NPL: Tight win over Lakes

Up against a side anchored to the bottom of the ladder with four rounds of the NPL Northern NSW played, the Jets Youth were favourites heading into Saturday night’s clash with Lakes.

In the past four matches between these sides, 26 goals had been scored so many thought the back of the net might have been ripe to ripple a few times – but that wasn’t the case.

Ultimately, it was a single goal in the first half from Maki Petratos which secured the young Jets their second win, and a first clean sheet of the season.

The result sees the boys move up into third place on the ladder, level on points with Lambton and Edgeworth in first and second respectively.

Petratos had a good chance to open the scoring in the first ten minutes when he was put through by Jack Simmons, but Lakes ‘keeper Stuart Plant was out fast to smother the danger.

Thomas Beecham denied the home side a certain goal with 20 minutes played, clearing a cleared a Campbell Ross chip off the line to keep the scores level.

Lakes were earning their fair share of corners and free kicks, but it was a Jets counter-attack from one of those set pieces which opened the scoring.

With Matt Barkho played the ball with his back to goal, the striker stood his ground and turned the onrushing defender with ease before playing in Jack Simmons.

The Australia U/17s representative charged into the box before squaring a ball to Maki Petratos – who took a touch, steadied himself, and slotted one into the back of the net to make it 1-0.

A fantastic save from Noah James up the other end just a few minutes from half-time to deny Mitch Hunter from close range kept the Jets in front going into the break.

Sam Donnallan had a goalbound shot deflect out for a corner with 69 minutes played, before an outstretched arm from Noah James denied Sam Walker a goal from a free kick shortly after.

Lakes had a fantastic chance to equalise through Mitch Hunter late on but his shot went over the top, securing all three points for Labi’s lads.