STAR: Charlestown recruit Ljubo Milicevic scored in their 1-0 win over Lake Macquarie on Friday. Picture: Sproule Sports FocusHAMILTON coach Peter McGuinness believes his side have now seen what it takes to succeed after they came from 2-0 down to draw with Valentine in round three of the Northern NSW NPL on Friday night.
Special second-half strikes from Reece Papas and Rhys Cooper gave Olympic a share of the points at Darling Street Oval after Joel Wood pounced twice early to give Phoenix the advantage.
Wood shot from an acute angle to score in the 12th minute after Aaron Niyonkuru’s strikewas blocked. He then ran onto a long ball from captain Reece Pettit in the 20th and caught out an advancingTyler Warren with a chipped shot.
Olympic respondedin the 62ndminute when Papas found the top-right corner of goals with a free kick just outside the box.Cooper then levelled with his own right-foot stunner, finding the top-leftcorner from a similar spot in open play in the 84thminute.
Hamilton peppered Valentine’s goal late and came closestwith Simon Mooney’s headerand Scott Pettit powerful shot both hitting the woodwork.
McGuinnesssaid the “second-half performance was outstanding” but his side needed to be betterwith the ball for 90 minutes.
“We had a passage of play in the first half at 2-0 where it seemed like we had the ball for 10 minutes, but we just weren’t effective with it,” he said.“We went to three at the back but that wasn’t what changed the game for us, it was actually the drive for us to go and score goals.The intensity and urgency was much higher, they moved the ball quicker and they created chances off that. We’ve justgot to do it more.They’ve seen the picture now.”
Phoenix coach Darren Sills, who welcomed Matt Paul back to his squad as an injury replacement, said their plan was to get Hamilton on the counterattack but they paid the price for mistake in defence.
“We said before the game that we can’t give set pieces away outside the box. It killed us last year and once again today,” he said.“But we both had chances to win, it was a good game of footy.
“I’m happy to get a point here any time but we would have loved the win after going in to half-time2-0 up.”
Also Friday, Maitland embarrassed Adamstown 9-1 at Cooks Square Park.Maitland were up 3-0 inside six minutes via a penalty from Matt Thompson and double from Matt Comerford.
Judd Duncan scored with a long-range strike for Adamstown but another Thompson penalty made it 4-1 at halftime.James Thompson scored an early second-half double before Josh Dutton-Black, Ryan Clarke and Chris Fayers finished thejob. The winning margin equalled Broadmeadow’s record 10-2 victory over the Jets Youth in 2016.
At Macquarie Field, star signing Ljubo Milicevic scored with a volleyed shot in the 48thminute to give unbeaten Charlestown a 1-0 victory over Lake Macquarie.
On Saturday, Lambton Jaffas host Westonand on Sunday Broadmeadow welcome Edgeworth.
Milicevic’s strike cameoff a reboundat a corner and it helped the Blues score a third win in as many starts to stay top of the table.It was a third consecutive loss for the Roosters.