Justin Broadley.The Maitland Magpies have all but secured third position in the first division after demolishing Thornton 7-0 on Sunday.

A Luke Lawless hat-trick along with goals from Daniel McGovern, Justin Broadley, Evan Ellenbacher and Greg Mudd secured the three points for the high-flying Magpies who now enter the final two weeks of the regular season with a punishing schedule.

After the win against Thornton, Maitland now play Toronto-Awaba tonight at Cooks Square Park before hosting Cessnock City on Sunday, Belmont-Swansea next Tuesday night and Adamstown Rosebud next Sunday which will see the Magpies play five games in 15 days.

Captain Matt Stonham believes that while the fixture hasn’t been kind to his team, the Magpies have what it takes to start building momentum before the finals.

“The win on the weekend was exactly what we needed to get a bit of a roll on,” Stonham said.

“We’ve got Toronto Tuesday night and have a chance to determine who finishes fourth, we’ve got a couple of tough games and those two teams (Cessnock and Toronto) will come out kicking and screaming trying to get the three points.”

Maitland’s seven goal romp over their local rivals sees them move to 35 points, six behind Adamstown in second and six in front of fourth placed Toronto.

With a game in hand over both those teams, Stonham said the win on the weekend was much needed.

“We were still a bit patchy, we’d play 10 or 15 minutes of good football then drop off for five,” Stonham said.

“The first half we were good, we had a lot of energy and completed a lot of passes even though the pitch was quite slippery.”

While Stonham had one of his quieter days in goal, Maitland welcomed back David Mudd into the starting team along with Justin Broadley in the middle of the park.

Mudd managed 70 minutes before being substituted and Stonham was happy with the dynamic midfielders contribution.

“For Muddy it’s all about getting minutes under his belt,” Stonham said.

“We’ve got so many games in the next few weeks I think him and Jutty (Broadley) will be peaking at the right time just as we head into the semis.”

Maitland host Toronto-Awaba tonight at Cooks Square Park.

First grade kick off is at 8pm.

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