Saturday, 20 June 2015

FFA Cup NNSW Qualifying Day 1 Review

WEST WALLSEND 4 (5) def. Jesmond 4 (4)

The game between Zone League One side Jesmond FC and New-FM side West Wallsend began with both sides showing some pace on the quick synthetic surface at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility. The first real chance of the game came when Jesmond’s Yahya Saleh missed a open goal after beating West Wallsend keeper Wade Perrara.

The Rams began to pressure West Wallsend and had one or two very decent chances against their higher-ranked opponents. A dipping long-range shot from Graham Dart came very close to dropping into the net for Jesmond. Both defences were strong in the opening twenty minutes. 

Jesmond had another great chance to score around the 22 minute mark as Lachlan Sessions rose up and smashed a header towards goal, only to be denied by a full-stretch  in goals. West Wallsend made some space for themselves and got towards goal a couple of times but their execution let them down.

The Bluebells were struggling a bit to string passes together and made some poor choices going into the final third. Just before half time, a swinging Jesmond cross flashed across goal but unfortunately for the Rams, no one was able to tuck it into the net.

West Wallsend started strongly in the second half and scored the opening goal from a free kick. Dylan Murphy’s swinging strike was enough to get past Robert Thornton and put the Bluebells in the lead. Just two minutes later, young gun Josh Knight doubled the lead with a superb shot from the edge of the box.

Jesmond turned the tables slightly and earned a free kick in a dangerous position and Robert Cohen forced the keeper into some work. Jesmond were given a penalty moments later but Wade Perrara was on hand to save the attempt from Jesmond’s Yahya Saleh. The Rams would have been kicking themselves that they didn't manage to put one into the net.

West Wallsend were given a free kick at the opposite end of the ground when Josh Knight was brought down. Jesmond captain Jonathan Quartly was yellow-carded for bringing Knight down, the first caution of the game. The next chance of the game was perhaps Jesmond’s best as Michael Hyde was played through on goal, only to scrape it past the outside of the post.

The Bluebells scored their third through Tye Jones which all but wrapped up a win for the New-FM side. Jesmond let their frustrations get the best of them and got involved in a push and shove with young West Wallsend attacker Josh Knight. Both Andrew Townsend and Daniel Fisher were cautioned for the incident but Knight escaped punishment.

Jesmond received a penalty late on when Johnathan Quartly was brought down in the box by a West Wallsend defender and Daniel Fisher converted to put the Rams in the board. Not long after Yahya Saleh scored from a neat shot on the edge of the box to bring the Rams to within one goal.

In the shadows of full time, Andrew Townsend scored a miracle late goal for the Rams to stun West Wallsend and send the game into extra time. The Bluebells started the extra period strongly and scored through Tye Jones despite Jesmond’s call for a foul on the keeper.

The first goal of the second half of extra time came as Jesmond were amazingly given a third penalty. Andrew Townsend made no mistake again from the spot as he tied it up at 4-4, no less than the Rams deserved. Jesmond gave away an indirect free kick after a pass back but it was saved by Robert Thornton. 

With just moments left Jesmond almost earned the win but were unbelievably denied by the post and then the offside flag. The tables turned quickly and West Wallsend forced Robert Thornton into a decent save as the referee blew the final whistle. 

The penalty shootout would end 5-4 to West Wallsend. Jesmond’s miss came from Jake Muras whilst the winner would be put in by Bryson Cox. An excellent game from both sides but at the end of the day there has to be a winner and today it was West Wallsend. The Bluebells now move into tomorrow’s Semi Finals. 

ADAMSTOWN 4 def. Valentine FC 0

Adamstown started the stronger of the two sides but Valentine’s defence was ready for the challenge. Travis Cooper created the first real chance of the game as his attempted cross skimmed off the crossbar before being cleared away  the Phoenix. Cooper’s cross was one a few threatening crosses for the Rosebuds.

After around 20 minutes, the Rosebuds had an excellent chance to score as Travis Cooper took off down the right wing. His cross was spot on to Nick Bale but he sent it flying over the crossbar. The bar was shaking again when Matt Paul’s free kick forced Valentine’s Perry Budden into work, the Phoenix stopper got the slightest touch to send the ball s,wishing against the crossbar and eventually to safety.

The first half would end scoreless after a decent half from both teams. Adamstown though did have the majority of chances and were slightly unlucky not to go in with a lead at the break. Both teams played free flowing football for the majority of the first forty-five.

