DAMIAN Zane has done the maths but for now the Edgeworth coach is simply concerned about “chalking off” results.
Edgeworth recorded a hard-fought 1-0 win over a depleted Hamilton Olympic at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Sunday to move to 33 points and open a three-point gap at the top of the Northern NPL table to Lambton.
The Eagles, who have a game in hand over the Jaffas and Broadmeadow Magic (29 points), need another 10 points from five rounds to guarantee a fourth straight premiership.
“When you get top spot, you just want to consolidate it,” Zane said. “Mathematically we know what it will take [to win the premiership]. We had Hamilton today and next we have Charlestown and Maitlandm who all fighting for fourth spot. That is why it was important to get a result and chalk off another win. I’d rather be in our position but it is not over yet. We still have some work to do.”
The Jaffas routed Valentine 3-0 on Saturday to jump to second spot above Broadmeadow, who were held to a 1-all draw by Adamstown Rosebud at home.
Luke Virgili put Magic ahead in the 43rd minute. But his goal was cancelled out by former Broadmeadow striker Chris Berlin four minutes after the break.
Maitland (25 points) are fourth after second-half goals by Justin Micaleff and Sean Pratt secured a 2-0 win over the Jets at home.
Charlestown (22 points) were upset 3-0 by Weston at Bear Park. Adding to their woes was a quad injury to Kane Goodchild which takes the injury list to 10.
At Jack McLaughlan Oval, a Bailey Garland goal in the 57th minute proved the difference.
The teenage sensation pounced on a horror clearance by Olympic keeper Warren Tyler, dribbled into the box and slotted home with his left foot.
It was Garland’s third goal in three games and came after he’d twice been denied by Tyler.
“It’s just the tip of the iceberg with Bailey,” Zane said. “He is the best young finisher I have seen in the past couple of years and he is going to get better and better.”
Still it took a desperate save at the death by Josh Low to seal all three points for the home side.
Jacob Bailey climbed high to crash a header from a corner which was goal-bound, but Low dropped brilliantly to his right and turned the ball around the post.
The young shot-stopper, who was given an opportunity in the top side when Nate Cavaliere joined Victorian side Kingston City in late May, made an equally good save to deny Scott Pettit late in the first half.
“It was an all-round good team effort, capped off by Josh making a good save at the end,” Zane said.
“Playing behind our defence is not a bad gig. But you are going to have to make a couple of saves and he was fantastic.”
Olympic coach Peter McGuinness couldn’t question his side’s commitment.
“I was happy with the effort they put in, we just didn’t execute well enough,” he said.
“After going down one, we made few little structural changes and created some chances, but it didn’t fall for us.”
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