Belmont Swansea United 4-1 West Wallsend SFC
Belmont Swansea United extended their lead at the top of the table to seven points thanks to a second half barrage in their 4-1 win over struggling West Wallsend on Saturday.
Another miserable patch of wet weather saw only one round eight match played over the weekend with West Wallsend taking a surprise lead at Blacksmiths Oval.
New signing Tyler Rankmore scored from a swift Bluebells counterattack to hand the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Belswans failed to find an equaliser before half-time, meaning they went into the sheds in an unfamiliar position.
The rocky start for Belswans continued in the second half as they failed to capitalise on chances.
It was not until the 70th minute that Belswans were given a lifeline and then some, with Kane Woolston scoring two goals in two minutes to give the hosts the lead.
The strength in depth for Belswans shone brightly in the second half as they increasingly dominated, becoming more robust and commanding as the game progressed.
Super-sub Tyson Masters bagged a brace towards the end of the game, his second and third goals of the season sealing the game for Belswans.
The victory was Belswans’ sixth of the season and fifth in a row.
“It was a good, gritty performance to come from behind and win the match,” Belswans coach Mick Stafford said.
“Apart from the period around their goal I thought we dominated the game. It was a pleasing result.”
Stafford was happy the result reflected the game, especially in the second half as Belswans struck four times to assert dominance.
“[West Wallsend] scored on the counterattack. [It was] quite a well-taken goal,” Stafford said.
“Then we failed to capitalise on our chances before half-time.
“We dominated the midfield all night. That was the difference in the game.
“Our fitness at the end really showed. We basically ran over the top of them.”
The depth in Belswans’ squad this year has proved important. The club’s reserve grade are top of the table, with eight wins from eight matches and a goal difference of +43.
This strength is only exemplified in first grade games, with four of Belswans’ six wins coming in the second half.
“Again, it’s pleasing with so many boys out, we’re promoting guys from reserve grade and they’re doing their jobs team in crucial roles for 90 minutes,” Stafford said.
“Kane Woolston again was quality once he got his goals and young Arch Johnson made his first grade debut.”
The victory sees Belmont Swansea eight points ahead of second-placed New Lambton and 12 points ahead of third-placed Kahibah. The Eagles and Rams have two and four games in hand respectively.
West Wallsend remain ninth.
The matches between Thornton Redbacks and New Lambton, Toronto Awaba and Singleton, Kahibah FC and Cessnock City and South Cardiff FC against Wallsend FC were postponed.