Match of the Round
Cooks Hill United 1-5 New Lambton FC
Reigning premiers New Lambton moved three points clear at the top of the HIT Northern League One table with a 5-1 victory over Cooks Hill United on Saturday.
A fast and physical start to the game ensured a tight contest until the 17th minute when Cooks Hill’s Daniel Yaxley was shown a straight red card for a last man challenge.
The Eagles took full advantage of their good fortune to score four goals before half-time, ending the game as a contest.
A Joel Caldwell cross from the left found Tyson Cummings to open the scoring for New Lambton on 20 minutes.
Tom Siderovski added a second just past the half hour mark when he got on the end of a free kick, with Riley Taylor then finishing another Caldwell cross moments later to make it 3-0.
Taylor showed some impressive individual skill two minutes later to beat two players before being fouled in the penalty area. The attacker stepped up to convert the penalty and give the visitors a 4-0 lead.
Cooks Hill showed great resilience in the second half and pulled a goal back despite being down to 10 men.
But New Lambton would add a fifth in the dying stages as Chase Lattimore set up Morgan Okeno to finish.
Cooks Hill coach David Tanchevski was bitterly disappointed with the decision to send off Yaxley but was proud of his players for their second half effort.
“We had our chance to restructure at half-time,” Tanchevski said.
“To play with 10 men for 70 minutes against the best side [in the competition] showed strength.
“We took positives that we matched them in the second half with 10 men.
“It was good that the boys had a strong second half performance. It showed a lot of character to bounce back.”
New Lambton’s Tom Davies said he was delighted with the result.
“Obviously the red card changed the game,” Davies said.
“[But] we had to take the opportunity. The boys did well at seeing the opportunity and getting on top of the game. It gave us a good platform to be 4-0 [in front] at half-time.
“We made some changes at half-time due to playing midweek. Cooks Hill came out stronger in the second half. It was a big game for both clubs.
“The result is really positive but it is still early and there is still a lot of work to do.”
Both sides will have busy weeks as New Lambton play their round seven fixture against West Wallsend on Wednesday night.
Cooks Hill play their FFA Cup fourth round match NPL club Newcastle Olympic on Tuesday night.
Singleton Strikers 1-0 Wallsend FC
Singleton moved back up to fourth on the table after their 1-0 win over Wallsend at Howe Park on Saturday.
The only goal of the game came from a corner in the second half which Singleton’s Jackson Cox headed into the back of the net.
The reigning champions were also awarded a penalty during the match only to be denied by Wallsend goalkeeper Jakeb Keating.
Singleton’s coach Brendan Slade said it was “good to get the three points”.
“Other clubs might see us missing Joel Barner but we don’t rely on one player. It was a real full team effort,” Slade said.
“We created so many chances and possession wise we had the ball but we just couldn’t finish. We still need to work on finishing.”
Wallsend coach Craig Tslembis said his side were “outplayed” by Singleton with the Strikers fully deserving of their victory.
“I don’t know if it was a hangover from the win last week but we didn’t play as well as we have been,” Tslembis said.
“We were disappointed [with the goal we conceded] because it was the first set piece that we’ve conceded this year.”
Singleton will take on NPL club Maitland FC in their FFA Cup fourth round clash on Wednesday night.
Thornton FC 2-4 West Wallsend SFC
A quality game of football was put on for spectators as Thornton hosted West Wallsend in a six-goal game, all of which came in the second half.
With the match delicately poised at 0-0 at half-time, West Wallsend were first to make their mark. A ball in from Josh West found the head of Josh Carroll to give the Bluebells the advantage.
The lead didn’t last long as Thornton were awarded a penalty which Ryan Broadley finished.
West Wallsend brought on substitutes Tom Sparre and Matthew Paul who quickly had an impact as the Bluebells scored three quick goals.
The first came from Paul, who scored his first goal for the side. Josh Knight scored the next before Bailey Jensen gave the visitors a 4-1 lead.
Thornton continued to dig deep and keep the pressure on forcing a defensive mistake which went down as a West Wallsend own goal to finish the game 4-2.
Thornton co-coach Gary Wand described the match as a good game with the Redbacks just on the wrong end of the score.
“It was one of those games where it’s 0-0 at half-time where we were better in the first 20 to 25 minutes as they took a while to get into the game,” Wand said.
“We had the best chances of the first half. Then there was a patch they scored three in eight minutes. It turned the game on its head.
“I thought the game had a draw written all over it. We did ok, they just took their chances. I give them credit for their finishes.
“The game was over in a blink. From 1-1 to 4-1 it changed very quickly on us.”
West Wallsend coach Darren Sills agreed the first half was an arm wrestle.
“The second half was better but we still have bit to go,” Sills said.
“Our defence was pretty good on the day.
“Thornton are a good side with good players.”
West Wallsend have a quick turnaround as they play their round seven game on Wednesday night against league leaders New Lambton, while Thornton have a week off to prepare for their clash with reigning champions Singleton on Saturday.
Belmont Swansea United 1-0 Cessnock City
Belmont Swansea United climbed to second with a hard fought 1-0 win over Cessnock City on Sunday.
BelSwans were reduced to 10 men midway through the second half at Blacksmiths Oval after a red card was shown.
The game was scoreless until the final 10 minutes when a good delivery from Chris Gazzard found substitute Kaleb Pearson to seal victory with a quality finish.
BelSwans coach Andre Gumprecht said it was difficult to break down a resilient and well-organised Cessnock side.
“They were not a comfortable team to play against,” Gumprecht said.
“They came here with nothing to lose. They had quality in the backline and a quality goalkeeper and speed up front.
“We started the game reasonably ok and had chances at the start. Then Cessnock got confidence because we couldn’t take those opportunities. We hit the post two times in a row.
“[In the second half] we knew we had to do extra and we did. We reacted to the circumstances.
“We won because we were well-structured in defence. We adjusted well to the changes, adjusted well to the emotions. We showcased some really good composure.”
Cessnock lined up without captain Greg Anderson who was out with injury.
“I’m very proud of the boys and how they had numerous chances to put [the game] to bed,” Hornets coach Michael Gatt said.
“We played very strongly and were full of passion.
“This game is one step forwards. The boys are building in the right direction.”
South Cardiff FC 1-2 Toronto Awaba FC
Toronto Awaba earned their first points of the season with a 2-1 away win over South Cardiff on Sunday.
The victory at Ulinga Oval sees the Stags climb above the Gunners into ninth, with Jacob Dundas and Nick Roberts scoring for the visitors.
The win saw Toronto Awaba get off the mark for the season at the fifth attempt, while the defeat was South Cardiff’s fifth in a row since their opening round victory over Cessnock City.
The Stags will play their round seven fixture against Kahibah on Wednesday night before backing up to host Cooks Hill United on Saturday.
South Cardiff take on Kahibah in the match of the round on Saturday.