It was a thrilling weekend of the National Premier Leagues 4 NSW Men’s competition with 24 goals scored across the games in Saturday’s fixtures. The race for the finals was shaken up as four of the top five sides dropped points, as the gap begins to close in for the sides sitting outside the finals places.
In the Match of the Round, Newcastle were too good for Fraser Park walking away with an impressive 4-1 victory, as they sit three points behind the league leaders with a game in hand.
Elsewhere, UNSW FC continued their red-hot form at Melita Stadium, Hawkesbury grinded a win out against Hurstville, South Coast dispatched Western NSW, Western Rage and Prospect shared the points in a thrilling draw and Camden upset Nepean at home.
Match of the Round
Fraser Park FC 1-4 Newcastle Jets FC
Newcastle proved to clinical for league-leading Fraser Park walking away with an impressive 4-1 win.
It was a rapid opening spell with both sides trading goals to begin the game.
Fraser found their opener after a dangerous ball from a corner was hit in by Jack Armson into his own net
Newcastle answered almost immediately with a goal of their own after Archie Goodwin neatly tucked away a deflected cross with a piercing header.
Fraser Park began to look dangerous from their set-pieces through David Adjassou. He found the NPL 4 top scorer Cam Philpot twice in a matter of minutes, only for both of his headers to graze the top of bar.
The game began to heat up towards the end of the first as both sides upped their physicality. The Jets came out of this period gaining a one goal advantage heading into the break.
They found the lead after Goodwin’s headed pass perfectly landed to Jack Armson who put his shot past the crowded six-yard box and in the back of the net, giving him a goal at both ends
Newcastle picked up from where they left off in the first half, scoring in a matter of minutes.
Adam Zervas added to his tally after a clinical finish from inside the box saw the Jets go up 3-1 as they began to display to flex their attacking muscles.
Fraser were determined to get themselves back in the game and came within inches after Philpot played a brilliant ball through to David Ustimenko. He made a blistering run from halfway and found himself in a dangerous shooting position where he was ultimately denied by Blair Fitzpatrick.
Matthew Buettner should have had the visitors fourth after he was found open from a corner. His forceful header was just too powerful and went over the bar.
Julio Mushaba came closest in the second half for Fraser and was left in awe after his shot from distance looked certain to go into the top corner but was brilliantly denied by Fitzpatrick.
Ustimenko continued in his quest for a goal and audaciously attempted an overhead kick after a deep cross from Adjassou found him open at the edge of the box, his shot went clear of the posts.
The Jets rounded out the scoring after Zervas neatly poked a ball through to Will Ingram who made no mistakes slotting his shot past Patrick Ferrera for the fourth and final goal of the night
Fraser Park Head Coach Alex Araujo credited the well-drilled Jets outfit and was disappointed with his sides performance
“The difference today was that we didn’t play our game and Newcastle pounced on our mistakes” he said
“Newcastle are a quality side and hopefully next time we will be a bit better prepared for them”.
Daniel McBreen was pleased with his teams output, crediting their organisation and their approach leading to the game
“It was a good performance all around, we gave them an early goal but apart from that it was a pretty well-organised, well-disciplined performance” he said
“The guys played to the game-plan very well, we concentrated this week a lot on being disciplined, organisation and communication because we’ve slipped off on that a little bit in recent weeks, we came against the top side this week and it was gonna be a good test and to play the way we have I’m very pleased”.
With a win in their catchup game against Prospect, Newcastle could take first place off Fraser Park.
Fraser Park FC 1 (Armson OG)
Newcastle Jets FC 4 (Goodwin, Ingram, Armson, Zervas)
Parramatta FC 0-3 UNSW FC
UNSW have made a clear statement after an impressive win at the Melita stadium on Saturday afternoon. Raul Carrizo, Gabrielle Trinco and Mike Kenny all found themselves on the scoresheet for the visitors as they amped up their pressure on the top five. Parramatta were faced with an uphill battle after being reduced to nine men with red cards to Diego Molina and Allie Jayee. UNSW capitalised on the numbers advantage, netting the final two goals to round out the 3-0 win.
The Eagles desperate push for an equaliser was their undoing, they will have to re-coup for next week without their suspended players, as they prepare for a tough away trip to Camden. UNSW displayed their strengths in this game showed everyone in NPL 4 that they’ll be in strong contention come the end of the season.
Hawkesbury City FC 1-0 Hurstville FC
Both side’s entered this matchup severely under manned creating a mixture of fresh faces in the line-ups. Hawkesbury celebrated their return to Bensons Lane with the win after Daniel Morsillo’s strike gave the hosts the win.
Hurstville will be disappointed they walked away with nothing to show from this game, although it wasn’t their best performance they’ll be ruing their missed chances as they seized a big chance to have breathing space and secure a three point gap third spot. Hawkesbury showed their fighting spirit amongst all the adversary and will hope that their first win at home translates to many more home victories as they return to Bensons Lane full-time
Western Rage 3-3 Prospect United SC
A thrilling encounter that saw three unanswered goals from Rage undone by a Kurdvan Abdulljabbar late equaliser that saw the sides share the points. Prospect enjoyed an early first half lead going courtesy of a Rage own goal and one from Jayden Nakhoul. Western Rage came out of the break a determined outfit, displaying their fighting spirit coming up with three goals from Leo De Leo, Jason Najdovski and Anthony Pollicina, before the Prospect equaliser.
Both sides will be understandably disappointed to not have capitalised on their leads to walk away victors, however a draw seemed the fairest result as both sides through it all forward in search of the win. The Rage now turn their attention to an away game against Western NSW, whereas Prospect will entertain Fraser Park next week.
South Coast Flame FC 6-0 Western NSW FC
The Flame was burning bright on a cold evening in Wollongong as they capitalised on a Luke Mutton red card to score five goals in the last twenty minutes of the game. The game was a reasonably even bout with both sides looking promising going forward. The Flame opened the scoring in the first through Daniel Cooper in the first half.
The turning point in the game was the red card as the South Coast side became lethal in front of goals. Cody Waller bagged a hattrick whilst Cooper got his second of the night before Jordan Host rounded out the scorering. With a few new players the Flame looked rejuvenated as they look for a much improved second half of the season. For Western NSW it’s becoming all too common for them to be reduced to ten men and have the game slip away from them.
Camden Tigers FC 3-1 Nepean FC
Camden shook up the competition with their remarkable 3-1 win victory over Nepean. The result could have huge implications for both sides finals hope in the later stages of the season with the Tiger’s still two games behind the rest of the competition.
Camden looked like a much improved side but were put to the test by a tough Nepean side. Ben Welch had the lone goal for the visitors before Jordan Cracknell, Danny Martinez and Cormack Stevens put the result beyond doubt. If Camden win their two games in hand they could see themselves firmly in a finals spot, although it will be tough with a condensed schedule over the coming weeks. The fallout from the game unfortunately saw Jayden Russell being taken to the emergency room after a nasty clash, we wish him a speedy and healthy recovery.
By NPL 4 NSW Men’s Writer, Dominic Criniti @DominicCriniti