Match of the Round
Cooks Hill United FC 1 defeated by Belmont Swansea United FC 5
Saturday, April 16, 2.30pm
Newcastle Athletics Field
Jamie Hadlow played a key role as unbeaten Belmont Swansea returned to the top of the table with a 5-1 victory over Cooks Hill at Newcastle Athletics Field on Saturday.
Hadlow found space down the right to set up goals for Tim Schultz and Joel Shearer in the 25th and 28th minutes respectively before scoring himself just before half-time.
Corey Wilson then Josh Sutton added their names to the scoresheet inside 60 minutes before Emerson Augey pulled one back for the home side in the 65th minute.
The win lifted Belswans, the only undefeated team in the league, to 17 points from seven games. Lake Macquarie sit second second on 16 and Wallsend, who had the bye, are on 15.
Belswans assistant coach Mick Stafford welcomed the return of centre-back Luke Cook and a 4-3-3 formation for the match against Cooks Hill after draws with Kahibah and Toronto Awaba.
“We got back to that structure we’ve been working on and we set up well,” Stafford said.
“They had some good spells but we just took our chances really well.
“It started pretty even but at about the 25th minute we had two chances and took them, not like last week against Toronto.
“We got another one just before half-time and came out well in the second half, scored twice inside the first 15 minutes and that was it. We did well really.”
Stafford said it was good all-round performance from his side.
“It was just good to get five different scorers,” he said.
“Josh Hall is our leading scorer and he didn’t have a shot really and we still scored five, so that’s positive signs,” Stafford concluded.
Cooks Hill remain fifth on nine points but are now four points outside the top four.
Kahibah FC 4 defeated West Wallsend SFC 0
0Saturday, April 16, 2.30pm
Jarrod Penfold and Jayden Demir scored doubles as Kahibah hit back from their first loss of the season to down a nine-man West Wallsend 4-0 at Kahibah Oval on Saturday.
Penfold scored on 15 minutes and Demir was on the spot to tap in a rebound off a Sean Clerke shot late in the first half to make it 2-0 at the break.
The Bluebells started the second half well but their chances of causing an upset disappeared in the space of five minutes when they had two players sent off.
About the 65-minute mark, Bryson Cox earned a red card for handball after diving on a shot headed for goal. Daniel Bartlett was unsuccessful with the penalty but earned another chance soon after when he was fouled. Bailey Cox received a second yellow card for dissent while disputing the decision.
Penfold stepped up and converted the spot kick. Demir made it 4-0 late with his second goal.
The win, which came after a 3-2 loss to Lake Macquarie, took Kahibah to 13 points from six games.
The defeat left West Wallsend in ninth place on five points from seven matches.
West Wallsend coach Gary Rowe was not unhappy with the effort from his side, who had Zac Parkes, Tye Jones and Jarryd Jones among “eight or nine” unavailable players.
“I’m giving them some credit this time,” Rowe said.
“They showed some toughness to not give up and concede only one more after going to nine.
“While we had 10 men I thought we had a chance to get back into it but it wasn’t to be,” Rowe concluded.
Singleton Strikers FC 1 defeated by Thornton Redbacks FC 4
Sunday, April 17, 2.30pm
Thornton Redbacks coach Darrel McAllister said his understrength side produced their best performance in his time at the club when they downed Singleton Strikers 4-1 in muddy conditions at Howe Park on Sunday.
After a 15-minute delay to the kick-off because of lightning and heavy rain, Jesse Smith scored inside five minutes and Tim Gleeson on 15 minutes, as Thornton pressed hard high up the pitch and caused mistakes in the Singleton defence.
Mitch Kiczynski then took the wind of Singleton’s sails with a “30-yard bomb into the top corner” midway through the second half. Ten minutes later, Nathan McAllister finished off a nice lead-up work from Smith, to put the result beyond doubt.
Zane Hand gave Singleton some joy with five minutes left, heading in a goal off a corner.
The late goal was disappointing for McAllister, but he said it was still the best Thornton had played in his two seasons at the club.
“Defensively, it’s the best we’ve been this year so it was a shame not to come away with a clean sheet,” he said.
