MATCH OF THE ROUND
WESTON WORKERS 3-2 BROADMEADOW MAGIC
Weston overcame a half-time deficit to defeat Broadmeadow 3-2 at Rockwell Automation Park in a highly-entertaining Match of the Round on Sunday.
A backs-to-the-wall effort from the Bears saw them achieve the win with 10 men for the final 20 minutes of the game to earn a huge three points.
The Bears opened the scoring through centre-back Zac Sneddon early in the contest with Sneddon making a decisive run through the centre of the park before being played in by Connor Heydon to score for the home side.
Magic responded shortly after through another Mitch Rooke special with Rooke hitting a sweet volley from distance to loop over Scott Carter to score another memorable goal.
Rooke was at it again, this time playing provider launching a stunning through ball for James Virgili who went one-on-one with the keeper and made no mistake to put the away side in the lead while tallying his sixth goal of the season.
Aaron Niyonkuru levelled the scores shortly after the half-time break after a couple of failed clearances saw the ball fall to the deadly attacker.
Weston hit the lead in the 55th minute after a pin-point Nathan Morris free kick found an unmarked Cooper Buswell who headed home to make it 3-2.
The Bears had to battle it out without Robbie Turnbull for the final 20 minutes after he was sent off in his 250th first grade game, while Magic continued to knock on the door for an equaliser.
Luke Virgili hit the crossbar from close range in Magic’s best chance but the home side would hold onto a tremendous victory, their fourth of the year.
The win moves the Bears into fourth spot, equal with Maitland but behind on goals scored.
Broadmeadow coach Anthony Richards said his side did not defend well enough against a tough Bears outfit.
“We were slow to start both halves and got punished for it and we rushed a few of our opportunities so we weren’t good enough to win,” Richards said.
“Our preparation probably wasn’t spot on but the good thing is we get to play in seven days’ time and we’ll be up for it.
“Mitch Rooke’s goal, I think that will be goal of the year. I don’t think you’ll see a better goal than that one.”
Magic will take on rivals Adamstown in round nine next weekend while Weston will meet an in-form Valentine.
LAKE MACQUARIE CITY 0-1 VALENTINE PHOENIX
Valentine made it back-to-back wins to put themselves into the finals mix with a 1-0 victory over rivals Lake Macquarie in their derby clash on Sunday.
The Phoenix have now earned maximum points from three of their last four games and put consecutive wins together for the first time since 2017 with the result following their 3-1 triumph over Adamstown midweek.
In a game of few chances at Macquarie Field, Josh Murray scored the lone goal from the penalty spot just after half-time.
After a tough opening to the campaign, Valentine are now equal with Charlestown and Lambton on 10 points and sit in eighth, one point outside of a finals place.
The loss for Lakes is their fourth on the bounce and leaves them at the bottom of the table. They will also be without captain Corey Fletcher for their next game with the skipper shown a red card.
Valentine will look to build on their impressive recent form when they take on Weston at home next round and coach Sam Griffin said it had been a just reward for effort for his side with their recent performances.
“It was always going to take that four or five games to gel as we had a lot of [player] turnover but now we’ve got some combinations and have put the same team out a couple of weeks in a row,” Griffin said.
“[The win] gives us a chance and especially beating Lakes which has been a bit of a graveyard for us in recent years. It definitely was a grind.
“[Josh Murray] has come on in leaps and bounds and starting to become one of our main players while Alex Read and Ben Higgins were almost faultless at the back. But I complement all of our defenders.”
CHARLESTOWN AZZURRI 2-0 LAMBTON JAFFAS
Charlestown beat Lambton with a highly-impressive 2-0 result at Lisle Carr Oval on Sunday.
The win was a major triumph for Azzurri to earn back-to-back wins for the first time this season and put themselves within the frame for finals football in 2020.
The result was Charlestown’s third win of the year as they continue to show immense form after overcoming a poor start to the campaign.
Riley Smith and Regan Lundy were again influential for the Azzurri, hitting the back of the net. Lundy had a penalty saved by Ben Kennedy, before following up on the rebound to open the scoring while Smith put away his chance with a deadly finish inside the box.
The loss is the Jaffas’ third in four games to see them fall out of the top five.
Lambton will be searching for answers but it won’t get any easier when they take on Edgeworth next round.
Charlestown will be jubilant with their recent form and coach Graham Law said he was incredibly proud of his team.
“The work rate off the ball is giving us a chance to win games and it’s starting to click,” Law said.
“The key part now is to realise why we’re winning games and continue on so we move onto Maitland next week and look to challenge ourselves again.
“Having the best keeper in the league [Nathan Archbold] is a bonus and he’s made some saves which justifies why he is the best keeper in my opinion.”
EDGEWORTH EAGLES 2-0 NEWCASTLE OLYMPIC
Edgeworth has stepped closer to a record-breaking 13th premiership with another strong 2-0 victory over Newcastle Olympic at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Sunday.
The Eagles have kept six straight clean sheets and have not conceded since their round two victory over Adamstown.
Will Bower continued his goal-scoring touch scoring the opener in the 54th minute following an inch-perfect Josh Rose cross before a Kristian Brymora screamer sealed the result in the final minute with the goal taking the striker to top of the goal scoring charts.
The Eagles sit on a perfect 24 points with their eighth win of the season. They are now eight points in front of second at the top of the table.
Olympic still sit inside the top five on 11 points and will look to consolidate their place when they take on Lake Macquarie next round.
ADAMSTOWN ROSEBUD 1-2 MAITLAND MAGPIES
Maitland came back from a goal down to defeat Adamstown 2-1 at Adamstown Oval on Sunday.
The win was the first away victory of the season for the defending premiers and saw them move back into third position.
The Rosebuds took the lead midway through the first half with Liam Ryan scoring a fantastic goal after a quick one-two with Tallan Martin.
Coming off the back of a heavy 4-0 defeat to Olympic midweek, Maitland were staring down the barrel of another loss until James Thompson equalised with a stunning strike on the 70th minute mark.
A few minutes later, Braedyn Crowley pounced on a loose ball before finding the top corner to give Maitland the all-important lead.
The Magpies would hold onto the victory which is their fourth of the season and move onto 13 points.
Adamstown still sit in ninth spot and will take on local rivals Broadmeadow next round in a must-win encounter.