Match of the Round
New Lambton 3-1 Singleton Strikers
New Lambton gained some sort of revenge for their grand final defeat to Singleton with a 3-1 victory over the Strikers in their season opener on Saturday.
Wet weather saw only the Match of the Round played over the opening weekend of the 2021 HIT Northern League One competition with the grand final replay between the Eagles and Strikers full of excitement and physicality, with both sides having a point to prove.
Singleton were victorious in all encounters between the two teams last season but this game saw that run come to an end.
New Lambton started strong with a goal in the sixth minute thanks to Chase Lattimore heading the ball in from a corner.
The slippery conditions and competitiveness from the teams saw a number of yellow cards being shown. A slip and collision saw an early substitution forced for New Lambton with Jackson O’Sullivan coming off with a knee injury.
Singleton looked strong in the later stages of the first half with chances being denied by New Lambton goalkeeper Alex Bozinovski. Just before half-time there was an extremely close call for a Singleton goal but it was denied due to a goal line clearance.
And the Eagles made the most of their near escape when they were awarded a penalty two minutes into the second half which Riley Taylor made no mistake in putting away.
New Lambton scored from a corner on the hour mark which Tom Sidervoski slipped in at the back post to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.
Singleton found a late consolidation in the 90th minute when a penalty was awarded which Hayden Nicol calmly put into the back of the net.
“The game was what was expected. It was a hard-fought game in tough conditions,” New Lambton coach Tom Davies said.
Davies was happy with his team’s performance as they built on their preseason campaign and played as a unit.
Singleton head coach Brendan Slade was absent from the game due to work commitments with assistant coach Dylan Bentley stepping into the main role for the game.
Bentley put the loss down to match fitness, carrying injuries from last season and the fact that New Lambton were a step above.
“The team’s performance showed patches of why we won last year but we were disjointed defensively,” Bentley said.
Singleton will look to bounce back from the opening round defeat when they take on Toronto Awaba in round two.
Bentley said the Stags were a tough side which results from last year did not reflect and that he hoped it would be a good chance to kick start their season, with his side to focus on fitness and match sharpness on the ball in preparation.
New Lambton play Wallsend next week which Davies said would be another tough and physical match.
Davies said his side would also work on conditioning and getting the “little details right,” with O’Sullivan and Tyson Cummings in doubt through injury.
The matches between Belmont Swansea United and Wallsend FC, Toronto Awaba and West Wallsend, Cooks Hill United against Thornton and Cessnock City’s home clash with Kahibah FC were washed out.
South Cardiff had the bye