LAMBTON Jaffas coach James Pascoe hoped for a role reversal with Edgeworth after his side moved within three points of the new Northern NSW NPL leaders with a 3-0 victory at Adamstown Oval on Sunday.
Three-time defending premiers Edgeworth took over top spot on 30 points from Broadmeadow after they defeated Weston 4-1 on Saturday and Magic (28) went down to Charlestown 1-0 on Sunday in round 16.
The Jaffas made the most of their chance to close the gap, leading Rosebud 3-0 at half-time before overcoming the loss of Michael Kantarovski to a second yellow card in the 61st minute.
Adamstown, with coach Shane Cansdell-Sherriff making his on-field debut, were down 1-0 in the 27th minute when Braedyn Crowley’s corner was deflected in. Crowley then provided the corner kick for Marcus Duncan’s header to score in the 34th. Crowley turned finisher for the visitors’ third after Ridge Mapu pounced on a loose pass in defence.
Pascoe was pleased with the effort to jump to 27 points given the absence of Bren Hammel (knee), Joel Griffiths (away/hamstring), Luke Remington (broken hand), Nathan Verity (broken jaw) and Jobe Wheelhouse (away).
Edgeworth have a game in hand on Magic and Jaffas with six rounds left. Jaffas led until round 17 last year before the Eagles finished better. Pascoe was hoping to trade places this time around.
“It’s important to be in contact with top spot given all the problems we’ve had trying to put a balanced and competitive team out each week,” Pascoe said. “We’re doing quite well to be where we are. I think it’s still Edgeworth’s to lose because they’ve had the bye already, but we were in a similar position last year and managed to drop it, so you never know what might happen.”
Charlestown, meanwhile, stayed fifth but moved equal with fourth-placed Maitland on 22 points with their win at Lisle Carr Oval.
Kane Goodchild, in his first start since a round-three hamstring tear, scored in the 41st minute off Rene Ferguson’s run and cut-back.
The Blues overcame the loss of Danny Laiman and Ljubo Milicevic to knee injuries during the match.
“We’ve come through an horrific run of injuries, and even today, we lost Danny Laiman in the first few minutes and Ljubo came off just before half-time,” Blues coach David Tanchevski said. “It makes it hard but we hung in there.”
At CB Complex, Sam Walker went top of the scoring table on 13 with a brace for Lake Macquarie in a 2-1 win over Valentine.
Walker scored with a stunning long-range volley in the 12th minute. Joel Wood equalised in the 24th, but Walker’s 87th-minute toe poke, which was deflected in, proved the difference.
On Saturday, Adam Cawley scored twice, Bailey Garland once and Dom Bizzarri converted a penalty as Edgeworth led 4-0 at half-time at Weston Park. Nathan Morris scored for Weston with a cracking long-range strike.
The Jets Youth beat Hamilton 3-2 with a double, including the 66th-minute winner, from Yerasimakis Petratos.