Match of the Round
New Lambton FC 2-1 West Wallsend SFC
New Lambton continued their undefeated start to the season as they downed West Wallsend 2-1 on Saturday.
West Wallsend took the lead after 10 minutes at Alder Park with a perfectly played ball through the New Lambton defence which Josh Carroll made no mistake of putting away.
But New Lambton levelled two minutes later with Morgan Okeno driving through the middle of the park before firing in a left-foot finish from outside the penalty area.
The game winner came midway through the second half when Riley Taylor beat his defender down the right to deliver a ball to Luke Jovcevski at the top of the penalty area, with Jovcevski smashing the ball into the top right corner.
“We had really good build up but possibly didn’t execute in the final third how we would have wanted,” New Lambton coach Tom Davies said.
“We conceded a sloppy goal and once we reacted to that we did a lot better.
“Westy are always a good physical team that work for the whole 90 minutes and pushed us for the result.”
Davies said his side did well to keep their composure and in the second half played some nice football but the execution in the front third could have been better.
“It was another positive result considering what we have spoken about as a group, continuing that momentum as all teams want to beat you,” Davies said.
“It is now just as much a mental battle as well as a physical battle.
“The way the game played out we made enough chances to score a few more.”
New Lambton had downed Westy 5-2 in round seven, with the Bluebells showing they were up for the challenge this time around against the league leaders.
“We were in it for long periods of the game,” West Wallsend assistant coach Jeff Blomfield said.
“We probably deserved something out of it. We were a bit unlucky, we had our chances but couldn’t convert and they had two cracking goals.
“It was a good game of football from both teams.”
West Wallsend had a number of players out but hope to get some personnel back in the next few weeks. The Bluebells slid down to sixth on the table and host Toronto Awaba at Johnston Park next week.
New Lambton play Singleton at Howe Park next week which Davies said would be a tricky game, one the Eagles would need to be aware of the Strikers’ strengths while continuing to play their own game.
Belmont Swansea United 1-4 Singleton Strikers
Singleton climbed into the top five after the Strikers hammered Belmont Swansea United 4-1 on Saturday.
Joel Barner scored twice at Blacksmiths Oval while Joseph Civello and Lachlan Nicol also notched goals to round out an impressive day for the reigning champions.
Clayton Poole pulled a goal back for the hosts with 20 minutes to play but it was not enough as Singleton completed one of their best wins of the season.
“We played fantastic. It was the best game we played all year,” Singleton coach Brendan Slade said.
“We turned up keen to play [despite] the injuries and the suspension. Everyone did their job, no one was off their game.
“BelSwans are hard to beat. They are really hard to break down. We played to our shape and stuck to our guns and did it for the 90 minutes which was really pleasing.”
The Singleton instructions during the week at training were around BelSwans’ strength in midfield and Slade said his side were able to shut them down and keep their midfield quiet.
It was a crucial three points for Singleton as they now sit in fifth place level on 16 points with West Wallsend.
The club was ecstatic with the result, the first time Singleton have beaten BelSwans away in 20 years.
The defeat was BelSwans’ second in a row, with Andre Gumprecht’s side looking to bounce back against Wallsend next week.
Cooks Hill United 3-1 Wallsend FC
With the two sides only playing two weeks ago in a 2-2 draw, it was an opportunity for one team to walk away with all three points this time. This time it was Cooks Hill who were the hosts and they came away with a 3-1 win.
Wallsend were up 1-0 at half-time thanks to a Matt Williams strike from outside the penalty area.
Wallsend were also awarded a penalty, which Cooks Hill’s goalkeeper Josh Cox saved.
Cooks Hill struck back in the second half with Jamie Byrnes levelling the score from a through ball from Lachlan Pasquale leaving Byrnes one on one with Wallsend goalkeeper Jakeb Keating.
It was Byrnes with the double who put his team in the lead after Roger Dowdell split the defence and cut it back for Byrnes to put away.
The game was finished off with a cross from Daniel Yaxley with Nick Russell pushing it towards goal, catching a possible deflection on its way in, though some Wallsend players disputed whether the ball had crossed the line.
“We started really slowly, we started poorly in the first 10 minutes,” Cooks Hill coach David Tanchevski said.
Tanchevski said it was some if the worst football they had played all year in the first half but that the second half was a big improvement, enough to get them on top and win.
“We turned it around in the second half, controlling the game. We could have been another few goals up,” Tanchevski said.
Cooks Hill remain in second place on the table, now five points clear of third-placed Thornton. They travel to Thornton Park next week where they will play the Redbacks who beat South Cardiff 1-0 this weekend.
Wallsend coach Craig Tslembis said it was a “game of two halves” where his side could have been up four or five goals at half-time.
Their downfall in the second half came as the Red Devils played into the setting sun and Cooks Hill played more directly.
“I am very happy. We have come a long way in a short space of time and I couldn’t fault their efforts,” Tslembis said.
“We dominated them in the first half. It was probably the best football we have played for the season.
“It was a good performance but the result didn’t go our way.”
Wallsend host BelSwans next Sunday who sit in fourth, five points ahead.
South Cardiff FC 0-1 Thornton FC
Thornton climbed to third on the table while South Cardiff remained bottom after Thornton’s 1-0 victory on Sunday.
The only goal of the game came midway through the first half with a finish from Thornton’s Kyle Williams. It was a ball from a wide area into the box with both sides challenging physically to get to the ball.
South Cardiff were reduced to 10 men late in the game with the referee ruling a dangerous tackle.
“We ended up losing players yesterday due to injury. We had to change a few things today, we played a different shape to accommodate the players that we had. Other than I thought we had held our own,” South Cardiff coach Mick Hugo said.
“I think Thornton weren’t expecting to get what they got from our game.”
Hugo said his side had a good chance late in the first half where their striker got behind the Thornton defence and was brought down at the top of the box.
Hugo said it was a massive turnaround from when the sides met earlier in the season as Thornton ran out 6-1 winners, which showed good character from the Gunners.
Thornton co-coach Gary Wand said that before the match it would have looked like a win on paper for his side but that they made hard work of it as South Cardiff made it hard for the Redbacks.
“We had the better of the chances but couldn’t put it to bed,” Wand said.
“It was one of the games where you struggled to score.
“The fact we got the points and a clean sheet was the main thing.”
Thornton have a tough few weeks ahead as they take on Cooks Hill, BelSwans and New Lambton respectively over the next three weeks.
Toronto Awaba 2-1 Kahibah FC
Toronto Awaba scored their first win since round six on Sunday night as they downed Kahibah 2-1.
The Stags climbed above the Rams into ninth on the table following the win at Lyall Peacock Field.
It was another hectic week for Toronto Awaba after interim coach Lino Gatti stepped down to work on a new project, with Shaun Paterson stepping into the first grade role.
“It was a good game with lots of chances in the first half that we didn’t take advantage of,” Paterson said.
Toronto Awaba’s Jarrod Purcell and Jake Dundas found the two goals for their side.
Kahibah scored late in the game from a penalty, initially saved by Toronto Awaba’s goalkeeper but Riley Ferguson followed it through ensuring the ball found its way into the back of the net.
“It was the worst we’ve played in a long time,” Kahibah coach Mat Moncrieff said.
“They should have been up 6-0. Not at any stage were we in the game.
“We have to cop it on the chin and move on.”
Kahibah had two players pull out on the morning of the game due to illness which put a strain on the side but Moncrieff said it was no excuse and that his side were simply outplayed.
Kahibah will look to regroup at training this week ahead of their match against Cessnock City on Saturday afternoon.
Toronto Awaba travel to Johnston Park next Sunday where they will be tested by West Wallsend.