Match of the round
Wallsend FC 2 defeated Cooks Hill United FC 1
Sunday, March 20, 2.30pm,
THE finishing touch of veteran striker David Hodgson proved the difference as Wallsend defeated Cooks Hill 2-1 on Sunday at The Gardens.
Hodgson scored twice to help Wallsend hit back from an early goal conceded to lead 2-1 at half-time.
Jackson Pett put Cooks Hill in front 15 minutes in when he finished a clever piece of play started by an Aiden Palozzi through ball.
Hodgson equalised 10 minutes later with a header before sending the hosts to the lead. He had a one-on-one with the Cooks Hill keeper, who parried the first shot but couldn’t stop the rebound strike from Hodgson.
Wallsend coach Josh Rufo was happy to get away the win, which took the defending major premiers to six points from three games.
“It was a scrappy game but I think they had one shot for one goal,” Rufo said of Cooks Hill.
“We probably just edged it. We had a touch more possession, quality of play and chances.
“It’s taking us a few weeks to hit out our straps, but we’ll take the three points.”
Cooks Hill coach Blake Glennie said it wasn’t his side’s best performance of the year but he saw improvement in a line-up that features only three players from last year’s team.
“It was a pretty scrappy match,” Glennie said.
“I don’t think either side dominated. We both just fought pretty hard and what it boiled down to was they took one more chance than we did.
“I don’t think we deserved to win, but we probably didn’t deserve to lose either.
“We both had a couple of half-chances in the second half, but all in all, it was a pretty uneventful game.”
Cooks Hill have three points from the opening three rounds.
Belmont Swansea United FC 3 defeated Thornton Redbacks FC 2
Saturday, March 19, 2.30pm
A double from Joel Shearer and one goal to Jamie Hadlow helped Belmont Swansea overcome a 2-0 deficit and beat Thornton 3-2 at Blacksmiths Oval on Saturday and go to the outright competition lead.
Shearer scored with a free-kick on half-time before cleverly chipping the Thornton goalkeeper eight minutes into the second half to put them ahead. Hadlow had equalised for the the hosts minutes earlier, and they held on for a third win of the season.
“After the early goals in the second half, we just hung in there and probably defended a little too deep,” Belmont Swansea president David Reed said.
“But we had four blokes missing and were a bit thin, so it was a good effort.”
After an early arm-wrestle, Thornton led when Nathan McAllister poked home a chance off a goalmouth scramble on the half-hour before Tallan Martin finished a nice move down the left side with a glancing header.
The visitors then conceded a free kick just outside the penalty area which Thornton coach Darrel McAllister believed was a turning point.
“They got a free kick just on the half-time siren that we thought was a tough call and they scored,” McAllister said.
“Maybe we just couldn’t get them up for the second half and get them over that.
“We just didn’t come out second half. Our keeper came out to punch the ball and it fell to one of their players, who scored. Then our centre defender got caught out, the keeper was off his line and Joel Shearer chipped it over, and eight minutes in, it’s 3-2.
“There was probably a couple of decisions we weren’t happy with, but we had enough chances to win the game. Second half, we could have scored four or five.”
Thornton have played two games for two losses. They are away to West Wallsend in the FFA Cup third round on Tuesday night.
West Wallsend SFC 0 drew with Lake Macquarie City FC 0
Saturday, March 19, 5pm
A 1-0-man West Wallsend showed grit to hold out Lake Macquarie in a goalless draw at Johnston Park on Saturday.
Already without suspended centre-back Jarrod Olivieri, West Wallsend were down to 10 men 10 minutes into the second half when striker Ryan Cole was given a second yellow card for fouls.
Despite the setback, West Wallsend kept the Roosters at bay, thanks largely to goalkeeper Tyler Warren, who continues to play through an ankle injury.
Bluebells coach Gary Rowe was pleased with the committed effort from his side at home.
“They are a good side, so we can’t complain, we’ll take a point,” Rowe said.
