Match of the Round
Toronto Awaba FC v Wallsend FC
The Gardens, Sunday 5pm
Wallsend coach Craig Tslembis wants his side to focus on putting in a 90-minute performance when the Red Devils take on Toronto Awaba in the Match of the Round on Sunday.
The round three clash promises to be a battle with both sides coming off a busy schedule, playing their third games in a week.
The Stags went down 4-1 to West Wallsend in their rescheduled round one clash on Monday night.
That defeat was quickly followed by another, with Toronto Awaba falling 7-3 to Belmont Swansea United in their FFA Cup third round match on Wednesday night.
Wallsend will also be playing their third game of the week as part of their disrupted start to the season.
Wallsend played their rescheduled round game against BelSwans on Good Friday, going down 5-0.
The game was scoreless at half-time but the second half was what Tslembis described as “six minutes of madness” as the goals from BelSwans came in quick succession.
Wallsend were reduced to 10 men after their captain Zac Parkes was sent off.
Parkes sat out Wallsend’s convincing victory over Zone Football League club Mayfield United JSFC in the FFA Cup third round on Wednesday night and so will be available for the clash against Toronto Awaba.
“I am happy with the way we are playing. We just have to be smarter and not fall into lapses of concentration. We have to play the whole 90 minutes” Tslembis said.
Kahibah FC v Singleton Strikers
Kahibah Oval, Saturday 4pm
Coming off a busy schedule, this weekend’s game will be one of many games played in quick succession for Kahibah.
The green and black played their rescheduled round one game last Wednesday night where they went down 3-0 to Cessnock City.
“We were a bit rusty. It wasn’t a good start for us,” Kahibah coach Mat Moncrieff said.
Kahibah gained revenge over Cessnock in their FFA Cup third round clash on Wednesday night, beating the Hornets 5-2 ahead of their clash with Singleton this weekend.
Singleton also played an FFA Cup third round match during the week, progressing to the fourth round with a 2-1 victory over fellow HIT Northern League One side Thornton on Tuesday night.
It was a tightly contested match which will see three of their starting side missing the Kahibah match after they were sent off.
Coach Brendan Slade said the Strikers would still have a competitive side against Kahibah after resting and rotating his squad for the FFA Cup.
“We have a couple of tough games coming including Kahibah. We need to take it one game at a time as it is still early days,” Slade said.
Thornton Redbacks FC v New Lambton FC
Thornton Park, Saturday 5pm
Thornton coach Gary Wand wants his side to continue their strong form in their third game in eight days when they host New Lambton on Saturday.
The Redbacks thrashed South Cardiff 6-1 in their round seven game which was brought forward to Good Friday last week.
“I am happy with the result. We needed it after the BelSwans game,” Wand said.
Thornton also played Singleton in their FFA Cup third round clash on Tuesday night, with the Redbacks going down 2-1 to the reigning HIT Northern League One champions.
Thornton played a composite team of different grades with three under-17s players getting a run in the later stages of the game.
“I am happy with how the team went. We got out of it what we wanted and got some players more experienced,” Wand said.
Turning his attention to New Lambton, Wand said he was “looking forward to a really tough game. We want to keep the form from the South Cardiff game going.”
New Lambton also played their FFA Cup third round match on Tuesday, thrashing Garden Suburb 8-0.
The reigning premiers will look to continue their 100 per cent record with two wins from their opening two matches to sit second on the table, one place behind Belmont Swansea on goal difference.
Cessnock City FC v West Wallsend SFC
Turner Park, Sunday 2.30pm
With one win each to their names so far this season, it should be a tight match as Cessnock match up against West Wallsend at Turner Park on Sunday.
Cessnock have played Kahibah twice since their round two match, downing the Rams 3-0 in their rescheduled round one match before going down to Kahibah in the FFA Cup on Wednesday night.
“It was a good solid performance in a tough game. The boys gave a good show and got the result [in the league match against Kahibah],” Cessnock coach Michael Gatt said.
Turning his attention to the Bluebells, Gatt said West Wallsend were “always a hard competitor and it will be a good measurement to see where we’re at.”
Coming into round three, West Wallsend have only played one game.
West Wallsend thrashed Toronto Awaba 4-1 on Monday in their rescheduled round one match in a dominant performance.
The Bluebells have made an important addition with Tom Sparre joining the club this week.
“He is ready to go and we are looking forward to seeing what he brings to training and game day,” West Wallsend coach Darren Sills said.
“Cessnock won’t be the easiest of games [but] we are looking forward to it.”
South Cardiff v Cooks Hill United FC
Ulinga Oval, Sunday 2.45pm
South Cardiff will look to bounce back from their Good Friday thrashing at the hands of Thornton when they host Cooks Hill United on Sunday.
The Gunners went down 6-1 and lost a number of key players to injury.
Cooks Hill will be desperate to kick start their campaign having yet to play a game this season.
Their round one game against Thornton was washed out before Cooks Hill were handed the round two bye.
They have also not kicked off their FFA Cup campaign with their round three clash to be played against Kurri Kurri on Tuesday.
Last season saw mixed results in this fixture with South Cardiff winning the first encounter 2-1 before Cooks Hill won the second meeting 3-1.
Belmont Swansea United have the bye