Match of the Round
Kahibah FC 4-0 South Cardiff FC
Kahibah celebrated two wins in a week as they overcame South Cardiff 4-0 in the Match of the Round on Saturday.
It was a turnaround week for the Rams as they picked up six points from back-to-back victories to kickstart their campaign.
South Cardiff put up a fight at Kahibah Oval but were unable to stop the Rams who were able to back up their 4-3 victory over Toronto Awaba on Wednesday night.
Kahibah were 2-0 down at half-time against the Stags and down to 10 men but somehow battled back to secure a memorable victory.
The Rams continued that momentum into Saturday and took the lead inside 10 minutes as a cross from Isaac True found the head of Riley Ferguson.
Travis Reynolds celebrated his first grade debut with a goal midway through the first half as he pounced on a South Cardiff mistake at the back to slide the ball under the goalkeeper.
Ferguson made it 3-0 two minutes into the second half when he touched the ball around the goalkeeper before slotting it home to give himself a double.
The Rams sealed victory in style when Jasper Sambrook whipped a free kick into the top left corner from distance to make it 4-0.
Kahibah coach Mat Moncrieff had to watch from the stands after being shown two yellow cards in the midweek game against Toronto Awaba but was delighted with the result.
“We are obviously happy with the win,” he said.
“The clean sheet is a very rare item for us.”
Kahibah will hope to take the confidence from back-to-back wins into the next few rounds with a tough schedule ahead as they face Cooks Hill, Belmont Swansea and New Lambton in the next three weeks respectively.
South Cardiff have endured plenty of early season disruption with Mick Hugo stepping into the head coach position for the club this week.
“At the end of the day Kahibah scored a few goals and there were a couple of mistakes on our behalf that they scored off,” Hugo said.
“We were unlucky. We had chances in front of goal but couldn’t convert which always puts you on the back foot.
“At the end of the day we have got to pick ourselves up and see what next week brings.”
Singleton Strikers 1-3 Thornton FC
It was a terrific atmosphere on Saturday afternoon as Singleton hosted a great day of football on their annual Ladies Day at Howe Park. It was a well organised effort from the club, which raised a lot of money for the Breast Cancer Foundation.
Thornton were up 1-0 at half-time thanks to Jordan Elphick who scored with a great strike from range off the cross bar.
Sam Rossi doubled Thornton’s advantage in the 65th minute with a powerful header. The Redbacks quickly made it 3-0 after the restart as they pressed hard before Trent Partridge sealed victory.
Singleton scored a late consolation as Ethan Garrington volleyed home from a corner.
Singleton coach Brendan Slade said he felt like he was working in a hospital ward with the amount of injuries his side are battling.
The reigning champions now have their two strikers from last year’s grand final out due to injuries and Slade is looking for some recruits to help fill the gaps.
“Thornton deserved the win. They had a little more resilience. They were hard to play, they had some good quality players,” Slade said.
“We have only scored 10 goals in seven games which is not good enough to be in the top four.”
Singleton will have time to work on improvements and resting the wounded as they have the bye in round nine.
“We’re obviously pleased with the result. They won the grand final last year and it’s always good to beat the reigning champions,” Thornton co-coach Scott Winslade said.
Winslade said his side did not have the best performance in the first half but after a talk at half-time they came out firing and had a much better second half.
Toronto Awaba FC 1-1 Cooks Hill United
Toronto Awaba and Cooks Hill United entered their match after a busy mid-week schedule.
Toronto Awaba went down 4-3 to Kahibah on Wednesday while Cooks Hill lost 6-1 to NPL NNSW side Newcastle Olympic in the FFA Cup.
Toronto now sit 10th on the table with four points following the 1-1 draw, one point above South Cardiff. Cooks Hill sit are seventh with nine points but do have matches in hand.
Toronto play in the Match of the Round next week as they take on Belmont Swansea United, while Cooks Hill will look to bounce back against Kahibah.
New Lambton FC 1-1 Belmont Swansea United
New Lambton hosted Belmont Swansea on Saturday night in a top of the table clash in what was an important game for both sides.
It was a fast-paced game with some excellent football on display. BelSwans found the back of the net in the 12th minute but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Belswans continued to attack and hit the bar with a long-range effort midway through the half.
The match was scoreless at half-time with New Lambton taking the lead five minutes after the break.
Tom Siderovski’s long-range strike was spilled over the line to put the reigning premiers in front.
But BelSwans refused to quit and drew level 18 minutes from full-time after a free kick was eventually scrambled over the line.
The game continued with plenty of physical challenges with neither slide slowing down but the two teams could not be separated.
“It was a tightly contested game,” New Lambton coach Tom Davies said.
“Both teams will go away unhappy with the draw but a loss would have been hard done by.
“A draw was a fair result as neither team dominated the 90 minutes.”
The game was at the end stretch of a challenging three games in a week for New Lambton.
The Eagles downed West Wallsend 5-2 on Wednesday night which Davies was delighted with, with Davies saying the Bluebells were one of the best attacking teams in the league and that New Lambton were only able to get over the top of Westy in the second half.
Davies was satisfied with picking up seven points from nine from the week and said it was a good start to the season with plenty to build on.
“BelSwans are the toughest opposition we have come up against so far,” Davies said.
“We keep our heads up and work towards the Wednesday [FFA] Cup game against Edgeworth.
“It is a good indicator where we are against like a team like BelSwans.
“Both teams had chances but there wasn’t the execution.
“We keep progressing and work on getting a good result against Edgeworth mid-week then Cessnock where we will continue to rotate and test our depths.”
Cessnock City 1-1 Wallsend FC
Cessnock hosted Wallsend on Sunday afternoon in an exciting game for the crowd with plenty of chances.
It was not until the 68th minute that the deadlock was broken as Sam Bradshaw put Wallsend in front after good build up from Guilherme Evangelista.
Cessnock battled hard and were rewarded in the final 10 minutes when Isaac Peek headed in a corner at the back post to level the score at 1-1.
“We had every chance to win it,” Cessnock coach Michael Gatt said.
“We continued to make many good chances that they couldn’t convert. They were saved off the line, we hit the cross bar and had one on ones with [Wallsend goalkeeper Jakeb Keating] who kept them in the game.
“In the first half we should have been up but we couldn’t finish. The score did not reflect the game. The team played brilliantly. We dominated every aspect of the game but our finishing cost us.
“That’s our season. If we took the opportunities we create we would be top four.”
Wallsend coach Craig Tslembis said his side got lucky towards the end but thought they did well.
“I am very happy. We keep moving forward playing some good stuff but also playing some silly stuff,” Tslembis said.
“We need to be more patient and not rushing when getting in the front third.”
Tslembis also said he wanted to apologise to the referee after getting frustrated and saying some things he regretted.
Wallsend travel to Thornton next week while Cessnock face a tough test against New Lambton.