Match of the Round
Kahibah FC 3 defeated Wallsend FC 1
Sunday, May 8, 2.30pm
A hat-trick from Sean Clerke lifted Kahibah to a 3-1 win and third place on goal difference over Wallsend in the NEWFM First Division Match of the Round at Kahibah Oval on Sunday.
Clerke put Kahibah up 2-0 inside 25 minutes as the hosts took control while looking for back-to-back to wins for the first time since round four, following a 3-2 victory over Singleton in round nine.
Wallsend gave themselves a glimmer of hope in about the 75th minute when Mitchell Cook scored off a cross into the box after a fumble from the keeper. However, Clerke put the result beyond doubt in the 87th minute with a penalty after a foul in the box.
Wallsend were backing up after a 3-1 win over Singleton at Howe Park in a catch-up match on Wednesday night, which followed a 1-1 draw with South Cardiff last round.
The result on Sunday put Kahibah equal with Wallsend on 19 points from nine games but Kahibah are ahead in third place with a plus 17 goal difference. Wallsend are plus nine.
Wallsend Coach Josh Rufo said his side “looked a little bit flat” in their third game inside a week but Kahibah were clearly the better side.
“We weren’t at our best, but they deserved it. Full credit to them, they are well set-up,” Rufo said.
“At 2-1 it was a bit of a contest, but they were better. Clerke was probably the difference, they didn’t have much outside his chances. It was three shots for three goals really.
“No excuses, though, we weren’t good enough. We had a full-strength side apart from Chris Gazzard being out.”
Wallsend are six points clear of the field in fourth place.
West Wallsend SFC 6 defeated Cessnock City FC 1
Saturday, May 7, 4pm
A double from Tye Jones and a standout effort from Ryan Cole helped West Wallsend to a 6-1 win over Cessnock City at Johnston Park on Saturday.
The Bluebells rose to sixth on 12 points from 10 games and have the bye next weekend. The win continued an impressive run from Gary Rowe’s team, who drew 1-1 with Cooks Hill and beat Toronto Awaba 4-0 the previous two weeks.
“It just clicked for us, which was nice,” Rowe said.
“All the things I’ve been complaining about us not doing, happened.”
Chris Hughes scored first for West Wallsend before Tye Jones bagged a brace. Jarrod Olivieri made it 4-0 at half-time before Cole and Ryan Van Kemenade made it 6-0 early in the second half.
The Bluebells went down to 10 men about 70 minutes in after Michael Baillie was given a straight red card for a last-man challenge. Cessnock’s Anthony Bower grabbed a late consolation goal.
Rowe said Cole was great for his side up front in a pleasing overall effort from the Bluebells.
“It would be tough to single anyone out. They were all pretty good,” he said.
“Coley probably had his best game of the season. He set a couple up, scored one himself and caused them all sorts of trouble. It was good.”
The Hornets dropped to last with the loss and Singleton’s win. They have four points from nine games.
Belmont Swansea United FC 3 defeated South Cardiff FC 1
Sunday, May 8, 2.30pm
Belmont Swansea returned to second place with a fighting effort to beat South Cardiff 3-1 with only 10 men for 70 minutes at Blacksmiths Oval on Sunday.
Josh Hall gave the Belswans the early lead before Ben Cox was given a straight red card for a last-man challenge.
The hosts did well to hold South Cardiff out before they were handed a 2-0 half-time lead when the Gunners gave away a penalty for goalkeeping foul in the box. Fletcher Price stepped up and converted the chance around the 40-minute mark.
The Gunners got one back early in the second half when Daniels Wells put Emmanuel Okumu on goal and he slotted away the chance.
Belswans were given another chance from the spot but missed before Josh Sutton scored on the counter attack at the death to make it 3-1.
The win lifted Belswans to 20 points, two behind leaders Lake Macquarie, from nine games.
Assistant coach Mick Stafford said it was a great win for Belswans.
“Going a man down after 20 minutes was tough to take, but the boys stuck at it,” Stafford said.
