Match of the Round
Belmont Swansea United 1-0 Thornton Redbacks
Thornton coach Scott Winslade said he would take a number of positives despite the Redbacks going down 1-0 to Belmont Swansea United in their belated season opener on Sunday.
The match of the round saw a passionate and spirited game played out at Blacksmiths Oval. With both sides washed out in round one BelSwans and Thornton were looking for an early three points to kick start their respective seasons.
An even contest was decided by a late BelSwans winner after the hosts had showed good discipline at the back. Belmont goalkeeper Kye Abrahams made two impressive saves to keep his side in a winning position and earn himself a clean sheet.
There was plenty of passion coming from the sideline and on the field with a number of yellow cards shown to each team in the last 10 minutes of the game.
“I’m not happy with the result but we took some positives from it,” Thornton co-coach Scott Winslade said.
“With the wet weather and broken up pre-season we were pretty underdone. It was a tough one to take. I believe we were the better side for the majority of the game.
“The boys deserved something out of today but they brush themselves down and get back into training and the game on Friday.”
Thornton will have a quick turnaround with their round seven game against South Cardiff at Thornton Park brought forward to Friday.
It was a confidence-boosting win for BelSwans in Andre Gumprecht’s first game as coach. BelSwans will play Wallsend FC in their postponed round one clash on Friday before being handed the round three bye.
Toronto Awaba FC 1-3 Singleton Strikers
Reigning champions Singleton got their season off and running with a 3-1 victory over Toronto Awaba on Sunday.
The Strikers bounced back from their opening round defeat to reigning premiers New Lambton with a strong response as they took a 2-0 lead to half-time at Lyall Peacock Field thanks to a pair of Hayden Nicol penalties.
Joseph Civello added a third goal in the second half before Toronto Awaba responded with a penalty of their own late on.
Singleton were missing Jackson Cox and Tristan Muir as they were unavailable due to playing in cricket grand finals. That gave an opportunity to youngsters Ethan Garrington and Marlow Court-Kriesch, with the pair stepping in and taking their chances.
The Strikers had an advantage over Toronto having played in round one, with the Stags in action for the first time following their opening round wash out.
“The win will give some the team some confidence,” Singleton coach Brendan Slade said.
“It was good to have Ben Henry back in the team [and] Lachlan Nicol was the best player on the pitch today.”
Slade said Singleton would look to focus on their defensive shape having conceded four goals in their opening two games ahead of their round three clash with Kahibah.
Toronto Awaba will look to bounce back when they take on West Wallsend in their rescheduled round one match on Monday before they host Wallsend FC in round three.
Cessnock City Hornets FC 0-1 South Cardiff
South Cardiff coach Daryl McAllister was delighted as his side left it late to score a 1-0 win over Cessnock City on Sunday.
It was another close contest at Turner Park with the Gunners finally taking the lead inside the final 10 minutes.
The impressive Regan Black played the ball to Nathan McAllister who made his way through Cessnock’s defence before slotting home.
South Cardiff were denied a late second with the match stopped due to a head clash.
“I am very happy with the result and happy with the performance,” South Cardiff coach Daryl McAllister said.
“Either side could have won. Cessnock had their moments and we were lucky to get the win. We could have done better in last 10 minutes. We are a bit behind where want to be.
“It was hard to find a bad player today. It was a good one to get out of the way and get the points.”
South Cardiff will play their round seven match clash against Thornton on Friday, with the Hornets to have the Easter weekend off before hosting West Wallsend in round three.
Wallsend FC 1-2 New Lambton FC
Reigning premiers New Lambton needed Riley Taylor’s injury-time penalty to maintain their 100 per cent record as the Eagles left it late to down Wallsend FC on Sunday night.
New Lambton had taken the lead from the spot on the half hour mark when Wallsend had a player sent off for handling the ball following an Eagles corner.
Taylor gave the visitors the lead with his penalty, with Wallsend goalkeeper Jakeb Keating keeping his side in the contest with a number of fine saves.
The Red Devils then drew level with a penalty of their own which was awarded following another handball at a corner.
Sam Bradshaw stepped up to dispatch the ball beyond Alex Bozinovski to give 10-man Wallsend hope of a huge upset.
But the Eagles left it late to get themselves across the line, with Taylor scoring his third goal in the opening two rounds to secure the points.
New Lambton coach Tom Davies was left frustrated as his side created a number of chances but failed to take them.
“We need to be more clinical,” Davies said.
“We are happy to get three points but it wasn’t our best game.
“I couldn’t fault the effort from the boys but we needed to be smarter in front of goal.”
New Lambton have a week off over the Easter long weekend but return in round three to play Thornton.
Wallsend coach Craig Tslembis was very happy with his side’s performance but disappointed not to get anything out of the match.
“It was disappointing to lose on the last kick of the game. We need to keep up the effort and commitment. We showed what the club is about with the fighting result,” Tslembis said.
“New Lambton are the benchmark. To match them physically we were very happy and now we look forward to bringing on the rest of the season. Our back line did well against one of the best front lines in the competition.”
Wallsend will play their washed out round one clash against Belmont Swansea United on Friday, with the Red Devils looking to be more physical on set pieces and play smarter to ensure they do not give away cheap free kicks.
West Wallsend v Kahibah FC was washed out
Cooks Hill United had the bye