Muswellbrook Eagles show steel against Hamilton Azzuri with comeback away victory

HALFWAY THERE: Defenders Isaac Howard and Nathan Royal have been crucial in the Muswellbrook Eagles remaining unbeaten at the season's halfway mark.
HALFWAY THERE: Defenders Isaac Howard and Nathan Royal have been crucial in the Muswellbrook Eagles remaining unbeaten at the season's halfway mark.

HOME at last. After securing another strong victory against Hamilton Azzurri at the weekend, the Muswellbrook Eagles will play their first match on the main ground at Victoria Park this weekend boasting an unbeaten record.

Despite having hosted three home matches already this season, they have been forced to use the top field after resurfacing on the bottom pitch took longer than expected.

The new turf is set to be tested first under lights, where the Friday all-age side will tackle bottom-placed Mayfield Junior, which presents them with a golden opportunity to christen it with a victory.

It's also a crucial game in the context of the year as they sit fifth after a loss to Toronto Awaba at the weekend.

But, all eyes will be on the Saturday all-age squad, who is positioned five points clear on top of the ladder after their hardest fought win of the season.

Going 1-0 down early on, incredibly the first time they'd trailed for 2019, the Eagles scrapped their way back into the game just ahead of half-time via a classy lofted goal from Andrew Spradbrow.

The performance lifted after the break with central midfielder Lindsey Smith and star wingman Kurt Huber getting more of the ball and combining to add a second.

The latter added to his tally again later in the match with a powerful strike across the box and into the bottom corner, which gave the team some breathing room.

However, the home side put up a fight on their club's "Old Boys Day", and brought the margin back to one after a scramble in the penalty box led to a simple headed finish.

Cheered on by a raft of spectators, the Azzurri pushed hard but ultimately fell short as the Eagles defended in numbers and protected their unbeaten record, which now sits at six wins and a draw.

Challengers Lambton Jaffas and Lake Macquarie drew in a six-goal thriller, which extended Muswellbrook's lead at the top of the table, while Medowie defeated Cooks Hill 1-0 and Dudley Redhead beat South Wallsend 3-1.

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