Match of the Round
New Lambton FC 4-1 Cooks Hill United
New Lambton climbed to the top of the HIT106.9 Northern League One table with an emphatic 4-1 win over Cooks Hill United on Saturday.
It was a top of the table clash with leaders Cooks Hill traveling to Alder Park looking to maintain their small advantage on goal difference at the summit.
“It was a good day for the club getting a great result on Old Boys’ Day and in possibly the biggest game of the season,” New Lambton coach Tom Davies said.
“I am super happy with how we executed our game plan. Everyone was able to execute their roles. From the starting 11 to the subs in the second half I am happy with the whole team effort.
“The wind caused some tricky conditions but I thought the boys did really well despite that. It was a super start. After the first goal we were sort of able to control the first half and then in the second half we were able to absorb the pressure and could have had another one of two goals.
“I was disappointed with how we conceded but we went on and scored again which was impressive. It was a physical game in the middle of the park and both teams tried to play good football which was good in terms of the spectacle.
“It was a really good atmosphere which helped push the boys to put in the extra effort. We move onto next week and focus on one game at a time in this back end of the year.”
New Lambton opened the scoring from a Luke Jovcevski cross which Morgan Okeno put away. Okeno doubled the lead by finishing off another cross moments later.
Cooks Hill’s Cody Carroll pulled a goal back with a strike from 25 yards out before New Lambton’s Jeremey Judge scored a third for his side before the break putting the Eagles 3-1 up at half-time.
Chase Lattimore finished the game off in the second half finding the back of the net for the fourth goal to seal the result.
Cooks Hill coach David Tanchevski said he was disappointed with the result at the end of a big week for the club, with Northern NSW Football announcing that Cooks Hill will be included in the 2022 NPL NNSW competition next season.
“In the first half we were the better team and had it down their end but they were very clinical on the day and we weren’t,” Tanchevski said.
“We wasted a few good chances in the first half. I am disappointed in the way we conceded goals but happy with the way we played.
“We have conceded a few goals like that this year and need to do better. We did well to limit New Lambton’s chances and we held more possession but we weren’t as clinical as they were and that’s why they won the game.
“You can’t give a good team like New Lambton a 2-0 head start and expect to come back and win it.”
New Lambton play in another match of the round next week when they travel to Blacksmiths Oval to take on Belmont Swansea United.
Cooks Hill host Toronto Awaba.
West Wallsend SFC 0-3 Thornton FC
Thornton leapfrogged West Wallsend into third place after scoring an impressive 3-0 win on Sunday afternoon.
Thornton co-coach Gary Wand was satisfied with the travelling Redbacks’ performance saying that the side took their chances and stuck to their game plan.
“After the first goal we took the wind out their sails,” Wand said.
“It was quite an even contest. We defended really well, our back three did really well.”
Thornton’s side was also lifted with the return of goalkeeper James Wand who missed last week’s game due to COVID-19 restrictions. But the visitors did lose Sam Rossi to concussion during the match.
Thornton took the lead at Johnston Park when West Wallsend tried to play a ball back to their goalkeeper but with pressured applied, was cleared into the stomach of Thornton striker Jye Mackellar with the ball rebounding into the back of the net.
The second goal came from another West Wallsend defensive error which Jake Millsteed put away and the third from a delightful Patrick Wand free kick.
West Wallsend coach Darren Sills described his team’s performance as “ordinary.”
“We were flat today. Full credit to Thornton. They took their chances and thoroughly deserved the win,” Sills said.
“We were way off. We were good for the first 10 [minutes] but after the goal we dropped our heads.
“We were outplayed. After going down 1-0 they lifted and we went the other way.”
West Wallsend’s casualty list continues to grow as Josh Knight suffered an ankle injury at the end of game which could see him sidelined for the rest of the season.
West Wallsend have the bye next weekend which Sills said had come at a good time with his side suffering a number of niggles and injuries. Sills was hopeful the week off would help to freshen up his troops.
Thornton host Singleton next weekend.
Toronto Awaba FC 2-2 South Cardiff FC
While neither side are able to make the finals Toronto Awaba and South Cardiff put on an entertaining contest as they played out a 2-2 draw on Sunday.
Toronto Awaba opened the scoring through Jacob Dundas at Lyall Peacock Field before South Cardiff hit back quickly through Daniel Johnson.
The hosts scored another just before the break to go into the sheds 2-1 up.
Then in the second half South Cardiff’s Jarryd Johnson hit a ball on the volley from outside the box to level the score after the ball had been half cleared from a corner.
Late in the game there were calls from South Cardiff for a penalty which were waved away.
“We were sort of sitting on our heels for the first 10 to 15 minutes,” South Cardiff coach Mick Hugo said.
“A draw was a good reflection of the game.”
South Cardiff now only sit one point behind Cessnock City with avoiding last place a driving force for the rest of their campaign.
South Cardiff host a fresh Kahibah next week, while the Stags have a challenging three weeks ahead starting with Cooks Hill at Fearnley Dawes Athletics Field next weekend.
Cessnock City 0-3 Belmont Swansea United
Belmont Swansea United kept their finals hopes alive with a 3-0 win over Cessnock City on Sunday.
BelSwans remain three points outside the top five after their victory at Turner Park, with the visitors opening the scoring after less than 30 seconds. Despite Cessnock kicking off, BelSwans won possession with Kane Woolston applying the finish.
Cessnock had a chance to draw level five minutes before half-time when they were awarded a penalty only for BelSwans goalkeeper Kye Abraham to make a save.
The game remained 1-0 until the final 10 minutes when Joel Nicholson and Blake Reeves finished the game off with a goal each for BelSwans.
Cessnock coach Michael Gatt said his side blew a number of opportunities in the first half and for the first 80 minutes dominated and created opportunities.
“After pushing forward and chasing the game BelSwans turned us around and got two late goals to finish the game,” Gatt said.
“I think our performance had spectators and the opposition saying we probably don’t deserve to be where we are on the table.”
Cessnock are 10th, one point ahead of South Cardiff.
BelSwans assistant coach Mick Stafford said it was a difficult game in tough conditions but his side adapted well and ground out a solid result.
“The effort was there. We were sloppy at times but the difference this week is we fixed mistakes we made in previous matches,” Stafford said.
Cessnock travel to The Gardens to play Wallsend next weekend.
BelSwans continue to see a movement of players between squads due to lack of numbers which will be no different as they play in the match of the round next week when they host top of the table New Lambton at Blacksmiths Oval on Sunday.
Wallsend FC 1-3 Singleton FC
Wallsend are out of finals contention after their 3-1 loss to Singleton on Sunday.
Singleton’s Joseph Civello was first on the scoresheet for the Strikers before Wallsend’s Matt Williams scored a header at the back post off a corner to make it 1-1.
Just minutes later Hayden Nicol tapped in a second for the Strikers before Jake Barner scored a third to seal the result.
Wallsend coach Craig Tselembis said “it was a game of two halves” with playing into the wind having an impact on the game.
“We were slack defensively in the first half then tightened up and played decent football. In the second half we were unlucky not to get something out it,” Tselembis said.
Wallsend are at home again next week when they host Cessnock.
Singleton coach Brendan Slade said it was a “bit of a scrappy game but we got it done.”
“The conditions made it hard to play football. We told the boys to keep their passes short before the game,” Slade said.
“To Wallsend’s credit they pushed us pretty hard. Our game plan sort of slipped away in the wind. Wallsend made it hard for us.”
Singleton suffered a blow with Marlow Court-Kriesch substituted due to a strained hamstring.
The Strikers travel to Thornton Park next week to play the third-placed Redbacks.