Adamstown again started strongly in the second half and opened the scoring through Nick Bale as he made up for his earlier miss by tucking one past Perry Budden.  A deserved lead for the amount of pressure Adamstown put on throughout the first half and early part of the second half.

It wasn't too long though until the second would come for Adamstown as Travis Cooper showed some skill to finish off a chance on the end of a corner. Cooper was on hand to tuck away a third for Adamstown not long after which all but sealed the deal for the Rosebuds. Moments later Chris Dale got on the end of a cross to tuck one past the keeper and make it 4-0 to put the game out of reach.

Scott Carter was on hand to keep his side in front 4-0 as he stopped a decent Valentine chance on the back end of a Riley Russell cross. Moments later Carter pulled off a diving save to again keep the Phoenix at bay. 

The 4-0 score line is how it would end in what was a quality display from a decent Rosebud outfit. Valentine were unable to create too many chances in the final third and were ultimately outplayed by the better side on the day.


The Edgeworth Eagles came firing out of the blocks as they tried to catch Coffs City United off-guard. Coffs City were always going to be challenged going against one of Newcastle’s premier teams and the first goal came from Aaron Pritchard around 15 minutes in as he tucked one past Coffs City keeper Ian Davie. 

It wasn't long until Aaron Pritchard doubled his side lead after some miscommunication at the back for Coffs City led to the ball finding the back of the net from Pritchard’s cross in. The difference between NPL sides and the teams from up North has been gradually improving in recent seasons but Edgeworth were showing their class throughout the first half.

Ian Davie was required a few times in the first half and saved his side from going three down by getting a finger to the ball and sending it over the crossbar. The Eagles went into half time with a two goal lead and looked the better side throughout the first half.

The start of the second half brought some renewed urgency from Coffs City as they started to string a few more passes together and it almost paid off if not for the attempt to go flying over the crossbar. It wasn't long though until Edgeworth threatened again and a stinging shot from Lachie Pasquale forced Ian Davie into his first save of the half.

Coffs City received the first yellow card of the game when Calen Alsop brought down an Edgeworth man as the Eagles broke on the counter-attack. Edgeworth came incredibly close to making it 3-0 as Bren Hammel smashed his long-range attempt against the bar. 

The goal would come though as Liam Spurway netted one. Almost instantly Josh Carroll added another which would all but seal the win for Edgeworth. Coffs City put up a decent fight but by this time were starting to look out of sorts as they struggled to shut down Edgeworth’s chances.

The score would remain 4-0 in what was a very dominant display from the Edgeworth Eagles. Coffs City showed some skill but were ultimately outplayed by a very-disciplined and very-skilful football side. The Eagles now move onto tomorrow’s games.


Broadmeadow Magic started strongly in the final match of the day and grabbed an early lead through a Chris Berlin free kick. It was a neat effort that got above the wall and beat South Armidale’s Richard Morris. The Scorpions were struggling early on as they were outpaced by the fast Magic wingers.

It wasn't too long though before South Armidale began to threaten and twice forced Magic stopper Brad Mackenzie into action. Magic were starting to look a bit sloppy and the first yellow card of the game went their way as Scott Pettit brought down a South Armidale player.

Rhys Tippett was on hand to get in the back end of a free kick to head home and put Magic up 2-0. The Scorpions would gain a penalty not long after when Paul Wright was brought down inside the box by Ben Higgins. Cody Watts stepped up and converted from the spot to give the South Armidale side some hope. 

Magic would restore their two goal buffer not long after as Rhys Tippett broke away from his marker and slotted home his second goal of the contest. Magic dominated the latter stages of the half as they showed good pace in transition and decent build-up play. The 2014 FFA Cup Qualifiers would go in with a 3-1 half-time lead.

The second half began with much of the same as Magic continued to ease their way forward. Daniel Casciaroli came close to scoring but could only brush it over the crossbar. The #6 would make up for it not long after as he slotted one in from outside the box to make it 4-1.

Broadmeadow came close to scoring a fifth when Chris Berlin fired in a shot that curled towards goal but smashed against the post. Rhys Tippett made up for the miss by converted his hat-trick and all but seal the contest for Magic. The goals kept coming for Magic as Chris Berlin stretched the lead to 6-1. Paul Sichalwe added a seventh just before the whistle and that's how it would end.

All in all a quality showing from the Magic side as they showed their class from the start to the very end. South Armidale did create one or two decent chances and scored from the spot but at the end of the day they were downed by the better team.

-Ty Stedman (NEWYSPORTS)

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