm, Arthur Edden Oval
Saturday’s match at Lambton saw a first-half goal-fest as the Jaffas ran away with all three points over Valentine to edge their way closer toward a spot in the top four.
The scoring was opened rather early on by Lambton’s clinical striker Braedyn Crowley who linked up with Bren Hammel before calmly slotting it home.
Jaffas couldn’t retain their lead for long though as a defensive error saw Aaron Niyonkuru gallop onward to goal and crossing it to find a whipping striker from Bailey Garland.
Former NPL NNSW Player of the Year Luke Remington put the homse side back into the lead with a snatching shot from outside the box but as was the story of the day, the Phoenix bounced back soon after through a Mitch Lawrence counter attacking play.
Disaster struck for the visitors though in the last few minutes of the first half as Michael Kantarovski firstly headed a goal from a corner for the Jaffas, before an own goal from Valentine captain Riley Russell right on the strike of half-time sent Lambton into the break with a two-goal lead.
The Phoenix made half-chances in the second half through Garland and Kaleb Pearson, but the only goal of the half came for the hosts and their former Hyundai A-League front-man as Crowley nabbed another to take his overall total to 11 – the best in the league.
Lambton continue to sit in fifth place on the outside of the top four, but with form on their side and some games in hand, they’ll be confident that they can swindle a spot in the finals.
Maitland FC 3 (J. Thompson 51’, Read 79’, M. Thompson 90+1’) def. Charlestown City Blues 0
Sunday 14 July, 2:30pm, Cooks Square Park
Maitland have retained their spot in the top four and are primed to make a challenge for the premiership after collecting a three-goal victory over Charlestown.
The Blues’ Rene Ferguson had his first attempt on goal saved by Matt Trott, but down the other end, the Magpies were given a perfect chance to go in front after receiving a penalty.
Joel Wood would be the one to step up, but his strike went high over the cross-bar much to the delight of the travelling side and their fans but early in the second half, the hosts eventually grabbed the lead.
James Thompson was the man who somehow battered his way through the Charlestown defence relatively easy and his strike on goal was composed and clinical.
The Magpies almost doubled their lead but some fantastic goalkeeping from Nathan Archibold denied Wood on two consecutive attempts, and again for a third time just minutes later.
The game looked like it may have turned in Charlestown’s favour midway through the second half after they were awarded a penalty of their own, but just like Maitland’s earlier effort, the Blues also were unsuccessful as Riley McNaughton’s low shot was held onto my Trott.
Alex Read made the visitors pay for their costly mistake latching himself onto a Ryan Clarke cross and popping it over the top of Archibold, and the finishing touches was applied not long after in stoppage time.
Matt Thompson smashed in his first for the year from outside the box to put an exclamation mark on their victory assuring his team walked away with all three points.
Maitland coach Mick Bolch displayed his pride for the way his team continue to churn out victories in important games and made special mention for a few from the game.
“I couldn’t be happier with what they put out today,” Bolch said.
“At half-time, we spoke about needing to be better with the ball and keeping our shape and I thought in the second half we did really well – probably one of the better second halves we’ve had in recent weeks.
“Realistically, we scored three, but if it wasn’t for their keeper, we would have got more. He was probably the best player on the pitch which you can’t usually say after a 3-0 win. He was outstanding today.
“We spoke about needing to be better defensively across the whole park. I thought they responded really well today.
“I thought they were very good. Zach Thomas was outstanding again, and Trotty made that penalty save.”
The Magpies have proven that they are a complete 90-minute side this season and again made their opposition pay in the last quarter of the contest with multiple goals. Bolch said it’s one of the areas of their game that he’s most pleased with.
“We’ve got a lot of character in the team and we’re starting to get back to full strength,” he said.
“You look at the bench and we’ve got Alex Read and Matt Thompson who have both played A-League coming off your bench. It shows where the squad’s at at the moment.
“I’m pretty sure that’s about 15 goals we’ve scored in the last 15 minutes of games this year including FFA Cup, and we haven’t conceded one yet.
“The boys work hard during the week and they’re seeing the rewards for it now.”
Weston Bears 1 (Hurley 89’) drew with Newcastle Jets Youth 1 (Petratos 11’ (P))
Sunday 14 July, 2:30pm, Rockwell Automation Park
Although a draw has taken a hit on their hopes of fighting for a premiership, Weston will be breathing a sigh of relief after nabbing a goal in the dying stages of the match to deny the Jets Youth of an upset victory.
Young Jet Maki Petratos has caused some major headaches for his opposition throughout 2019, and he once again proved to be a handful, troubling Scott Carter in Weston’s goal with an early long shot and soon after scoring the first goal of the game with a strike from the penalty spot.
The Bears’ defence continued to have their work cut out for them as Petratos looked to link up with Sam Donnellan on multiple occasions – one of those sent Donnellan through one-on-one with Carter but was denied by the Weston keeper.
The hosts worked their way back into the contest throughout the first half and early second half with chances coming for the head of Jason Tjien-Fooh and Liam Wilson’s infamous long-shot, but Noah James held strong in the Jets’ goal.
As the match approached its conclusion, the Bears continued to throw everything they had at the young Jets goalkeeper, including a shot from Wilson that forced a spectacular high, diving save from James, but finally the hosts found their breakthrough.
Tjien-Fooh poked his way through the Jets defence and had a perfect opportunity to level the scores, and although his shot was denied by the crossbar, the rebound was volleyed by a running Chris Hurley who continued his electric run for a jubilant celebration.
The Bears now move into second place on the table and still have a game in hand of Edgeworth who sit three points ahead, but before they can think about ousting the likes of the Eagles and Magic, they’ll have to contend with the in-form Lambton Jaffas next weekend.
Broadmeadow Magic had the bye.