Match of the Round
Toronto Awaba FC 2-4 Wallsend FC
Wallsend secured their first win of the season on a chilly night at The Gardens on Sunday as the Red Devils thrashed Toronto Awaba 4-2 in the Match of the Round.
Wallsend were on the scoresheet in the first five minutes. A cross from the left, which was initially headed on target and saved by Toronto Awaba goalkeeper George Stephens, was then scrambled in by Wallsend’s Matt Williams.
The Red Devils took a 2-0 lead to half-time after they scored their second goal from a corner with Angus Hall getting the ball over the line.
Toronto Awaba were not without chances of their own and had two shots on target but could not get past Wallsend goalkeeper Jakeb Keating.
In the second half Wallsend were awarded a penalty after a Stags hand ball in the penalty area. Sam Bradshaw stepped up to the spot and made no mistake in converting the chance.
Bradshaw again found the back of the net to put his team 4-0 in front.
Toronto Awaba scored twice late on to reduce the deficit but it was not enough as Steve Piggott’s side slumped to a third consecutive defeat to start the season.
“We are happy with the result. The boys played very well,” Wallsend coach Craig Tslembis said.
“We controlled the game and played smart.
“We sat back at 2-0 and made some changes at half-time. This allowed us to dominate for long periods of time.”
Wallsend’s host Kahibah on Sunday with Tslembis to work on his side’s shape as they continue to build combinations with everyone getting to know each other on the field after a number of new players joined the club this year.
Toronto Awaba travel to Thornton Park to face the Redbacks in round four where they will look to pick up their first points of the season.
Kahibah FC 1-2 Singleton Strikers
The scenes were set for a glorious day of football as Kahibah hosted Singleton on Saturday afternoon.
Singleton broke the deadlock in a tight game on the half hour mark when a Jake Barner corner was headed home by captain for the day Jackson Cox.
Kahibah conceded a penalty with eight minutes to play which set piece expert Jake Barner took to the spot and finished off.
The game was not over though as Kahibah continued to attack and found a late consolation in the 90th minute as Jacob Kepreotes scored with an impressive chested half turn volley to finish the game 2-1.
“We didn’t play the best first half, we let them play. The second half we played well, only conceding off set pieces,” Kahibah coach Mat Moncrieff said.
“It’s frustrating but we move on to Wallsend.”
The aim for Kahibah heading into next week will be “keeping all the bodies fit and heading in the right direction.”
“It was disappointing not to get three points,” Moncrieff said.
Singleton were extremely happy with the result as they lined up with five players out. Three were serving suspensions from the FFA Cup during the week, one suffered a groin injury and one was at national futsal championships in Sydney.
“I am really happy with what they did,” Singleton coach Brendan Slade said.
“The young guys coming in are doing a good job. It is making it hard for selection. It was a massive effort with the amount of numbers we had down.
“We are taking it one game at a time and not getting ahead of ourselves. We have to focus on our game and keep lifting standards each game.”
Next week will be Singleton’s first game at home as they host in-form West Wallsend for the club’s annual Ladies’ Day.
Thornton Redbacks FC 1-3 New Lambton FC
New Lambton maintained their 100 per cent record to start the season after scoring a 3-1 victory over a depleted Thornton on Saturday.
Thornton were without five senior players including Ryan Broadly (injury) and Blake Thompson (holiday).
It was a competitive first half with neither side able to break the deadlock.
The first goal came from Thornton attempting to play out from the back and New Lambton’s Jeremy Judge reading the play to win the ball.
Thornton goalkeeper James Wand got a hand to Judge’s shot but was unable to stop the ball from finding its way into the goal.
A turnover in transition from Thornton saw Morgan Okeno win the ball and slot it past Wand to put New Lambton 2-0 up.
Thornton changed their formation to attack with more width which saw them get back into the game and get a goal back in the 85th minute.
