Maitland Magpies secure Northern NSW NPL finals spot

Matt Thompson and Cody Carroll
Matt Thompson and Cody Carroll

Maitland secured the last spot in the Northern NSW NPL semi-finals with a 2-0 win over their now play-off opponents Broadmeadow at Cooks Square Park on Saturday night.

The Magpies finished third on 34 points, beating Lambton Jaffas on goal difference after the defending champions earlier lost 2-1 to Lake Macquarie at Macquarie Field.

The result left Hamilton a point behind the top four after they defeated Weston 2-0 at Darling Street Oval, also on Saturday night. Scott Pettit scored in the 24th minute for Olympic with a strike and from the penalty spot in first-half injury time after Jarryd Sutherland was fouled.

At Maitland, Ryan Clarke scored off a goalmouth scramble at a Matt Thompson corner in 25th minute. Liam Thornton made it 2-0 in the 63rd off a Thompson free kick.

Broadmeadow were assured of a finals spot and rested players ahead of their FFA Cup round of 16 game against Bentleigh Greens on Tuesday night. They finished second on 35 points and meet Maitland in the two-leg semi-finals.

Jaffas dropped to fourth and will play premiers Edgeworth (43), who finish against Valentine at CB Complex on Sunday.

Luke Remington crossed for Tom Waller to score with a header in 28th minute for Jaffas. However, the visitors’ fortunes changed with they lost speedster Ridge Mapu to a serious knee injury in the 54th minute.

Paul Sichalwe equalised in the 74th minute and captain Sam Walker slotted the matchwinner with a right-foot free kick into the top-left corner of goals in the 90th.

The goal capped the league’s scoring title for Walker, who scored 16, two clear of Magic’s James Virgili and Kale Bradbery.

Charlestown finished sixth on 31 points after a 3-2 win over the Jets Youth on Saturday.