HIT106.9 Northern League One Round 11 Review: Belswans, New Lambton set up top of the table clash with impressive wins

June 15th, 2022

 Jacob Briers

Match of the Round
Kahibah FC 2-4 Belmont Swansea United

Two late goals secured Belmont Swansea United a 4-2 win over Kahibah on Sunday as they maintained their place at the top of the table.

The cramped Kahibah Oval pitch again helped produce a hotly contested, end-to-end clash with the visitors taking the lead inside the opening two minutes.

Belswans caught out a lackluster Kahibah defence as striker Tyson Masters, who is starting to see more first grade action as the season progresses, provided a pinpoint low-cross to left winger Cameron Lodge who tapped it home.

But an equaliser for Kahibah after 15 minutes set the tone for an even afternoon of football. Belswans goalkeeper Daniel Bryant was caught out of position as a long-range strike from Jaidyn Kianou glided over Bryant’s hand into the back of the net.

Kane Woolston scored the final goal of the first half, finishing Lodge’s ball over the defence and hitting a first-time volley, leaving Kahibah goalkeeper George Stephens helpless.

While the first half saw Kahibah dominate most of the ball despite the score, Belswans came into the second half with a much improved middle-third, creating a more even tussle.

As Kahibah struggled to cap off many chances, Belswans’ experienced and clinical attackers put the game to bed.

Lodge and Woolston found their braces back-to-back with 10 minutes to go. Lodge also bagged his second assist to Woolston’s second goal.

As the game drew to a close, Kahibah found a consolation goal as the ball trickled in from a freekick into the box, with Rhys Tippett producing the final touch.

Kahibah coach Mat Moncrieff was frustrated that his side could not get a result considering the flow of the game.

“Our performance in the second half probably warranted to get something out of it. We had enough chances at 2-1 to get back in the game,” Moncrieff said.

Moncrieff credited Belswans’ quality up front as the defining factor for the fixture. The loss places Kahibah under added pressure coming into the next few fixtures as they fight for a finals spot.

“Belswans are a very frustrating team to play against,” Moncrieff said.

“They kick the ball long to probably the best player in the competition, Kane Woolston, and he punishes you when he can.

“It’s just frustrating that we coughed up a few goals early but having said that, [Belswans] have quality up front that will nail every mistake you give them.

“Unfortunately, we have to get little winning streak going again otherwise we won’t be playing finals this year.”

Belswans coach Mick Stafford believed it was a fair result. He recognised the improvement in clinical finishing from his side as a highlight.

“Our boys adapted to the game plan and conditions and did enough to win the game quite convincingly,” Stafford said.

“Today we pressured the ball quite well, nullified most of [Kahibah’s] attacks to a degree and we were very clinical in front of goals, which is a good change from the last few weeks.”

Stafford credited Lodge and Woolston’s contributions but also acknowledged their midfield of Jack Rush, Cameron Sullini and Reece Newton on a solid performance.

Belswans now face New Lambton in a season-defining top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.

“We’re in a good position now. We can look forward to a good game next weekend against New Lambton and be proud of the position the club is in,” Stafford said.

Kahibah face Toronto Awaba at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Wednesday night in their rescheduled round six match before taking on South Cardiff on Sunday.

Singleton Strikers 0-1 South Cardiff FC

Singleton Strikers played out their worst performance in the season as they were beaten 1-0 by South Cardiff on Saturday.

The result at Civic Park sees both sides on nine points with the match adding to the climatic finals race scripted for the end of the season.

South Cardiff’s second half goal from Tom Sparre was enough to down the Strikers and gift the Gunners another nail-biting win.

Singleton coach Mick Jarvis was exceptionally disappointed by how his side performed and was brutally honest in his review of the game.

“It was probably the worst performance of the season for us,” Jarvis said.

“It was a very low-quality game from both sides. No one was stringing anything together. There were a lot of turnovers.”

Jarvis’ only positive from the game was the intention of the players and coaches concerning the way they wanted to play. Still, that mentality did not translate onto the pitch.

“Both sides looked to play football,” Jarvis said.

“Both were playing out from the back quite a lot and we won a few balls by pressing. Both groups wanted to move the ball but neither side did it well.

“I was counting passing strings for them and us and it was two or three passes maximum. It was messy and windy but we weren’t good enough.

“I don’t think anybody stood up and nobody took control of the game.”

South Cardiff coach Scott Taylor had a rmore positive outlook on the game. While he admitted it was scrappy, Taylor had more pros to take home, considering the victory.

“It was a hard-fought game with the two sides going at it trying to get the points,” Taylor said.

“A windy day left some scrappy patches in there. I thought both sides played some decent football in patches but both keepers didn’t have too much work to do. It was the case of who took their chances and we did that.”

Both sides have not gone a single game without it being an evenly fought contest so far this season and Saturday was on par with that with Sparre finding the winner late in the second half.

“It was a heartstopper,” Taylor said.

“Having a couple of more experienced players in the side today in Tommy Walker and Jamie Subat added back in, helped us get over the line, particularly in that last 10 minutes.

“Tommy Walker was the real difference. He’s been a big out for us over the last two games and he showed his class again.”

Singleton got revenge on Tuesday night with the Strikers running out 4-0 winners over South Cardiff in their rescheduled round two match at Ulinga Oval.

New Lambton FC 5-0 West Wallsend SFC

Four goals in 15 minutes saw New Lambton grab a vital 5-0 over West Wallsend on Saturday in the quest to conquer Belswans for the top of the table throne.

It was a tight game throughout the first 70 minutes at Alder Park with both sides having their fair share of controlled possession and chances.

