Maitland kept their finals hopes flickering in the ‘Match of the Round’ with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over seventh placed Lake Macquarie.
Maitland Magpies 4 (L.Thornton 30’, Clarke 46’, OG 71’, Comerford 72’) defeated Lake Macquarie Roosters 0 at Macquarie Field.
The win set up their round 20 fixture with Broadmeadow Magic as a finals-like match-up with the loser unlikely to feature in the playoffs.
However, the big story out of the afternoon was the news that Roosters coach Anthony Richards announced to his player’s post-match that he will leave the club at the end of the season.
Richards said it was a difficult decision.
“I just told the boys that I won’t be here next year. I’m going to move on to maybe somewhere else. I didn’t tell them before the game, I told them after the game. These guys and terrific, they’ll do everything for me so it’s a tough call to go,” Richards said post-match.
“The boys are a little upset, as I am. Unfortunately, that is going to happen.”
On the park, Liam Thornton opening the scoring for Maitland on the half-hour mark, when he looped his header over Roosters keeper Benn Kelly after a Josh Dutton-Black free-kick from the right edge.
It was Thornton’s second chance of the afternoon, after his previous header hit the crossbar and bounced away.
Lambton Jaffas 6 (Griffiths (p) 36’, Remington 45+1’, 74’ Brown 47’, 48’, 66’) defeated Adamstown Rosebud 1 (Hunter) at Arthur Edden Oval.
After weeks of up and down performances, Lambton Jaffas returned to form in style with a 6-1 crushing defeat of strugglers Adamstown Rosebud.
Pat Brown scored his first hat-trick since 2015, Luke Remington scored a double and Joel Griffiths converted a penalty to lead Lambton to just their second victory this month.
The Jaffas took a while to get on the scoreboard, but when they did, they rammed home the advantage.
Rosebud keeper Riley Hill felled Ryan Griffiths in the box to give Lambton a chance to open the scoring from the spot. Joel Griffiths, making it count with the easiest of penalties, rolling it into the bottom right corner.
Just before the break Lambton struck a hammer blow when Luke Remington stepped past defenders and curled a shot into the left corner from the top of the ‘D’.
Edgeworth Eagles 3 (Sanders 61’, Moriyasu 78’, Moore 84’) defeated Charlestown City Blues 1 (Purcell 31’) at Lisle Carr Oval.
Three goals in the final 30 minutes ensured Edgeworth regained the ascendency in the minor premiership race with three matches to play.
The Eagles trailed just after the half-hour mark after Jarrod Purcell scored for the Blues, but second half strikes to Kieran Sanders, Keigo Moriyasu and Keanu Moore led Edgeworth to all three points.
Edgeworth had the first opportunity to open the scoring when Ayden Brice was bumped to ground in the box by Rene Ferguson. The tall right-back stepped up to take the spot-kick, but was denied by the outstretched boot of Blues keeper Nathan Archbold.
Five minutes later Ferguson sped down the left edge before playing Purcell in on goal in the 31st minute, who rolled his shot over a diving Nate Cavaliere and into goal to give Charlestown a shock lead.
The Blues took their 1-0 advantage into the sheds and when they returned it seemed like they would cause a huge upset. Enter Keigo Moriyasu.
The Japanese sensation, who has had a difficult time of late, burnt the Blues down the right and squared a ball to Sanders on the penalty spot who guided it into the right corner.
From there, Moriyasu’s confidence grew. This time it would be Sanders providing for Moriyasu, as the Englishman knocked a pass down the left. Moriyasu stepped onto his right foot and curled his shot inside the far post of Archbold.
Keanu Moore then sealed the win, with his first goal in Eagles colours this season. The fleet-footed midfielder turned defenders inside and out, before rolling a calm left foot finish into goal with the assistance of the right post.
Hamilton Olympic 3 (Smith 10’, Papas 41’, M.Swan 84’) defeated Weston Bears 0 at Rockwell Automation Park.
Weston’s wretched run of results continued on Sunday afternoon as the Bears lost their eighth PS4 NPL NNSW match in a row to Hamilton.
Scott Smith returned to the starting side for Olympic and returned to the scoresheet, while Reece Papas scored his first goal of the season, and substitute Matt Swan snagged his second goal of 2017.
Smith got the ball rolling for Olympic inside ten minutes when Daniel Bird squared a pass from the right to the striker at the top of the box.
Smith struck his shot low and through traffic, making it difficult for Weston keeper Kane Runge as Hamilton opened the scoring.
Bird was provider once more as Papas got on the scoresheet. From a similar position to the opening goal, Bird cut a ball back to Papas from the right edge. Papas shot low and hard, across goal to make it 2-0.
Matt Swan sealed the result in the 84th minute when Papas turned provider. The recent signing chipped a neat pass through the Bears’ defence and Matt Swan drove home on the volley to put some icing on the cake for Olympic and cement their spot in the top four.
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