Singleton Strikers 4-0 Wallsend FC
Wallsend’s attacking woes continued as a vintage Singleton display allowed the Strikers to seize control during the second half and win 4-0 on Saturday.
Civic Park was the host to the only Indigenous Round Northern League One fixture not affected by the wet weather over the weekend, with Singleton confident of backing up their 4-0 win over West Wallsend in their rescheduled round eight match during the week.
But a subpar opening 45 minutes yielded Wallsend a fighting chance to steal an unlikely point.
Unfortunately for the Red Devils, Strikers’ captain Hayden Nicol scored a free kick with less than a minute to go in the first half to set the tone for a Singleton-dominated second half.
Goals from Lachie Nicol, Joel Barner and substitute Joe Civello sealed the victory for Singleton.
Wallsend did produce enough chances to sneak a goal or two. But the closest they came was when Manuel Barrera Amorocho hit the post from 30 yards out midway through the second half.
But Wallsend coach Mick Gatt insisted progress was being made despite the defeat.
“We hit the post when it was 2-0 down. But other than that, we had a couple of opportunities and unfortunately didn’t take them,” Gatt said.
“We do all the hard work, get through the midfield and unfortunately [we can’t finish]. There were glimpses of good football in the final third but if you’re not hitting the back of the net, it’s always going to sting you on the other side.
“We changed the formation around a bit, it was more attacking and the boys seem to be moving in the right direction. So there were positives in that department.
“With Singleton coming off a 4-0 victory against Westy, they’ve started to hit a bit of form. So to go toe-to-toe in the first half with them and concede right on half-time proves the boys are showing fight.”
Goalkeeper Luke Jennings prevented a more embarrassing score from blossoming. Jennings made crucial saves throughout the contest and dulled many of Singleton’s bombarding attacks, masking a potential flaw in Wallsend’s defensive line.
But Singleton have had a fruitful week. Over the two games they have scored eight unanswered goals as they continue to acclimatise to the recent tactical change from coach Mick Jarvis.
“We were patient, disciplined and played for each other really well. I’m really happy with the result [against Wallsend],” Jarvis said.
“There were a few little things in the first half we needed to sort out that caused us a little bit of an issue but they were minor tweaks. We sorted them and went on with it.
“It feels like we’ve good buoyance with the players. There’s a lot of belief in what we are doing, a lot of belief in each other and with the style of football we’re playing at the moment.
“I don’t know if we’ve left our run too late to catch the front three. Positions four and five are realistic targets for us.
“We’re not getting ahead of ourselves. What we’re doing is nothing special. It’s just through sheer hard work, organisation and belief. We made a few little tweaks and it seems to be working, so we’re confident with the football we’re playing going into the back end of the season.
“Now, obviously New Lambton will be a big test next week and we’ll have to make a few little adjustments for it.”