Broadmeadow coach Ruben Zadkovich believes news of his departure at season's end may be affecting his squad after they slid out of the top four with a 3-2 loss to derby rivals Hamilton on Sunday.
The defending NNSW NPL champions were fourth on 32 points before the weekend's catch-up games and dropped to sixth, with two rounds remaining, after Lambton Jaffas (34) defeated Lake Macquarie 1-0 and Charlestown (35) beat the Jets Youth 2-0 on Sunday.
Hamilton led 3-0 inside 22 minutes, starting with a special strike from Shinichi Kawachi in just the second. The Japanese attacker gave keeper Paul Bitz no chance with the shot into the top-right corner from well outside the 18-yard box.
Olympic went 2-0 up in the sixth minute with an own goal turned in off Marcus Duncan's back-post header at a free kick. Reece Pettit then exposed poor Magic marking again with a far-post header at a corner.
Broadmeadow hit back through John Majurovski in the 28th minute off Ryan Ensor's cross.
James Virgili had Magic back in the contest in the 59th minute with a follow-up shot after Kale Bradbery's strike was blocked. However, Olympic, who have long been out of the finals race, held Magic out as they pushed for an equaliser with a strong wind at their back.
The loss follows a 1-1 draw with Weston and 2-0 loss to Jaffas since the announcement that Zadkovich would not return as coach in 2020.
Poor defence at set-pieces, leg injuries to Virgili and Ensor, the absence of Cody Carroll (personal reasons), Matt Hoole and Hayden Seaton (suspended), and the denial of a late penalty on Sunday only added to Zadkovich's frustrations.
"The bounce of the ball is not going our way at the moment, but the good teams find a way to win," Zadkovich said. "I think maybe the fact I'm not there next year is affecting the boys. Maybe they're a bit disappointed.
"Maybe it's all those changes mixed in with guys suspended, and new guys in the line-up today. But we'll dig in and fight hard. There's still two games to play and everything to play for."
Broadmeadow finish the season against the Jets Youth and Charlestown.
For Hamilton, the win was a positive in an otherwise disappointing season. They rose to seventh on 22 points.
"We're in the middle of negotiations with players inside and outside the club so it was a good time to show what we have," coach Peter McGuinness said. "I think it was good food for thought for the club and everyone involved, because there's a good football team there. They've just got to realise their potential."
At Macquarie Field, Anthony Wood finished a one-on-one chance for Jaffas in the 55th minute off a through ball from Luke Remington. Jaffas rose to fourth on 34, ahead of Weston on goals.
At Lisle Carr Oval, Rene Ferguson scored with a header off Riley McNaughton's cross in the 73rd minute before Rio Nishiura got in behind to score in the 88th after Matt Tull won possession. The Blues are third on 35, behind Edgeworth on goals.
Maitland lead on 37.
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