A goal of the year contender from Fletcher Davis’ 30-yard cannonball free kick gifted New Lambton a crucial 1-0 lead on the brink of half-time.

Needing some inspiration in attack, substitute Morgan Okeno was introduced to finish off a tiring West Wallsend side during the final 20 minutes.

Okeno scored a quick brace while wingers Joel Caldwell and Riley Taylor followed suit to give the Eagles a 5-0 win.

“It was a real tussle for at least 60-70 minutes of the game,” New Lambton coach Tom Davies said.

Davies was confident his team would come out on top towards the end of the game and his plan was transparent, to capitalise on a tiring Bluebells considering their recent match congestion of playing three games in a week.

“We could have had one or two more goals [in the first half] if we had taken our chances,” Davies said.

“But we stuck in and knowing they played a midweek game and had a few injuries that we would run over the top of them in the end. That was the plan.”

Okeno’s inspiring performance off the bench was the reason New Lambton won by such a margin, which probably was not reflective of the game as a whole.

“[Okeno] put his name forward with the performance he had,” Davies said.

“That’s what I’ve been asking him to do and I’m sure we’ll talk about it during the week. He did a really good job in terms of his impact. He caused trouble and he was involved in some way every time we went forward. It was really positive to see him put in a good performance.”

With Belswans likewise hitting their straps at the perfect time, Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash between New Lambton and Belswans is set to be a banger.

West Wallsend coach Darren Sills was content with his side. Coming off the back of two wins, the Bluebells hoped for a perfect nine-point week but it was not to be.

“I thought we battled really hard,” Sills said.

“They got a set piece right at the death of the first half. No keeper is saving that. It was a great goal.

“Then fatigue set in. We ended up with 10 men due to injury and then they got four on us in the back end of the game.

“At the end of the day, [New Lambton] are the team to beat. We were very tired at the end but I’m very proud of our boys. We competed for about 60 to 70 minutes and just fell away.”

Toronto Awaba FC 3-0 Wallsend FC

Toronto completed the double over Wallsend on Saturday, reigning victorious 3-0 four days after their 2-0 rescheduled round two win last week.

But the win did not come without its dramas. Wallsend dominated the first half at Lyall Peacock Field, putting the Stags on the back foot but two lucky goals and an improved second half sealed the win for the home side.

Nick Roberts opened the scoring inside the first three minutes with a back post header from a corner, capitalising on Wallsend’s recent poor defence during set pieces.

But after the first goal Wallsend were on top for most of the half, producing many chances but failing to slot any away.

An error from the Red Devils goalkeeper Jacob Keating left the net wide open for poacher Scott Smith to score his second goal in two games.

A mixture of an improved Toronto and discouraged Wallsend best described a cumbersome final 45 minutes as Toronto found a late third through Jamin Armstrong.

Toronto Awaba coach Jarrad Hiles also achieved an unwanted milestone as he was shown his first red card during his playing or coaching career, rendering him unavailable to coach from the sidelines next weekend.

Attacking midfielder Jacob Dundas is also unavailable for the next game due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

Despite the 3-0 win for the Stags, their game did not quite reach Hiles’ expectations, particularly in the first half.

“It was probably not the best game we’ve played,” Hiles said.

“We snuck another goal in just before half-time from an error but that score line really flattered us. We knew we weren’t playing our best. So, in the second half, we came out a lot better but it wasn’t a pretty game.

“In the end, we could have scored another few goals and really put them to bed. We’re just lacking that ability to really finish a team off. But they’ve done really well with three games in a week considering we don’t have a big squad.”

Wallsend coach Mick Gatt was frustrated his side could not open their account in the first half. A lack of quality and consistency up front has cost Wallsend greatly throughout this season.

“We dominated most of the first half and even their coach agreed it should have been about five or six-two going into half-time,” Gatt said.

“But we’ve got to be clinical in front of goal. We probably had five or six one-on-one chances that we [missed]. We’ve just got to be clinical in front of the goal. That’s what cost us.”

Thornton Redbacks 3-1 Cessnock City

Thornton recorded a much-needed 3-1 win against an out of form Cessnock side on Saturday, with Thornton creeping into the top four.

Cessnock slid to 10th following another lazy start at Thornton Park, with Thornton’s Jake Millsteed finding the opener within two minutes.

The Hornets were given a lifeline around the 20-minute mark when Jacob Bartlett finished off a neat passage of play.

But goals from Ryan Broadley and Pat Wand, who played his 100th first grade game for Thornton, secured the victory for the Redbacks as they marched on in their chase for a finals spot.

Thornton co-coach Scott Winslade was particularly happy with his side’s improved attacking game.

“It was a pretty good game,” Winslade said.

“But it was also quite scrappy because the pitch was so hard and bumpy and the wind was really strong. But we were the better side and deserved to win today.

“The middle of the park was so congested and bouncy, so really relied on our defence being pretty strong as normal. But what we were producing in the attacking areas was most important and we took our chances today, where in previous weeks we wouldn’t have scored.

“So it’s pleasing that we’re starting to take some chances.”

Despite an improvement on last week, Cessnock coach Brad Miles is starting to run impatient with the lacklustre beginning to games as the Hornets conceded another early goal.

“We were better than last week,” Miles said.

“We had four first graders out which didn’t help, so we pretty much had a brand new backline and they did quite well. It was hard to keep the ball on the ground but it was just one of those days. We’ve just got to be better.

“I thought Jacob Bartlett did quite well upfront. He worked pretty hard. And Lewis Howells in the back, he played his second first grade game and did quite well.

“But we just have to find a way to win and be consistent at doing it.”

Related Topics:
Northern League One Round 11 Review

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