The Weston Bears came from behind twice to claim a point in an even contest against Lake Macquarie at Rockwell Automation Park on Sunday.
Lake Macquarie hit the ground running in their return to the PS4 NPL scoring first.
Sam Walker scuffed his shot, but fortunately for him, it ricocheted off the Bears defence and straight into the path of former Maitland Magpie Justin Broadley who swept home from the middle of the box.
Five minutes later though and the Bears were given a chance to equalise after being awarded a penalty. Jake Millsteed stepped up and slotted his penalty past Lakes keeper Benn Kelly and into the bottom right corner.
However, the Roosters were back in front before half-time when Broadley played a pinpoint ball to Steve Rospigliosi who was charging down the left flank. Rospigliosi hit a first-time shot low and hard with his left boot inside Andrew Goldman’s near post and the visitors hit the front once more.
Lakes took a 2-1 lead into the sheds at half-time, but, when they returned Weston found another equaliser just seven minutes into the half.
Weston’s James Thompson was very impressive and it was a ghosting run by him that drew a free kick about 20 metres out.
Jamie Byrnes hit a sweet free kick from outside the box on the left of goal, straight into the right corner to get Weston back into the match at 2-2.
Both sides threatened for the remainder of the match, but neither could find a winner in steamy conditions at Weston, as they shared the points.
The ball seemingly defied physics when a great Nick Thompson run and rocket left foot shot hit the woodwork, fell favourably but could not be forced home.
A further opportunity arose when the Lakes keeper flapped at a cross with the Bears unable to convert at the back post. Late in the game a glancing header by Weston’s Jake Barners flashed across the Lakes goal.
The under 20s started their campaign with a fine 1-0 win even though down to 10 men.
The under 18s after taking the lead conceded a late penalty to eventually go down 1-2.
The Bears youth teams all had wins: U13 Bears 2-1 Blues; U14 Bears 5-0 Blues; U15 Bears 2-1 Blues; U16 Bears 7-0 Blues
Weston travels to Magic Park to meet Broadmeadow for round two.
Redbacks sting Hornets
The Thornton Redbacks took their frustration of missing last year’s Northern League One finals out on a young Censsock City Hornets with a 5-1 win at Turner Park.
Cessnock’s score came from a Thornton own-goal as the Redbacks skipper Nathan McAllister led his side’s assault with a hat-trick.
Former Weston Bear Jamie Subat scored a stunner and Jesse Smith completed the rout with a last minute goal.
In the youth ranks, the Redbacks defeated Cessnock City 3-0 in the 23s.
The Hornets went down 4-3 in the 19s. The 17s had a 2-all draw and the 15s were on the end of a 5-0 cleansweep by the young Redbacks.
Cessnock will look to bounce back against the Singleton Strikers at Turner Park on Sunday.
The Strikers were defeated 3-0 by Belmont Swansea United FC at Macquarie Field on Saturday.