The Newcastle Jets Youth gave Lambton Jaffas a scare in what was an intriguing final round of PlayStation 4 NPL Northern NSW.
Newcastle Jets Youth 2 (Thurgate 11’, Joice 16’) defeated by Lambton Jaffas 4 (Kantarovski 20’, J. Griffiths 21’, R. Griffiths 65’, Greentree 90+4’) at Arthur Edden Oval
It’s a score line which looks fairly comprehensive, but the reality is it was far from easy for the Jaffas as they overcame a resilient young Jets outfit.
The youngsters struck first and struck early – an 11th minute goal to Angus Thurgate gave them a surprising lead.
More surprising still was their second just five minutes later. Cameron Joice headed in at the back post after a Kent Harrison cross from the right, and the Jets Youth had a two goal buffer.
The Jaffas were down early but far from out, and two goals in as many minutes would see them back in with a shout. Michael Kantarovski was the beneficiary of a Joel Griffiths free kick in the 20th minute, before the elder Griffiths brother scored one of his own in the 21st to square the ledger – four goals in ten minutes!
Experience often wins out, and it would on Saturday at Arthur Edden. Former Jets captain and current Jaffas captain Jobe Wheelhouse entered the pitch 15 minutes into the second half, and made a fast impact.
A free kick from his boot found Ryan Griffiths, and he made no mistake in scoring his sixth of the season which put the Jaffas in front for the first time in the match.
With nothing to lose, the junior Jets were pushing hard to drag back a point. The equaliser wouldn’t come, but Lambton would capitalise on the gung-ho nature of their opponents in the dying minutes.
Dain Greentree was put through by Ryan Griffiths and broke away from the Jets defence, and managed to chip Jets ‘keeper Tristan Esquilant to give Lambton a two-goal buffer and see them finish 4-2 winners.
The victory secured Jaffas third place, and it means they’ll now host Hamilton next week in the first leg of their 2nd v 3rd semi final. For the Jets, it leaves them in tenth.
Hamilton Olympic 1 (Goodchild PEN 67’) defeated by Broadmeadow Magic 2 (Pettit 5’, J. Virgili PEN 76’) at Darling Street Oval
Hamilton had a chance to give it a shake at the top – a win, and the premiership may have been theirs.
A Broadmeadow side on a dream run of form in the league had something to say about that though, and a James Virgili penalty 15 minutes from time meant Hamilton wouldn’t have a shot at their first premiership since 2012.
Magic got off to a dream start after Scott Pettit headed home in just the fifth minute to give the visitors the lead.
Hamilton were lacklustre, a surprise to most given they had a shot at the premiership and their form in the lead up – they’d taken 22 points of the last 24 on offer.
The home side would find their way back into the match midway into the second half after youngster Musa Kamara was fouled in the box by young Broadmeadow defender Jeremy Wilson.
Leading NNSW NPL goal scorer Kane Goodchild stepped up, and finished past Nick Giantstopolous to level the scores at 1-all.
It was a penalty at the other end which sealed Olympic’s fate, though. Tyler Warren appeared to bring down Kale Bradbury who’d broken free, and James Virgili stepped up to bury the hatchet. It finished 2-1.
Weston Bears 0 defeated by Valentine Phoenix 3 (Brown 31’, Faulkner 76’, Tserepas 90’) at Rockwell Automation Park
Defeat for Valentine last weekend meant they travelled to Weston on Sunday with only pride on the line.
They went on the road without American striker Jalon Brown who has chipped in for more than a third of Valentine’s goals this season, and despite his absence Phoenix cruised to a 3-0 win up at Weston.
Chris Brown slammed home for Valentine’s first in the 31st minute, a stunning half-volley from outside the area which went over the outstretched arms of Kane Runge to give the visitors the lead.
Alec Faulkner grabbed his side’s second in the 76th minute, after beating Bears captain Brock Oakley to the ball. Faulkner finished well into the far corner from outside the area, and made it 2-0.
Alex Tserepas finished off the rout in the first minute of stoppage time, scoring his first of the season with a nice header at the front post and making it 3-0 to the visitors.
Confirmed weeks ago, Weston finish this season with the wooden spoon for the second season running. Valentine, who spent the majority of the season inside the top four, finish four points off the pace in fifth.
Maitland Magpies 1 (Hill 69’) defeated by Adamstown Rosebud 2 (Berlin 51’, 62’) at Cooks Square Park
It was an upset the last time these two sides faced off, with Adamstown grabbing an unlikely win back in May.
They did it again on Sunday, with two goals in ten minutes not long after half time enough to secure Adamstown their fifth win of the season and finish the year on a high.
Chris Berlin opened the scoring in the second half after a quiet opening stanza. Mitch Hunter squared it up after a precise cross from the right, and Berlin made it 1-0.
Berlin would score his fifth of the season, and second of the day shortly after. Mitch Hunter played provider once again from the left, and Berlin made no mistake in finishing into the same corner – the right hand one – and doubling Adamstown’s advantage.
Maitland would halve the deficit with just over half the second stanza gone. Zac Hill scored a nice half-volley from just inside the 18-yard box after making a late run into the area, and it was 2-1.
Both sides had chances in the final 20 minutes – Berlin was denied a hat-trick after a good save from Matt Trott, while Ryan Clarke hit the cross bar in the 85th minute. Ultimately neither side could find another goal, and it finished 2-1.
Edgeworth Eagles 2 (McLoughlin 75’, Taylor 90+1’) drew Lake Macquarie City 2 (S. Walker 15’, Sparre 24’) at Jack McLaughlan Oval
With the premiership secured the night before thanks to a dominant Broadmeadow performance, Edgeworth were asleep at the wheel and nearly paid for it by giving up all three points.
Instead, a Brody Taylor goal just moments from full time pulled a point out of no where for the Eagles and put a dampener on the farewell to Lakes coach Anthony Richards.
It was Edgeworth who had the opening chance after Keigo Moriyasu won a penalty in the ninth minute. Lachlan Pasquale stepped up to convert, but his effort was saved by Benn Kelly.
Lakes pushed on, and took an early lead after Edgeworth defender Pat Wheeler misjudged a short goal kick. Tom Walker seized on the mistake and cued up brother Sam, who made no mistake in finishing for his 12th of the season.
They doubled their advantage in the 24th minute when Tom Sparre broke free of the Edgeworth defence, and despite regaining their attention managed to steer a shot past Nate Caviliere and make it 2-0.
Edgeworth regrouped after half time and pushed hard, but didn’t find a goal until the 75th minute. Aaron McLoughlin pinched the ball from the hands of Lakes ‘keeper Benn Kelly, and scored to tighten the match up.
Eagles talisman Daniel McBreen had one in the back of the net two minutes later, but his effort was crossed out thanks to the offside flag.
In the first minute of injury time, McBreen turned provider. He nodded on a ball to Brody Taylor, who finished his chance well to nab the Eagles a point and get the premiership celebrations started.
Edgeworth’s premiership win is the third on the trot, but now their attention will turn to the finals series and a potential third double in as many years. They’ll head to Broadmeadow next Saturday night for the first leg of their 1st v 4th semi final.
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