Match of the Round
Singleton Strikers 0 drew with Thornton Redbacks 0
Sunday 29th April, 2:30 pm, Howe Park
Nothing could separate the Strikers and the Redbacks this weekend as both sides were forced to share the points in a game where the crowd didn’t see any goals but did see a whole lot of tense, exciting football.
During the week Thornton made a new, key signing with Nick Thompson (Maitland). Thompson was slotted straight into the Redbacks’ defence and came agonisingly close to a debut goal when he launched the ball from long range only for Singleton goalkeeper Corey Cleaver to desperately tip it over the bar.
Both defences reigned supreme in the first half, and although Thornton and Singleton both saw chances, neither set of forwards could find a way through their oppositions’ backline.
Singleton’s key forward Joe Civello opened the second half narrowly missing from close range, and soon later a Jackson Cox free kick almost found the back of the net as well.
Thornton wasn’t without their chances though as Trent Partridge found himself in an interesting position, but his shot was ultimately saved by Cleaver.
Down the other end, Thornton’s goalkeeper James Wand was doing his best to keep a clean sheet and the scores level by denying Civello and Nathan Hall on multiple occasions and ultimately being the difference between a draw and a loss for his side as neither team could manage a breakthrough.
Singleton coach David Willoughby praised his side for their performance, suggesting that the only thing that didn’t go right for them was the end result.
“My team’s performance was outstanding,” Willoughby said.
“We weren’t caught on the break at all and we didn’t lose possession of the ball cheaply -We were very good.”
“We dominated the game and managed the game very well…it was a great result.”
Thornton’s coach Gary Wand agreed with Willoughby confessing that his Redbacks team just wasn’t good enough to collect the victory and had things to work on for next week.
“We were lucky to get a point,” Wand said.
“We couldn’t keep the ball, we were flat and not patient.”
“We only had about one or two chances. They were by far the better side in my book.”
Belmont-Swansea United 2 (Joel Shearer x2) drew with New Lambton FC 2 (Kieran Quadrelli, Riley Taylor)
Saturday 28th April, 2:30 pm, Blacksmiths Oval
After the recent mid-week announcement of Jim Foley taking over as head coach, New Lambton was looking to continue their winning ways against a desperate, indigent Belswans team, but instead, both teams walked away with a point each.
Belswans’ disappointing attack had been one of their main issues, hence the mid-week signing of Klaudon Ahmataj (South Cardiff), but it was their defence that let them down early when a defensive mistake led to a Kieran Quadrelli goal in less than ninety seconds.
New Lambton continued to create chances through Luke Jovcevski, Riley Taylor and Tom Davies but it was Ammon Currie who made the significant impact in the match, however, it was not a positive one for his side.
After blatantly pulling Joel Shearer back in the box in a clear goal-scoring opportunity, Currie was shown a red card and Shearer levelled the game from the penalty spot.
New Lambton continued to attack though, and Taylor found the back of the net, taking his tally to seven in seven games, and putting his side into the lead just before the break.
The second half opened with club-captain Shearer heading home a goal, but for the remaining time in the game, Belswans weren’t able to find another despite creating numerous amounts of clear chances, leaving coach Josh Rufo and the rest of the squad extremely frustrated.
Both teams now continue to sit on the bottom of the table – a place many never would have predicted at the start of the year.
Cooks Hill United 3 (Reid Murray, Nick Russell, Daniel Johnson) def. Cessnock City Hornets 1 (Thomas Stewart)
Saturday 28th April, 2:30 pm, Newcastle Athletics Field
Having struggled to show signs in recent weeks of the same team that won the competition in 2017, Cooks Hill bounced back with a strong victory against a travelling Cessnock.
Missing a few young players due to the Groovin the Moo music festival, the Hornets struggled to start quickly, and the Cookers took advantage and the first goal came from a beautiful strike from captain Daniel Johnson.
In reply, Cessnock created some opportunities, but some key saves from Cooks Hill goalkeeper Jake Hamilton, kept the away side out and his team in front as they headed in for half-time.
In the second half, an early second goal to Cooks Hill put Cessnock onto the back-foot and forced them to push multiple players forward in the attempt to salvage the game.
Thomas Stewart put the Hornets back in the game, however, the home team grabbed a brace, and the eventual victory to maintain their spot at the top of the tree.
Cessnock coach Brendan Slade admitted his side just weren’t able to contend with Cooks Hill’s intensity for the whole game.
“We need to improve on keeping the intensity up for the full 90.”
“We are creating chances but sometimes we just making that low percentage pass or it’s a terrible cross. Little areas like that is where we need to improve on.”
Toronto Awaba Stags FC 0 def. by South Cardiff FC 8 (Nathan McCallister x4, Daniel Wells x2, Aaron Gunn, Troy Runge)
Saturday 28th April, 2:30 pm, Lyall Peacock Field
Coming off a great win against Cooks Hill last weekend, South Cardiff continued their winning ways in spectacular fashion by defeating a depleted Toronto away from home, with a massive, unforgiven score-line.
The Stags featured much of their top side out due to the Groovin The Moo music festival and it forced club captain and usual goalkeeper Blake Redman to shockingly play up front, with young keeper Josh Masters taking his place in goals.
To make matters worse, a first-half red card to Josh Bruce saw Toronto fall to ten men, however surprisingly only went into the break down 1-0.
In the second half, however, South Cardiff completely capitalised on the advantages given to them and ran out quickly to a four-goal lead as they headed into the final ten minutes.
There the Gunners maintained their dominance right until the end and barraged home four more in the remaining minutes to solidify a resounding victory.
Wallsend FC 5 (Sam Bradshaw x2, Ty Goldsmith, Wez Pryce, Travis McCabe) def. Kahibah FC 3 (Tom Butzmann x2, Murray Leyland)
Sunday 29th April, 2:30 pm, The Gardens
Fresh off the bye, the Red Devils have retained their undefeated start to the year with a high-scoring victory against a poor Kahibah team that continues to underperform.
Wallsend flew out of the gates quickly with a goal to their new strike weapon Ty Goldsmith in under two minutes, before Wez Pryce scored a beautiful headed goal just a few minutes later.
Kahibah attempted to keep the ball and regain control, but the Red Devils’ attacking force was too much to handle for the Black & Greens as both Travis McCabe and Sam Bradshaw both scored classy goals to affirm their dominance and give them an unassailable lead.
A penalty was given for handball which was nicely slotted away by German import Tom Butzmann to spark some potential hope for the away side. However, that light was soon put out by Wallsend when Sam Bradshaw grabbed his second to give his team a 5-1 lead going into the break.
In a desperate attempt to get back into the game, Kahibah sent multiple players up into attack and managed to find another two goals – the first scored the penalty spot once again from Butzmann, and the second coming from Murray Leyland.
The deficit was just too much for Kahibah though, and Wallsend walked away with the points, retaining their unbeaten start to the year and their spot in the top four.
Wallsend coach Ben Edwards praised his squad’s offensive display and stated that although they were again beaten and poor in the second half, that getting the win was the all-important aspect.
“It was outstanding how we came out and pressed and won the ball. That may have taken it out of us in the second half too because we did come out so quickly and so intense in the first half,” Edwards said.
“It is always hard to defend and continue to play to your game-plan when teams throw five or six forward.”
“The key is to score more goals than the other team though, so if we do that, I’m not worried.”
West Wallsend Bluebells SFC had the bye.