Match of the Round
Wallsend FC 3 defeated Belmont Swansea United FC 1
Sunday, May 15, 2.30pm
Wallsend found their goal-scoring touch to move to third place with a 3-1 win over Belmont Swansea at The Gardens on Sunday in the NEWFM First Division Match of the Round.
The defending major premiers jumped from fourth to third on 22 points from 10 games and trail second-placed Kahibah only on goal difference.
Belswans, who dropped from second to fourth on 20 points, led through a penalty 20 minutes in from Fletcher Price after Josh Sutton was fouled but Wallsend dominated the second half. Chris Gazzard, who made an unexpected return and Kyle Macorig scored in the first 15 minutes after half-time. Nigerian striker Tega Adjeke made it 3-1, with 15 minutes remaining with his first goal of the season.
The win followed a 3-1 loss to Kahibah, which was the Red Devils’ second loss of the season.
Wallsend coach Josh Rufo was pleased with the second-half effort after working with the team on their finishing. He said all three goals were “good team goals with good movement off the ball and clinical finishing”.
“It was a similar performance to last week, but we just had the end product,” Rufo said.
“First half we were weren’t much chop but second half we showed our quality.
“They were young and keen but I think our experience came through in the end.
“It was a much better team performance and Luke Jennings was very good in goals for us.”
Belswans assistant coach Mick Stafford said Wallsend made his side, especially their young midfield, pay for their mistakes in the second half. He said Belswans were missing senior players Ben Cox, Joel Shearer and Luke Cook.
“They punished us for a few errors we made and then we chased the game,” Stafford said.
“They are a good side with plenty of experienced players and once they get two on you, it’s hard to get them back.”
Cooks Hill United FC 1 defeated by Singleton Strikers FC 3
Saturday, May 14, 2.30pm
Newcastle Athletics Field
Singleton rose to eighth place with back-to-back wins, scoring a 3-1 upset over Cooks Hill at Newcastle Athletics Field on Saturday.
The Strikers downed Toronto Awaba 4-2 for their first victory of the season in round 10 and followed it up with a convincing victory over the Cooks Hill, who dropped back to sixth place, on 13 points.
Klaudon Ahmataj put Singleton ahead midway through the first half when he beat two defenders to get a shot on goal which deflected over keeper. Defender Zane Hand made it 2-0 to Singleton in the second minute of the second half with a far-post header.
Derek English made it 3-0 with a deflected strike with 20 minutes remaining after Nathan Hall’s strike rebounded out. Cooks Hill got a consolation goal via Jack Wilson in injury time.
Coach David Willoughby said his midfield trio of Sam Ford, Jackson Cox and Daniel Palozzi helped win the day.
“Again, we started slowly and Cooks Hill were very good early on,” Willoughby said.
“We struggled to get the ball out of our half in the first 20 minutes but then Dan, Sam and Jackson took control of midfield and I thought we were better.
“I thought once we settled and kept the ball a bit, we ran them into the ground.”
He said Hand and his midfield trio were strong in a solid all-round team effort.
Cooks Hill coach Blake Glennie said his side lost Zac Douglas to suspension and Tom Sparre and Jack O’Toole late to illness and they were disjointed with some players forced to play out of position.
However, Glennie said it was no excuse for the performance.
“We had four out at training on Thursday night and that doesn’t help, but if we are going to compete for a top-four spot, these are games you’ve got to win,” Glennie said.
“We were missing three of our better players but it was a lacklustre performance and Singleton certainly deserved to win.”
Toronto Awaba FC 0 defeated by Kahibah FC 6
Sunday, May 15, 2.30pm
Lyall Peacock Field
Kahibah ran over the top of a 10-man Toronto Awaba to record a 6-0 win and move to second place on the ladder at Lyall Peacock Field on Sunday.
With player-coach Andre Gumprecht and Daniel Bartlett already sidelined, Kahibah lost Jayden Demir to a hamstring injury in the opening 10 minutes.
They overcame the setbacks and a much-improved and full-strength Toronto Awaba line-up to lead 1-0 at half-time through a lucky Jarrod Penfold goal in the 36th minute. Penfold’s cross from the sideline beat everyone to find the back of the net.
The Stags then had Caleb Prebble sent off in the 63rd minute for a second yellow card and the game quickly slipped away from the hosts. Skii Webster (72nd minute), Sean Clerke (78), Matt Lee (79), Jacob Hill (89) and Trent Vegter (90+1) piled on the goals for Kahibah, who are second on 22 points, three points behind Lake Macquarie but ahead of Wallsend on goal difference.
The Stags have now conceded 26 goals across their past five games and have fallen to 10th place on seven points from 10 matches.
Stags president Nathan White said the send-off was the turning point and his side were playing well and were in the contest at 1-0 down.
Cessnock City FC 1 defeated by Thornton Redbacks FC 2
Sunday, May 15, 2.30pm
A refreshed Thornton Redbacks moved back to fifth place with a 2-1 win over last-placed Cessnock City at Turner Park on Sunday.
Tallan Martin scored just before half-time for the visitors and debutant Jacob Bartlett added a second early in the second half to set up the win which moved Thornton from seventh to fifth on 15 points from 10 matches.
Cessnock scored from the spot with 12 minutes remaining through Jeremie Morton after Thornton’s keeper was deemed to have fouled in the area.
Thornton coach Darrel McAllister was glad his side were able to hold on for the win in a frantic final few minutes, especially after a 2-1 loss to Cooks Hill the previous round.
“I don’t think our keeper had to make a save but they threw everything at us,” McAllister said.
“I think our boys got a bit nervous and sat a bit deep. But apart from that, we were pretty comfortable.
“Before the game, we said the goal was to get through the game with no injuries, get the three points and get to the bye, so we were happy.”
McAllister said his side were flat in the loss to Cooks Hill so he “gave them a night off training last week to freshen them up and it worked a treat. They were buzzing”.
The performance was an improvement for Cessnock, who had lost their past two games, against West Wallsend and Lake Macquarie, 6-1. They remain last on four points from 10 games.
Hornets secretary Warren Jeffrey said Cessnock started well and showed promise in the first half but “We’ve still got some work to do to get off the bottom of the ladder”.
South Cardiff FC 2 defeated by Lake Macquarie City FC 3
Sunday, May 15, 2.30pm
Lake Macquarie maintained their hold on top spot with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over South Cardiff at Ulinga Park on Sunday.
The Roosters now sit three points clear of the field on 25 after the narrow win in their first game back from the bye.
Defender Mat Grey gave Lake Macquarie the lead midway through the first half with a shot from a corner before Liam Copetti equalised with a long-range strike just before half-time.
The Gunners then went ahead through a cracking Cameron Herring strike into the top corner of goals from distance around the 70-minute mark.
Joe Holt set up Sam Walker for the equaliser soon after, then Roosters right fullback Brad York scored the winner, off his own rebounded strike, with five minutes remaining.
Lake Macquarie coach Anthony Richards was happy with the performance and relieved to get the points.
“It was a good game and a tough game and I thought we did OK,” Richards said.
“They’ve had a good run of form lately, South Cardiff. They are well organised and well coached and they are doing a good job up there.
“They were difficult, although I thought we were comfortable enough and in the end it was a really good result for us, to come from 2-1 down.
“Even at 2-1 down our boys were pretty confident they would get out of it, so that’s a good mindset to be in.”
Richards said Blake Green was busy in midfield for the Roosters, while Grey led well as captain from the back.
The result left South Cardiff ninth on eight points from 10 rounds.
West Wallsend SFC – Bye