NNSW NPL: Valentine pip Jets Youth to jump to top of table and Eagles win with stunning strikesvideo

VALENTINE coach Darren Sills knew hisside had made big strides in the openingrounds of the the Northern NSW National Premier League, but there was one element missing.
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JUST AHEAD: Valentine’s Josh Murray, a former Newcastle Jets Youth player, wins a header over Kieran Hayes on Saturday in their round eight NPL 1-0 victory at Cahill Oval. Picture: Marina Neil

That box has now been ticked after Valentine recorded a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Jets Youth team at Cahill Oval on Saturday.

The victory, Valentine’s fifth, movedthem to 15 points and the ladder lead before Sunday’s games.

WORK HORSE: Matt Paul battles Jackson Frendo for possession on Saturday. His first-half strike was enough to secure Valentine a 1-0 win over the Newcastle Jets Youth team at Cahill Oval. Picture: Marina Neil

“Good teams are able to grind out a result,” Sills said. “I said to the boys in the sheds after the game we must be a good team because we went all right today.”

A Matt Paul goal in the 40thminute was the difference against a Jets outfit that gave as good as they got.

“I seriously don’t know why the Jets are at the bottom,” Sills said. “They have a lot of good engines in them and their system is quite good.We were very happy to get away with the result.”

Paul was again among Valentine’s best and Sills said his goal typified what he meant to the team.

“Matty Paul was outside the box calling for the ball,” Sills said. “Scott McGinley slipped a ball to Alex Tserepas out wide. Matt Paul made a late run to the far post and tapped in a cross.I can’t believe he got there. His engines are amazing.”

The win was Valentine’s fourth straight and a confidence boost heading into a testing fortnight against Hamilton Olympic (home)and Edgeworth (away).

“The main thing for us is that we have won four in a rowand had three clean sheets in a row,” Sills said. “That is what we pride ourselves on. Last year we conceded so many goals (43), and we are working really hard to turn that around.

“The next two weeks will be a big test but they are the games you want to play. It doesn’t take much to get the boys up for that. Playing them off the back of four wins in a row has to help.”

Edgeworth beat Charlestown 2-0 on Saturday night thanks to cracking long-range strikes from Kieran Sanders and Brody Taylor at Jack McLaughlan Oval.

Sanders’swerving, dipping strike from outside the box gave the Eagles the lead in the 36thminute and Taylor hit his own highlight-reel shot in the 63rd.

The win, which followed a 1-0 midweek victory over the Jets Youth, lifted Edgeworth to 12 points from seven games.

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