HAMILTON Olympic coach Mick Bolch believes two decisions in yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Valentine Phoenix cost his side their first victory of the season in the Northern NSW State League.
Due to wet weather last week the match was moved from Phoenix’s regular home ground of Cahill Oval to Blacksmiths Oval.
After 60 minutes of play the game was goalless, before Valentine’s Ethan Carusi delivered a cross from the right into the box.
Olympic goalkeeper Brad Swancott leapt to catch the ball and Phoenix’s Canadian striker Ryan Fante headed the ball into the back of the net.
‘‘Swanny [Swancott] reckons he had control of the ball when the guy headed it out of his hand, but the goal stands,’’ Bolch said.
Phoenix coach Lindsay Tapp said Fante ‘‘probably’’ headed the ball out of Swancott’s hands.
‘‘[But] if the keeper catches it at the same time as someone heads it, it’s a bit hard to get your head out of the road isn’t it?’’ Tapp said.
Hamilton levelled in the 80th minute when Joel Shearer played in from the left side for renowned goal poacher John Majurovski to tap in the ball.
Bolch thought Majurovski had scored the match winner soon after when he was played in again behind the Phoenix defence, but the assistant referee ruled him offside.
‘‘It will sound like sour grapes, but even the Azzurri [Charlestown City Blues] coach [Mark Wilson] was there and said he was in line with the goal and said no way was Maj offside, but that’s football, mate,’’ Bolch said.
‘‘You’ve got to take it.’’
Phoenix came close to snatching the lead in the dying stages, when midfielder Cameron Tapp struck the crossbar.
‘‘We got stretched a bit in the second half, but I was pretty happy with how we played,’’ Tapp said.
Edgeworth and Weston drew 2-2 on a soggy Jack McLaughlan Oval yesterday.
Eagles defender Bren Hammel was pushed forward to wide on the right and he thanked coach Gary Wilson by opening the scoring.
The Bears led 2-1 at half-time after goals to Robbie Turnbull and Joel Hardwick, but lost striker Jamie Subat to a suspected medial ligament strain.
Hammel equalised with his second goal after an hour. Edgeworth had plenty of chances to score again and win their first match of the season, but their attempts repeatedly missed the target.
On Saturday, Chris Berlin scored in Broadmeadow’s 1-0 win over Charlestown City Blues at Wanderers Oval and the Jets Youth moved to the top of the table on goal difference by belting West Wallsend 5-0 at Johnson Park.
The Lake Macquarie and South Cardiff game at Ulinga Oval was postponed due to a wet pitch.