“They had a few more chances in the first half than us, but it sort of evened out in the second half.
“They had lots of ball and they will feel like we stole a point.”
Rowe praised the effort of Warren and said returning skipper Tye Jones was another strong performer in a solid team effort.
Lake Macquarie coach Anthony Richards said his side just had one of those days in front of goal.
“We missed a chance in the first 14 seconds and that set the tone for us,” Richards said.
“We hit the crossbar a couple of times, but it just wasn’t our day. We could have stayed there all night, and I don’t think we would have scored.”
He said West Wallsend deserved a point.
“They went a player down, so they did well,” he said.
“They kicked and scrapped but you expect that at Westy. Hats off to them, they did a really good job
“We had a lot of ball and a few good chances but we weren’t good enough to put them away.
“Their keeper had a really good game, but we just weren’t good enough.”
Cessnock City FC 2 defeated by Toronto-Awaba FC 4
Sunday, March 20, 2.30pm
Turner Park 1
Toronto-Awaba moved off the bottom of the ladder with their first win of the season, defeating Cessnock City 4-2 at Turner Park on Sunday.
Level 2-2 at half-time, the game went Toronto-Awaba’s way in the second half thanks to goals from Tim Salter (64th minute) and Luke Jovcevski (84th).
Mayom Manyang (30th) and Luke Maloney (35th) scored in the first half to help Toronto-Awaba respond to goals from Wade Attewell (25th) and Sam Garaty (38th) for Cessnock City.
Toronto-Awaba coach Tony Jovcevski said the win was a just reward for his side, who finished with 10 men in their opening two losses to Wallsend (4-1) and Cooks Hill (7-2).
“We’re slowly getting there, but we’re not there yet,” Jovcevski said.
“The boys played well. They are all young and we’ve got some new players there.
“Everyone had a good game and they are starting to gel and listen.
“It was an all-round good effort and they are starting to believe in themselves and each other.”
Cessnock City coach Steve Thomson said his side again had four players unavailable and were unable to capitalise on their advantages. They lost 7-2 to Kahibah last week and drew with Singleton 1-1 in round one.
“We lack a bit of composure in front of goal and we’re just a bit shy in the final third,” Thomson said.
“The last few games we’ve scored goals then the other side manage to score five minutes later, so we’ve got to be mentally stronger after scoring.
“We seem to take the foot off the pedal.
“I thought Toronto were a bit better than us on the day. We just turned over too much football and made it hard for ourselves.”
South Cardiff FC 1 drew with Singleton Strikers FC 1
Sunday, March 20, 2.30pm
South Cardiff and Singleton took plenty of positives from strong defensive displays in a 1-1 draw at Ulinga Park on Sunday.
Winstone Oku scored with a left-foot strike, which took a deflection, midway through the first half to put South Cardiff in front.
Singleton equalised early in the second half when Jackson Cox found a way through at a goalmouth scramble.
The draw was Singleton’s second in their two games, while South Cardiff moved to four points after opening their account with a 1-0 win over Thornton last week.
South Cardiff coach Andrew Packer was disappointed with the second-half start but pleased with the overall defensive display.
“We conceded on the hour and then had a really good last 20 minutes but just missed a couple of sitters that cost us the three points unfortunately,” Packer said.
“But we are still being pretty solid at the back.
“We knocked the ball around well and kept possession quite well in the first half, but we dropped off a bit for the first 20 in that second half and they scored.
“We peppered them at the end but couldn’t score, but it wasn’t too bad.”
Singleton president David Andrews said “it was probably a fair result”.
“Southy had the better of the first half but I think we shaded them in the second,” Andrews said.
“Both sides had late chances to win, so it was a fair result. Our defence kept us in the game, especially in the first half.”
He said Corey Cleaver and Dylan Schauder were strong in defence for Singleton, who were coming off the bye.
Kahibah FC – Bye