Match of the Round
Thornton FC 4-1 Cessnock City
It was a game of two halves at Thornton Park in the Match of the Round on Saturday afternoon.
It took until the stroke of half-time for the goals to start flowing. The opener came from a Thornton corner which Cessnock successfully counterattacked and found an open Zac Kronholm to put his team in the lead.
Thirteen minutes into the second half Thornton were awarded a corner which Zac Skippen headed home to level the score.
The Redbacks took the lead five minutes later as a great ball from the right was put away by Jye Mackellar.
In the 82nd minute another ball from the right side was crossed in and headed in at the back post by Mackellar.
Mackellar completed his hat-trick two minutes later as he pinched the ball from a Cessnock defender then, with only the goalkeeper to beat, put the ball away to finish the game off at 4-1.
“First half we were brilliant we led them 1-0,” Cessnock coach Michael Gatt said.
“In the second half we just lost the legs.
“We had five out from first grade and six from reserve grade so 11 of our squad out. We had players who had to back up two to three games.
“We played in high spirits but ran out of fuel and the depth was tested. It was definitely a good contest.”
Cessnock captain Greg Anderson was a 50-50 chance of playing this weekend but remained out for this match and another key player Isaac Peek was also out for the side.
Cessnock continued to pick up further injuries from the game and Gatt side they will be pushing to fill their three teams when they host Toronto Awaba next weekend.
Thornton co-coach Scott Winslade said he was not happy with his side’s first half performance.
“We dominated without creating too much and then we were sucker punched in the last five seconds,” Winslade said.
“There were choice words at half-time. It was something along the lines of the games we have lost are from situations we have put ourselves in.”
Thornton came out in the second half and were more clinical with the chances they created.
“I felt we dominated the whole game and they got us on the counter that one time.”
Singleton Strikers 4-0 South Cardiff FC
Singleton move up to fifth on the table after thrashing South Cardiff 4-0 at Howe Park on Saturday.
Stand in skipper Jackson Cox bagged himself a hat-trick while his brother Brad scored the fourth.
The first goal was created through Tristian Muir chipping the ball over the South Cardiff defence which Jackson Cox ran onto and finished.
Clayton Williams won his side a free kick in the corner of the field which Muir whipped in for Cox to head home his second goal.
The third came from another Singleton set piece from deeper in the attacking half which Muir curled around the defenders for Cox to once again head away and complete his hat-trick.
The fourth goal and final of the game was in stoppage time. Lachlan Nicol played a great switch to Ethan Garrington for him to be in on goal but unselfishly squared for Brad Cox to tap in.
“Overall it was pleasing to see the boys start banging in some goals after a frustrating last month of playing quality football without reward,” Singleton manager Luke Geipel said.
South Cardiff remain bottom of the table equal on four points with Toronto despite their 2-2 draw last weekend with West Wallsend which looked to be a hopeful sign for the team.
The Gunners host Wallsend in the Match of the Round next weekend where Wallsend will be coming off a midweek game against Cooks Hill after having the bye this weekend.
Kahibah FC 1-2 Belmont Swansea United
It was the second week in a row for Belmont Swansea United that saw a close game with a second half send-off where they were able to hold onto the win against a competitive opponent.
Kahibah showed again they a competitive side putting it to one of the top teams of the competition.
BelSwans took the lead through a Cameron Lodge goal only for Kahibah to level the score.
BelSwans’ Matty Ellis then found a winner, putting the visitors in front 2-1 to take away another three points despite again being reduced to 10 men.
“I’m very happy with the way we played. We had even more players out this weekend than we did last weekend,” Kahibah coach Mat Moncrief said.
“No excuses, we had enough clear chances to win. BelSwans always provide a tough physical game and this was no different.
“Luckily no injuries out of the game and hoping to get two or three back for next week’s battle with New Lambton who present a lot more technical game than BelSwans.”
Belmont Swansea United coach Andrew Gumprecht said he had expected a difficult challenge going up against his former club who had endured a difficult start to the campaign.
“They have quality players I believe they can beat any team on the day,” Gumprecht said.
“This game has confirmed this. They have been competitive and we kept a clear head and we aware they are able to compete in the challenge.
“I am very happy with the performance of the game.”
West Wallsend 1-2 Cooks Hill United
Cooks Hill United climbed to second with a 2-1 win over West Wallsend at Johnston Park on Sunday.
West Wallsend only had the bare 11 players but took a 1-0 lead to half-time thanks to Jed Conway’s penalty.
Cooks Hill levelled through a Jamie Byrnes penalty of his own in the second half before Byrnes added a second, his sixth goal in his last three games.
Though the visitors had to see out the game with 10 men after a player was sent off for a late challenge.
“Very happy with the performance. We had to set up defensively with the troops we had out,” West Wallsend coach Darren Sills said.
“We deserved something out of the game.”
“The effort was amazing.”
Sills praised Wes Pryce who played out of position at right back and did well.
West Wallsend will try to regroup and hope to get two players back for next week’s challenge against BelSwans, where they will travel to Blacksmith Oval on Sunday.
“It was a bit of a frustrating game,” Cooks Hill coach David Tanchevski said.
“The boys came back did well in the second half. They dominated possession and kept in it the other half.
“West Wallsend battled really well. They were organised in defence and hard to break down.”
“I am really happy with performance. We limited their chances which is what I asked.”
It was not all good news for Cooks Hill with Tommy Smart injured.
Cooks Hill play mid-week at The Gardens against Wallsend before traveling to Singleton to take on the Strikers next weekend.
Toronto Awaba FC 2-4 New Lambton FC
New Lambton maintained their unbeaten start to the season and their place at the top of the table with a 4-2 victory over Toronto Awaba on Sunday.
Tenth-placed Toronto Awaba hosted top of the table New Lambton in a hard-fought match and fast game from start to finfish. It was a competitive match which Toronto forced New Lambton to work hard until the last stages of the game for the win.
Toronto were first to score with a goal from a corner put away by Jasper Offen.
New Lambton levelled before half-time through Tom Siderovski finishing off a cross.
New Lambton took the lead through a Tyson Cummings goal in the second half.
The Stags equalised with 10 minutes to play, only for the visitors to regain the lead through a Morgan Okeno header.
New Lambton won a penalty late on which Riley Taylor converted to finish the game 4-2.
“We played really well for a team for a team at the bottom of the table,” Toronto Awaba coach Lino Gatti said.
The stand out players for the side included Offen and Bailey Snowden.
“The boys are shattered. They gave it their all,” Gatti said.
“They left it all on the park. They played for the whole 90 minutes, not like last week. They kept competing which is the first time they have since I have started coaching them.”
Toronto travel to Cessnock next week where they will take on the Hornets who sit one point above them on the table.
“We stole the game in the last five or so minutes,” New Lambton coach Tom Davies said.
“It was one of [Toronto’s] best performances. To their credit in last few weeks they have pushed the top three teams. It was still good to get the three points.
“The boys showed that they keep pushing to get a result and they keep the momentum going. Overall I’m disappointed in terms of the first half and conceding soft goals but happy to get the result in the end.
“It is matter of being more focused in key moments going into next weekend’s game against Kahibah who had a good performances against BelSwans and Cooks Hill where they have been trying to knock the top teams off.”
WallsendFC had the bye