The opening round of the Northern NSW NPL season was held over the weekend, with NCF squads travelling to Newcastle to take on Adamstown Rosebud FC at Speers Point.
The matches marked the first National Premier League experience for North Coast Football, and in what could have been a harsh eye-opener for our inexperienced players, all three teams not only held their own against tough Newcastle opposition, but at times dominated and played the better football.
All three sides can hold their heads high after strong performances in Newcastle. The Under 13’s squad beat Adamstown 7-3, whilst both the 14’s and 15’s went down 1-4.
The day kicked off at 5am as the NCF bus started in Grafton and made it’s way south, picking up the 48 players and driving through to Newcastle for a 1pm kick off.
The teams made it to Newcastle by 11.30am and the 13’s and 15’s squads prepared for a 1pm kickoff.
The 13’s started the game well, and went in at halftime with a 2-0 lead with Baden Rees & Charlie Kelly scoring.
In the second half the 13’s scored 5 more goals with Harrison Colyer & Kyan Page scoring doubles & Jacob Field scoring one. The game ended 7-3, a massive performance and result for our young 13’s squad.
All of the boys played good football and most impressively they played as a team.
The U15’s played at the same time, going down 1-4 in a more even contest than the score sound. Adamstown 15’s were clearly a well drilled side, and punished our errors, something that our boys will learn to do with experience. We still managed a goal, and probably should have had a few more.
Once those fixtures were complete, the 14’s took to the field for the last match of the day. Coach Adrian Pickup was proud of his teams performance and hinted that the scoreline did not reflect the game.
“When the opposition coach comes up to you and says that the score was flattering for us (Adamstown) and you guys are going to cause teams a lot of trouble this year, you know, what else can you say.”
“We completely dominated the first half, at the end of the game we had 15 shots, 10 on target, and we scored 1 – Adamstown had 5 shots, 4 on target, and they scored 4, so we were unlucky. The boys were devastated but I couldn’t be more proud, for their first game in the NPL, they were fantastic!”
The 14’s dominated the first half, playing with high intensity and controlling possession, though they conceded an early goal. Harrison O’Garey scored within 30 seconds of coming on the pitch to level the scores, and although they had many more chances to score, the match ended 4-1 to Adamstown.
With our first match under our belts, we now set our sights on the future. Watch this space!