NPL Men’s NNSW Round One Review: 

Match of the Round 
Broadmeadow Magic FC v Adamstown Rosebud FC

The match was postponed due to wet weather. 

Maitland FC 0-1 Valentine FC

Valentine picked up their first points of the season after defeating Maitland 1-0 on Saturday afternoon.  

It was a reasonably even contest between the two sides, but Valentine was able to hold on to the win after scoring early in the first half. 

Valentine secured the win through a long-range strike from Nicholas Martinelli in the 24th minute. 

Pressure from Valentine’s Nick Cowburn forced a turnover from the Magpies, allowing Harrison Lane to snatch the ball and pass into the path of Martinelli. The Phoenix striker drove forward before powerfully hitting the ball from outside the penalty area past goalkeeper Taylor Pate and into the back of the net. 

Just minutes later, Valentine had the opportunity to double their advantage but Pate pulled out a strong save to push the ball over the crossbar. 

Maitland had two crucial opportunities to equalise late in the game through Charles Cox and Zachary Thomas. 

In the 90th minute, a Maitland corner kick spilled out to the Magpies captain Braedyn Crowley who passed the ball to Cox who struck the ball on target just outside the penalty area. But Valentine’s goalkeeper Brodie Volkeine pulled out a top-shelf save, diving low and wide to show the ball to the byline.

In the final kick of the match, Thomas found himself in a similar position to Cox and smashed the ball towards the goal, with the ball soaring just over the crossbar. 

The Magpies coach Mick Bolch admits it wasn’t his side’s best day on the pitch but knows the areas they need to improve on. 

“It wasn’t our best performance,” Bolch said. 

“We need to move the ball quicker and be in better possession.” 

Bolch understands that after a big turnover of players coming in and out of the squad, it will still take time for things to come together. 

“We still have a lot of work to do on combinations and gelling as a team,” Bolch said. 

“We have a lot of new faces and it can take time for things to click.” 

The Magpies will need to regroup and turn their attention to next week’s match against Weston, while Valentine will hope to continue their winning momentum when they face New Lambton. 

Edgeworth FC v Weston Workers FC

The match was postponed due to wet weather. 

Cooks Hill United FC 1-2 Newcastle Olympic FC

Cooks Hill were unable to start their season with three points going down 1-2 to Newcastle Olympic on Saturday afternoon. 

The two teams created multiple changes throughout the match, but Olympic proved too strong in the end.

In wet and windy conditions at No.2 Sportsground, it took all players a bit of time to settle into the match. 

Olympic were able to open the scoring through defender Blake Green in the 23rd minute. Daniel Minors gave away a free kick just outside the penalty area when he caught Olympic’s Joseph Langlois late in a challenge. Green stepped up to take the free kick, striking the ball low and hard past Cooks Hill’s wall of defence and goalkeeper Daniel Eisenhauer. 

Cooks Hill thought they had the equaliser only a couple of minutes later when Liam Spurway struck a long-range free kick on target. But Olympic’s goalkeeper Adam Pearce made a brilliant save to push the ball over the crossbar. 

The two teams continued to have their chances, but it was Olympic who reaped the rewards and doubled their lead in the 57th minute. 

Green turned from goal scorer to provider, kicking a perfectly placed corner ball onto the head of Olympic’s new signing Jacob Pepper, who nodded the ball into the back of the net. 

Cooks Hill clawed one back in the 87th minute through striker Carter Smith knocking a loose ball in the area into the left corner of the goal. 

But it was little too late for Cooks Hill who were unable to find an equaliser in the final minutes of the match, handing the three points to Olympic. 

Olympic’s co-coach Neil Owens was pleased with what he and other co-coach Paul DeVitis saw from their side. 

“It was a pretty impressive performance,” Owens said. 

“It was just good to get a win from home away from home for the first game of the season.

“I thought we controlled the ball and moved it around the pitch. We played really well through the midfield and held our shape of play. That was when we looked best.

“We had a really good first half, we created a lot of chances.

“It was a solid team performance.” 

Olympic will switch their focus to next week when they go head-to-head with Edgeworth Eagles and Cooks Hill will look to bounce back against Lambton Jaffas.  

Lake Macquarie City FC 0-3 Lambton Jaffas FC

The Lambton Jaffas were able to start the new season where they left off, defeating Lake Macquarie 3-0 on Saturday night. 

The Roosters' young side was able to hold the premier-champions scoreless until the 75th minute but the Jaffas proved to be too strong to snatch three goals and take all three points at the final whistle. 

Lake Macquarie’s goalkeeper Isaac Nyman was put to the test denying the Jaffas from multiple goalscoring opportunities in the first half. 

The Jaffas thought they had opened the scoring in the 68th when Jimmy Oates hit the back of the net but the goal was disallowed as Oates was ruled to be offside. 

Lambton finally got on the scoreboard after they were awarded a penalty in the 75th minute when Riley McNaughton was taken down in the box. Kale Bradbery stepped up to convert the penalty, hitting the ball low and hard into the bottom left corner of the goal. 

The momentum continued to swing in the Jaffas’ favour, with Bradbery scoring his second goal of the afternoon just three minutes later. Bradbery found himself with the ball just outside the but and was able to weave around his defender curling the ball into the back of the net.  

Jaffas were able to put the nail in the coffin and secure all three points in the 92nd minute. Ethan Eames received a ball inside the penalty area and had time to chest the ball down and smash the ball on the volley past the reach of Nyman into the goal. 

Lake Macquarie will hope to bounce back in round two when they face Broadmeadow Magic on Saturday night, while the Jaffas will look to pick up another three points when they go head-to-head with Cooks Hill on Sunday.  

Charlestown Azzurri FC 2-1 New Lambton FC 

Charlestown Azzurri secured their first three points of the season after defeating New Lambton 2-1 in a fiery battle on Sunday afternoon. 

An early send-off for New Lambton changed the game with Azzurri able to capitalise on their one-man advantage. 

New Lambton were able to open the scoring for the afternoon in the 25th minute, with Riley Taylor securing his first goal of the season. Fletcher Davis curled a beautiful ball into the path of Taylor, who nodded the ball into the bottom corner of the net. 

But just as things looked to be going New Lambton’s way, Charlie Kelly received a red card for a high tackle on Azzurri’s skipper Nigel Boogard in the 32nd minute. 

This shifted the momentum of the game into Azzurri’s favour, with the Blues equalising just before half-time. 

A poor clearance from New Lambton gifted the ball to Charlestown’s Cameron Joice who sliced the ball through to Dean Pettit who shot the ball back across goal and into the back of the net. 

With one less man on the pitch, New Lambton continued to tire as Azzurri spread them thinly across the pitch. 

Charlestown were able to capitalise on this and secure the win in the 73rd minute. Pettit switched from goal scorer to provider when he crossed the ball into the penalty area and onto the head of Harrison Frendo, who made no mistake in nodding the ball into the back of the net,

Azzurri will hope to collect another three points when they take on Adamstown, while New Lambton will be looking to respond when they host Valentine.