“At 1-0 we controlled the game and were playing well, but then we had to scramble.
“We got the penalty for 2-0 but they came out firing in the second half.
“It was a great win and the boys really put in. South Cardiff are not a bad side. They had good structure and knocked it around well, so it was a great effort.”
Gunners coach Andrew Packer was disappointed his side did not take advantage of having the extra man.
“We had some half chances we didn’t take after they had the send-off, but we gave away a stupid penalty and that put us under the pump at 2-0 down,” Packer said.
“We played some really good football to get it back to 2-1 and I thought we were going to kick on, but we just left ourselves exposed.
“We had some good chances, though and their keeper made some good saves and they hung on.
“We played some good stuff again, but it was our own discipline issues that again cost us.”
South Cardiff are eighth with eight points from nine games.
Singleton Strikers FC 4 defeated Toronto Awaba FC 2
Sunday, May 8, 2.30pm
Singleton survived some nervous moments to score their win of the season, 4-2 over Toronto Awaba at Howe Park on Sunday.
The Strikers, who were backing up from encouraging efforts in 3-2 and 3-1 losses to Kahibah and Wallsend in the previous week, opened the scoring goal through Sam Ford eight minutes in.
Toronto equalised through Tim Salter before Kieron Burrell scored to make it 2-1 Singleton at half-time.
Burrell earned a penalty early in the second half that Jackson Cox scored from with a tap-in after his initial shot was blocked.
Salter scored from the spot to make it 3-2 after Singleton were penalised for a handball at a free kick into the area.
The Strikers were again under attack before Daniel Palozzi scored with 10 minutes to go to give the hosts breathing space.
Singleton coach David Willoughby said his side struggled to contain Toronto Awaba at 2-1 and 3-2 and his goalkeeper Stuart Plant was forced to make crucial saves.
After some promising performances, Willoughby was relieved to survive and get three points.
“Our game against Kahibah and again on Wednesday night against Wallsend, we played a lot better than we did on Sunday,” Willoughby said.
“We controlled the ball a lot better in those games.
“Toronto are not a bad side and they asked some serious questions of our defence.
“They played long and they’ve got some big boys and pace up front. We were rattled a few times.
“We started really well, got two goals, but then [Stags coach] Tony [Jovcevski] changed things a bit.
“He pushed a couple on and they were knocking it long and chasing it and some of our boys couldn’t cope, but once we settled in and played Sammy [Ford] back, we secured the ball, played through midfield and we settled it down.”
Singleton now have six points from nine games to sit 10th. Toronto Awaba have seven points from nine games and are ninth.
Thornton Redbacks FC 1 defeated by Cooks Hill United FC 2
Sunday, May 8, 2.30pm
Cooks Hill stopped the winning streak of Thornton Redbacks and took back fifth place on the ladder with a 2-1 win at Thornton Park on Sunday.
Matt Williams put Cooks Hill ahead 1-0 at half-time when he was on the spot around the 35-minute mark. Aiden Palozzi hit the crossbar with a strike and Williams was scored off the rebound.
Tom Sparre got in behind the defence and produced a smart finish to make it 2-0 to the visitors early in the second half before Thornton had in-form attacker Nathan McAllister sent off for a second yellow on the hour.
Despite the send-off, Thornton lifted and clawed one back with about 15 minutes remaining.
Tallan Martin scored from the spot after Cooks Hill were penalised for a handball from a strike at close range.
Cooks Hill coach Blake Glennie was relieved to get away with the win against Thornton, who had won their previous three games to overtake his side in fifth place.
“They had a player sent off, and they just rose, and we struggled for probably the last 20 minutes,” Glennie said.
“You just see it happen so often in football.
“But overall we had plenty of chances in the game and we were unlucky not to score three or four.
“I’m happy with how we’re playing. We’ve played well the past three weeks with the structure we’ve got now.
“We’ve conceded only two goals in open play across those games, so from that perspective, I’m super happy.”
Thornton have 12 points from nine games and dropped to seventh on the ladder.
Lake Macquarie City FC – Bye