Michael Foster beat three players and crossed it from a wide area, with Trent Partridge getting on the end of it to score for the Redbacks. But such was Thornton’s day, Partridge injured himself in the process of scoring and had to be substituted off.
The game wasn’t over as Okeno made another attacking break in the 90th minute with his spectacular long range shot curling into the top corner.
“It was a really good game,” Thornton co-coach Scott Winslade said.
“New Lambton are a really good side. We were able to match them for 60 minutes but they scored some really good goals. if we brought back some of our missing players it could have been a different game.
“Anyone watching got to watch a really good game.”
Thornton host Toronto Awaba next week and will focus on making sure their defensive mistakes are reduced – while hopefully seeing a number of unavailable players return.
New Lambton showed even without star attacker Riley Taylor, who was out with illness, they can still create plenty of chances and find the back of the net.
“The first half there was good intent. We just have to fix a few things,” Eagles coach Tom Davies said.
“They set up well and we didn’t create enough chances in the first half.
“We had an excellent second half. One of the best halves this year. We created lots of chances, hitting the post a few times.
“it was a good result away from home. They were tricky to beat but it was a good result overall.”
New Lambton go into the bye next week with three wins to sit at the top of the table.
Cessnock City Hornets 0-1 West Wallsend SFC
West Wallsend scored a nail-biting 1-0 victory over Cessnock City at Turner Park on Sunday.
West Wallsend’s Josh Carrol scored the only goal of the game in the final 20 minutes as the Bluebells striker beat the Hornets goalkeeper from a difficult angle on the left.
Injuries took their toll on the day for Cessnock with three missing from their FFA Cup game during the week against Kahibah including two of their fullbacks, meaning their new-look defence would be put to the test.
The injuries did not stop there with another occurring in the first eight minutes of the game forcing an early Cessnock substitution.
“The boys who stepped up and took the spots fought hard. I’m happy with them,” Hornets coach Michael Gatt said.
Young Tom Cunningham was vital for Cessnock playing almost 180 minutes of football on the day between reserve grade and first grade.
“It was a very evenly fought match that could have gone any way,” Gatt said.
Cessnock will be eager to regroup after a busy few weeks of games. They will prepare for their tough April ahead as they play Cooks Hill United, Singleton and Belmont Swansea United.
“I am very happy with the result,” West Wallsend coach Darren Sills said.
“Playing away from home at Cessnock on a cold windy day is always going to make things hard. It’s three points a lot of teams won’t get.
“I believe we dominated most of the game and deserved the win.”
West Wallsend climb to third on the table. The Bluebells play fourth-placed Singleton next week where they will try to continue their winning ways.
South Cardiff FC 1-6 Cooks Hill United
Cooks Hill United’s long delay to kick off their season was worth the wait as they thrashed South Cardiff 6-1 at Ulinga Oval on Sunday.
Jamie Burns opened the scoring for Cooks Hill, with his effort followed quickly by Alex Gillespie who headed home from a corner.
South Cardiff did not give up and got one back to see the Gunners trail 2-1.
Daniel Yaxley regained the visitors’ two-goal lead with an impressive effort, dribbling from his own half before finishing.
Dan Clements then found the back of the net by chipping the keeper from long range to put Cooks Hill 4-1 up at half-time.
Clements scored his second after the break before Jack Wetney completed the rout.
“We were worried with it being our first game. We prepared to start four weeks ago. I thought we would be a bit underdone,” Cooks Hill coach David Tanchevski said.
“It was a good all-round team performance. We were able to control the game for long periods of time.”
Cooks Hill will go from not played a game in the opening month of the competition, thanks to a wash out, a bye and a week off, to three games in a week.
Cooks Hill play their FFA Cup third round clash against Kurri Kurri JSC on Tuesday night before their round four clash with Cessnock City on Sunday.
Cody Carroll is likely to be available after overcoming injury.
South Cardiff have a tough schedule ahead as they take on second-placed Belmont Swansea United in round four on Sunday before taking on unbeaten leaders New Lambton.