Match of the Round
Belmont Swansea United FC 3 defeated Singleton Strikers FC 0
Friday, March 25, 2.30pm
Jarred Noon and Huey Price starred at the back against Singleton Striker as leaders Belmont Swansea kept their first clean sheet of the NewFM First Division season.
Belmont Swansea defeated Singleton 3-0 at Blacksmiths Oval on Friday as Jamie Hadlow and Josh Hall continued their fine starts to the campaign up front.
Hadlow scored the opener and set up both goals for Hall to help the hosts stretch their winning streak to four games.
Belmont Swansea started poorly to concede a penalty for a foul in the opening minute but goalkeeper Nicholas Popel made a good save to his left.
They then had a chance from the spot themselves 20 minutes in but Hall too was denied.
After having a goal disallowed, Belmont Swansea scored through Hadlow on the half-hour and led 1-0 at half-time.
Singleton started the second half well but Belmont Swansea kicked clear midway through when Hall scored twice inside 10 minutes off cutbacks from Hadlow.
Belmont Swansea coach Brad Paul was pleased with the performance.
“After the penalty, they basically didn’t threaten us in the first half and we were fairly comfortable at half-time,” Paul said.
“They came out and competed fairly well for the first 15 and sat us back a bit, but we made some changes and moved our defence up a bit.
“We missed a couple of one on ones but overall we were pretty happy with how we played and the goals we constructed.
“It was our first clean sheet of the season and we were happy with that.”
Left fullback Noon gained the players’ player award, and Paul said his man of the match was right fullback Huey Price.
Paul said former Valentine utility Corey Wilson had a “good first hit-out for us,” Paul concluded.
It was Singleton’s first loss of the season after they started their campaign with two hard-fought draws.
West Wallsend SFC 2 defeated by Wallsend FC 3
Friday, March 25, 2.30pm
West Wallsend coach Gary Rowe was disappointed with the lack of intensity from his side as they went down 3-2 to derby rivals Wallsend at Johnston Park on Friday.
Celebrating their 125th anniversary, the Bluebells were keen to upset great rivals Wallsend but started poorly to be down 2-0 inside 15 minutes.
David Hodgson scored both goals, hitting a free header in the second minute before catching the West Wallsend defence napping again.
Tye Jones got the Bluebells back in the game with a double inside five minutes midway through the half.
Jones converted a penalty for a foul in the area before getting his boot to a ball over the top to beat the Wallsend defence. Both sides missed golden opportunities to go ahead but they were locked 2-2 at half-time.
Chris Gazzard scored the winner for Wallsend with about 15 minutes to go, hitting a well-placed header over keeper Tyler Warren.
Rowe believed neither side were at their best and a draw would have been a fair result, but said the Bluebells did not deserve any better after a lacklustre start.
He was particularly disappointed given the occasion and his side’s gritty display last week in holding Lake Macquarie 0-0.
“We were horrible,” Rowe said.
“It was a terrible effort from our boys. I wanted them to match their enthusiasm and effort from the week before and they didn’t.
“They got punished for it twice early and that was quite frustrating.
“Other than the five minutes that Tye scored a double, they weren’t particularly enthusiastic.”
Rowe said his team missed the attacking edge of striker Ryan Cole, who was suspended but will return on Wednesday for the rescheduled FFA Cup match against Thornton at Thornton.
Wallsend coach Josh Rufo was happy to get away with the three points.
“I think for the first 15-20 minutes we had total control of the game, but full credit to West Wallsend, they evened it up for a while,” Rufo said.
“They played well and scored two goals, but even then we had ample opportunities to finish it.
“I think we deserved it in the end and edged them in possession and opportunities and were too strong,” Rufo concluded.
It was West Wallsend’s second loss of the season and they remain on four points.
Wallsend have three victories and a loss to start the year.
South Cardiff FC 0 v Kahibah FC 3
Friday, March 25, 2.30pm
Daniel Bartlett was the standout at Ulinga Oval on Friday as Kahibah defeated South Cardiff 3-0 to continue their perfect start to the year.
Bartlett scored a goal and was dangerous throughout as Kahibah converted a 2-0 half-time lead into a 3-0 win against a 10-man Gunners.
Jarrod Penfold and Matt Hughes scored Kahibah’s other goals, while South Cardiff lost midfielder Winstone Oku early in the second half to a second yellow card offence.
