MAITLAND produced an Edgeworth special on the Eagles to score twice late and win 2-1 on Friday before Lambton Jaffas went top of the table with a fighting effort of their own.
The Magpies looked set for defeat at Cooks Square Park as the four-time defending Northern NSW NPL premiers led 1-0 courtesy of a 19th-minute goal from Josh Cairelli off a Josh Rose cross.
The Eagles went close to a second when Sam Maxwell hit the crossbar in the 72nd and Matt Trott dived to knock wide a free kick from Dom Bizzarri in the 76th.
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But the visitors could not find the clincher and paid the price in the 89th minute when Liam Thornton crossed to substitute Sean Pratt for the header. It was Pratt's first game back from laser eye surgery.
Ryan Clarke, in his first start of the year, delivered the winner in the 92nd when his shot from a tight angle went through the hands of Josh Low for an own goal.
Under coach Damian Zane, Edgeworth have consistently scored late winners across the past four seasons. Maitland counterpart Mick Bolch was pleased to see his side turn the tables in their first home game with help from late substitutes Pratt, Alex Read and Tom Duggan.
"I've got to give credit to my boys, they just keep going and going and they found a way to win," Bolch said.
"The last few years Edgy have won those games in the last 10 minutes because their bench changes games, and today I thought our bench changed the game."
Zane said his side were gutted just to give away the equaliser and the loss was hard to take.
"I thought in the second half we were really good but we just didn't have that killer blow," Zane said.
"They looked off their feet a bit but I thought their subs injected a bit into them. Duggan gave them some legs and Pratt more so. He gave them a bit of presence and he got the header."
The Jaffas' 2-1 win over Weston at Edden Oval put them equal with Edgeworth on 13. Lambton lead on goals and have two games in hand.
The Jaffas added to their unbeaten start to the season when they held on with 10 men after Bren Hammel was shown a second yellow in the 21st minute for kicking Jordan Jackson in retaliation.
Hammel had set up the first goal in the seventh minute when his shot was saved into the path of Luke Remington, who tapped in.
Regan Lundy equalised in the 15th minute but Braedyn Crowley finished a length of the field attack in the 17th minute for 2-1.
The Bears thought they equalised in the seventh minute of stoppage time but they were denied for offside.
Earlier at Macquarie Field, Lake Macquarie secured their first points of the season with a 2-1 win over Adamstown.
Matt Sokulsky put Adamstown ahead in the 62nd minute but Sam Walker stole the ball and finished one-on-one in the 64th minute for the equaliser. Substitute Nick Charlesworth scored the winner in the 72nd.
On Saturday, Hamilton host the Jets Youth at 2.30pm and Broadmeadow welcome Valentine at 5pm.