He said Nathan McAllister stepped up and controlled the game in the middle of the park in the absence of senior players like Jamie Subat, Jason Thomas and Tallan Martin. Goalkeeper Mick Hugo was another leader sidelined.
The coach said his backline was fantastic, while the likes of Smith, Josh Benacquista and Jock Thompson were among the visitors’ best.
The result put eighth-placed Thornton on six points from six games, while Singleton remained on three points from six matches in 10th place.
Strikers coach David Willoughby said Thornton were clearly the better side.
“They adapted to the conditions better than us and did really well,” Willoughby said.
“We gave up two really poor goals early in the piece and never recovered.
“They dominated. We played well in patches but we need to work on our option taking and execution in the front third,” Willoughby concluded.
Lake Macquarie City FC 6 deated Toronto Awaba FC 0
Sunday, April 17, 2.30pm
Defending golden boot Sam Walker burst to the top of the scoring list with four goals as Lake Macquarie defeated Toronto Awaba 6-0 at a rain-soaked Macquarie Field on Sunday.
Walker, who scored 41 goals last year, went to 10 for 2016, while Joey Cacic bagged a brace in his first start in the top grade for the year.
The Roosters led 2-0 at half-time after Walker (32nd minute) and Cacic (35th) scored. Walker found the back of the net again in the 53rd and 57th minutes before Cacic struck in the 67th. Walker grabbed his last in the 87th.
Lake Macquarie coach Anthony Richards said his side did well early to hold out Toronto Awaba, who had earned seven points in their past three games.
“We looked comfortable but they were giving it to us,” Richards said.
“They were very energetic and enthusiastic, but we thought if we rode out the storm a bit, we’d be OK.
“It wasn’t easy early on but once we got into our rhythm, we were good.
“Sammy Walker found his goal-scoring boots again and he was off and running.
“Joey Cacic’s been doing well for us in 23s, so we thought we’d give him the opportunity. He did really well and got himself two goals.
“I was very happy with how we went. We defended fairly well and obviously did well going forward.”
He said veteran Sean Matthews was another standout in midfield in his first game of the year.
“He lasted a full game and it was quite outstanding for a guy of his age, on a heavy ground, to do what he did,” he said.
“He was really good. They were giving it to him, but he was still controlling the play well,” Richards concluded.
Toronto Awaba coach Tony Jovcevski was proud of his side’s early efforts but said they were up against it after losing the likes of Caleb Prebble and Danny Williams during the week to injury.
“We had three out, which didn’t help, but I’m not taking anything away from the other boys who came in,” Jovcevski said.
“We held our own for 35 minutes then we let two stupid goals in. If we had scored in that first 35 minutes, it might have been a different kettle of fish.
“But it was one of those days. You can look it as much as you like, we weren’t going to win it. Some of the boys just weren’t switched on and our preparation wasn’t the best,” Jovcevski concluded.
Lake Macquarie now have the best for-and-against record in the league and sit second on 16 points from seven games. Toronto Awaba are seventh on seven points from six matches.
Cessnock City FC 2 defeated South Cardiff FC 1
Sunday, April 17, 2.30pm
Ben McCabe scored on his return and Emmanuel Okumu did the same on debut as South Cardiff defeated Cessnock City 2-1 at Turner Park on Sunday.
In heavy conditions, South Cardiff secured their second win of the season to move to sixth on seven points from seven games.
McCabe missed chances in the first half but was rewarded for his efforts when he scored in the 55th minute after his attempted cross found the top corner of goals.
With 15 minutes left, substitute Okumu converted a one-on-one chance created with an exchange of passes with Winstone Oku up front.
Cessnock scored with a penalty strike to Jeremie Morton in the final minutes to put a late scare through the visitors.
Gunners coach Andrew Packer was relieved to get away with the win in trying conditions against the last-placed Hornets.
“It was a good win and we should have probably had a few more goals, but we played well,” Packer said.
“We should have been a couple up in the first half, we’re not taking our chances, that’s the big thing.
“It makes life a lot easier when you take those, but we were really solid at the back. They didn’t have any solid chances up until about the 70th minute mark, so that was a positive thing for us,” Packer concluded.
The Hornets have just one point this season and have struggled with senior players missing because of injury, holidays and work commitments.
Wallsend FC – Bye