Kahibah president Tim Hinds said the club was happy to get the win in what was their toughest game so far.
Kahibah were without suspended striker Sean Clerke as well as Colvin Williams, Andrew Darr and Ashley Illfield.
South Cardiff coach Andrew Packer praised the effort and overall performance of his side but said they paid the price for lapses in concentration.
“We had a lot of possession in the first half but they caught us on the counter-attack a couple of times,” Packer said.
“We did pretty well, we played quite well the first half. It was just a couple of little errors and some good play from them, but we should have really done better for the two goals.
“Then we had a bloke sent off in the first couple of minutes of the second half, so the boys did really well to stay in it.
“In the last five to 10 minutes we had a couple of decent scoring opportunities to make it 2-1, but then they scored in the last few minutes. We just battled it out and the boys worked their socks off.”
Packer said Bartlett was a standout for Kahibah and “gave them a lot gong forward”.
The Gunners stayed on four points from four games, while Kahibah moved to nine from three.
Lake Macquarie City FC 8 defeated Thornton Redbacks FC 3
Friday, March 25, 2.30pm
A first-half hat-trick from Sam Walker and three late goals from Blake Green helped Lake Macquarie make up for an off day in defence in an 8-3 goalfest at Macquarie Field on Friday.
Lake Macquarie moved to seven points from four games, while Thornton slumped to a third loss to start the season.
Walker scored in the 23rd, 31st and 42nd minutes before coming off with an ankle injury, while his brother and captain Tom Walker netted the opener in the fourth minute.
Ben Henry scored in the 10th minute for Thornton as they went to the break 4-1 down.
Mitchell Kiczynski cut the gap to two goals in the 49th minute but Cameron Gay Brereton extended the Roosters’ advantage again in the 59th before Tallan Martin gave Thornton hope at 5-3 four minutes later.
Green then put the result beyond doubt with a late treble, which included two strikes from the penalty spot.
Lake Macquarie coach Anthony Richards said the score flattered his side, who put in a sloppy performance.
“It sounds like we gave Thornton a belting but we didn’t,” Richards said.
“We struggled a fair bit in the game. I think the quality of Sam Walker showed in the first half. Then young Blake Green finished with a hat-trick as well.
“Overall it wasn’t a very good performance from us, but we needed three points and we took them.
“We were a little bit rusty defensively, which has probably been one of our strengths. Going forward hasn’t been good for us, so we reversed the roles, but we were good enough to get the win.”
Richards said Corey Fletcher was solid on debut for the Roosters and “Tom Walker was probably our best player and got himself the first goal and a second one, but it was unfortunately disallowed. He was great for us”.
Cooks Hill United FC 7 defeated Cessnock City FC 4
Newcastle Athletics Field
Saturday, March 26, 2.30pm
A hat-trick from quicksilver winger Tom Sparre lifted Cooks Hill to an “ugly three points” from a 7-4 win over a 10-man Cessnock City at Newcastle Athletics Field on Saturday.
Cessnock scored the opener when Jeremie Morton pounced on a wayward back-pass but Cooks Hill quickly took control with goals from Aiden Palozzi, Luke Alexander and a double to Sparre for a 4-1 half-time lead.
Wade Attewell got one back for Cessnock before Jackson Pett scored for the hosts. Mitchell Cox struck for the visitors to make it 5-3 but their chances of a comeback dropped away when Josh Bower was sent off for a second yellow card.
Emerson Augey scored and Sparre got his third to put the result beyond doubt before Morton got his second at the death.
The win continued a roller-coaster start to the season for Cooks Hill, who have had a lose-win-loss-win run.
Cooks Hill coach Blake Glennie said it was an “ugly three points”.
“It was probably the most frustrating game I’ve ever been involved with in my football career,” Glennie said.
“In the offensive third we were brilliant and obviously scored seven goals, and we should have scored a few more, but then it was the complete opposite at the back.
“We gave away two soft and silly goals.”
Glennie said the absence of regular defenders Jack Wilson and Bowen Bagnall “didn’t help but you should never be conceding four goals”.
He said holding midfielder Jack O’Toole, making his starting debut for the club, was one of their best.
The depleted Cessnock City remain on one point from four rounds.
Toronto-Awaba FC – Bye