Match of the Round
Thornton FC v Cooks Hill United
Thornton Park, Saturday 3.30pm
Thornton co-coach Scott Winslade says the pressure will be on Cooks Hill United when the Redbacks host the competition heavyweights on Saturday.
Third-placed Thornton welcome second-placed Cooks Hill to Thornton Park with both sides coming off wins last weekend against South Cardiff and Wallsend respectively.
Cooks Hill will take some confidence from their 5-2 victory over Thornton in the opening round though both Winslade and Cooks Hill coach David Tanchevski acknowledged the match was much closer than the result.
Thornton have a couple of niggles to nurse after their win over the Gunners including Liam Hardy who sustained a torn ligament in his shoulder.
Winslade said his side would need to start much better than they did in their opening round defeat.
“The score was probably flattering for Cooks Hill,” Winslade said.
“They were lethal with their finishing and we were poor in our finishing.
“All the pressure is on them to come and get the result. If they don’t we will only be two points behind them.”
Hardy, Blake Thompson and Samuel Rossi are all rated 50-50 chances to play this weekend, with a final decision on their fitness to be made on Friday.
It is a big three weeks ahead for Thornton as they look to prove they belong among the elite in the division, with the Redbacks to play Belmont Swansea United next week and unbeaten leaders New Lambton in round 15.
“The boys trained well last night and are looking forward to the game on Saturday,” Tanchevski said.
“I think the score favoured us last time. It was a lot closer game then the score suggested.”
Cooks Hill will once again face their recurring issue of two players returning from unavailability but also losing two players for this week’s game.
Kahibah FC v Cessnock City
Kahibah Oval, Saturday 4pm
Kahibah coach Mat Moncrieff wants his team to move on quickly from their disappointing defeat to Toronto Awaba last weekend when they host Cessnock City on Saturday.
The Rams welcome Cessnock to Kahibah Oval having slid to 10th on the table following their 2-1 defeat to the Stags.
Cessnock remained eighth after their bye last week, two points above Kahibah.
The Hornets will look for a repeat of their 3-0 victory in round one. But, when the sides met days later in the FFA Cup, it was Kahibah that ran out 5-2 winners.
“We’re not happy with our performance on the weekend but we are going to move on,” Moncrieff said.
“[Cessnock’s] season is looking similar to ours. It should be a good tussle. We need to break them down and hopefully we can get back to winning.”
Kahibah hope to have Rhys Tippet, Liam Whitehead, Jensen Hunt, Jasper Sambrook and Isaac True available but will likely lose Jamie Hadlow.
Cessnock coach Michael Gatt said the bye was a good chance for his side to recover and regroup, with Gatt full of respect for the Rams.
“On their day [Kahibah] are as good as anyone in the comp,” Gatt said.
Cessnock will still have William Whitelaw and Jacob Golding unavailable but welcome back captain Greg Anderson.
Singleton Strikers v New Lambton FC
Howe Park, Sunday 2.30pm
Singleton coach Brendan Slade said his team’s confidence was high as they look to end New Lambton’s unbeaten start to the season on Sunday.
Singleton host New Lambton at Howe Park with both teams coming off round 12 wins.
The Strikers moved into the top five after their dominate performance against Belmont Swansea United while New Lambton remained undefeated thanks to their 2-1 win over West Wallsend.
New Lambton won the round one fixture between the sides 3-1, avenging their 2020 grand final defeat to the Strikers.
But Slade said his team were full of confidence after the convincing 4-1 win over BelSwans.
“We’ve looked at how New Lambton have played, setting up with a 3-5-2 and the wing backs have been playing strong with the midfield overload,” Slade said.
“The middle of the park is really dangerous if they get on top.
“Our focus will be to get on top of their midfield and go one for one with players ensuring we don’t get caught short in the middle of the park.
“[New Lambton’s] three goals were from set pieces [in the round one game] and we’ve spoken about setting up properly and having the right attitude.
“We’ve conceded a lot of goals this year from corners and it is an area that we need to get better at.”
Singleton will line up with the same team that downed BelSwans last weekend. Ben Henry is suspended for another week while Joel Barner and new signing Clayton Williams will also be out for the match.
West Wallsend SFC v Toronto Awaba FC
Johnston Park, Sunday 2.30pm
West Wallsend coach Darren Sills wants his side to take the positives from their defeat to New Lambton when they host Toronto Awaba on Sunday.
The Bluebells host the Stags at Johnston Park having fallen 2-1 to the runaway leaders last weekend.
West Wallsend downed Toronto Awaba 4-1 when they met in round one, though Sills said that score was misleading.
“I felt that we played ok against New Lambton. They are a very good side still running undefeated,” Sills said.
“From all reports we played well and they scored two scored cracking goals.
“Sometimes scores can be misleading at times and that score [against Toronto Awaba] is one of them. We scored two goals in injury time. We had Jed Conway and Wesley Pryce come off the bench to score.”
Sills said despite missing players he was confident his team could mount a finals charge once they returned as they build momentum.
Though Sills admitted he did not know what to expect from Toronto Awaba with the Stags having lost coaches Steve Piggott and Lino Gatti already this season.
Sills said his side would have to put their best foot forward after Toronto got a win in new coach Shaun Paterson’s first game against Kahibah last weekend.
West Wallsend will line-up with a near full squad available with new signing, former Broadmeadow Magic NPL player Hayden Seaton, possibly making his way into the side.
Paterson stepped into the head coach position from his role as under-18s coach to look after the team following Gatti’s departure last week.
The Stags downed Kahibah 2-1 in Patterson’s first week in the job, a potentially significant moment for the side.
“It was a good confidence boost with everything that has been going on,” Patterson said.
“It was a good feeling for the players.”
“We know how they play, it’s going to be a tough game where the boys need to win their individual battles.”
Wallsend FC v Belmont Swansea United
Wallsend FC’s first grade fixture with Belmont Swansea United has been postponed due to Belmont Swansea’s participation in the FFA Cup sixth preliminary round.
BelSwans face NPL side Weston Workers FC at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Saturday.
Details of a reschedule date and time will follow after 14 June when Belmont Swansea United’s further participation in the FFA Cup is known.
All remaining HIT106.9 Northern League One round 13 fixtures between Wallsend FC and Belmont Swansea United FC will be played at The Gardens on Sunday as per original schedule.
South Cardiff have the bye