Match of the Round
Belmont Swansea United FC 3 defeated Lake Macquarie City FC 2
Sunday, May 22, 2.30pm
Belmont Swansea helped knock Lake Macquarie off the top of the table with a 3-2 win over the Roosters in the NEWFM First Division Match of the Round on Sunday at Blacksmiths Oval.
Belswans, who started the year with a 4-3 win over Lake Macquarie, repeated the dose in round 12 after converting a 2-0 half-time lead into the victory, which lifted them to 23 points in fourth place. Lake Macquarie are now second on goal difference behind Kahibah in a three-way tie at the top at 25 points.
The hosts on Sunday took control early when Luke Cook scored with a 25-metre strike into the top corner in the ninth minute. Josh Sutton then produced a nice finish to a well-constructed team effort in the 17th minute for 2-0.
Belswans had another chance denied when Jamie Hadlow’s effort was deemed not to have crossed the goal line.
Lake Macquarie were back in the game in the 65th minute when Sam Walker was fouled and Blake Green converted the penalty.
Belswans restored their two-goal lead when Josh Hall was taken down and Fletcher Price scored from the spot in the 79th minute. Walker gave the visitors hope in the 90th minute with a great individual effort to score but it was too little, too late.
Coach Brad Paul said his side were rewarded for nullifying the potent Roosters attack.
“The first half they created basically nothing,” Paul said.
“They had a shot from a set piece right at the end that Nick Popel held on to.
“They pushed hard second half but we played pretty well.
“We were travelling really well, but then we started a bit flat in the second half and they changed a few things that seemed to work.
“We didn’t create a lot in the second half and they got back into the game.”
He said Popel was named players’ player, while central defender Ben Cox, who came back from suspension, played well.
“He was my man of the match,” Paul said of Cox.
“He’s a young guy who’s come through our 19s and 23s and he’s having a really good year.”
Roosters coach Anthony Richards said his side were out-enthused in the first half.
“We didn’t have much going forward in the first half and they scored two nice goals, both from distance, then we weren’t good enough to get the goals,” Richards said.
“It was similar to the first round. We gave them a couple of goals and were chasing them down but weren’t good enough. You give away three goals, it’s hard to win games.”
Singleton Strikers FC 6 defeated Cessnock City FC 1
Saturday, May 21, 2.30pm
A hat-trick from Klaudon Ahmataj and a standout effort from Zane Hand lifted Singleton to a 6-1 victory over last-placed Cessnock City at Howe Park on Saturday.
It was the Strikers’ third consecutive victory of the season and put them within a point of Cooks Hill in eighth place on 12 points. They defeated Cooks Hill 3-1 in round 11 and beat Toronto Awaba 4-2 the previous match.
Singleton led 2-0 at half-time after Dan Palozzi scored with a free kick in the second minute and Sam Ford added a second inside 10 minutes after a break from midfield, a 1-2 move with Ahmataj and a 20-metre strike.
The Strikers upped the ante in the second half as Ahmataj scored a treble and Kieron Burrell a goal before Cessnock got on the scoresheet via a Nick Hugo free kick at the death.
Singleton coach David Willoughby said his side did not create many chances in the first half after going to 2-0 up but “we kept the ball a bit better in the second half”.
He said while Ahmataj was a deserved winner of the players’ player award for his goals, wing backs Zane Hand and Franz Matthias were key players in the win.
He said Hand was prominent at set pieces and provided three assists for goals, two for Ahmataj and one for Burrell.
While happy with the win and the performance, Willoughby said Singleton were still suffering 10-15 minute lapses in concentration and they needed to improve ahead of their clash with Thornton next weekend.
Kahibah FC 6 defeated Cooks Hill United FC 1
Sunday, May 22, 2.30pm
Two goals from Jarrod Penfold and an impressive debut from Riley Ferguson were features of Kahibah’s 6-1 defeat of Cooks Hill at Kahibah Oval on Sunday which took the hosts to the top of the table.
Penfold gave Kahibah the lead before Tom Sparre equalised. Josh Spencer scored late in the half to give Kahibah a 2-1 edge at the break and the home side were never threatened in the second period.
Skii Webster, Sean Clerke, Brendon Trummel and Penfold scored in a dominant second-half effort from Kahibah, who welcomed former junior Riley Ferguson back to the club.
Ferguson starred in midfield for Kahibah in his first match since returning from Edgeworth’s under 22s squad.
The win put Kahibah on 25 points and equal with Lake Macquarie and Wallsend but ahead on goal difference.
Kahibah have a plus 28 for-and-against, compared to Lake Macquarie’s 24 and Wallsend’s 16.
The result completed a domination by Kahibah of Cooks Hill, who they beat 7-2 in the season-opener.
Cooks Hill remain seventh on 13 points but are now only a point clear of Singleton and 10 points behind the top four. The loss followed a 3-1 defeat to Singleton.
Wallsend FC 6 defeated Toronto Awaba FC 1
Sunday, May 22, 2.30pm
A David Hodgson hat-trick lifted a 10-man Wallsend side to a 6-1 victory over Toronto Awaba at The Gardens on Sunday.
Hodgson scored in the 19th and 38th minutes, either side of Tim Salter’s (33rd) goal for Toronto Awaba. Trent Milton then produced some individual brilliance to put Wallsend up 3-1 at the break with a goal in the 43rd minute.
Hodgson made it 4-1 early in the second half before Tim Davies (61st) extended the lead with a free kick.
Wallsend’s win was soured in the 71st minute when Gocha Abshilava was shown a straight red card for violent conduct. Paul Wheeler made it 6-1 four minutes later from the spot.
The result put Wallsend into a three-way tie for the lead on 25 points but they sit third on goal difference.
Red Devils coach Josh Rufo said it was pleasing to see his side score a few goals.
“Realistically, if we had scored 10, that would’ve flattered them,” Rufo said.
“Except for the briefest of moments when they scored, we dominated from start to finish.
“We played some good football with some good combinations and it was a good result heading into the bye.”
Toronto Awaba, who lost 4-1 to Wallsend to start the season, have now let in 32 goals in their past six matches to sit 10th on seven points.
Stags coach Tony Jovcevski was unable to explain the poor performance from his side.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” Jovcevski said.
“They trained the house down during the week, then they go out on the field and play like that. It’s hard to understand.
“They deserved to win by a few more, but our keeper had a blinder. In saying that, we let four good chances in the first half, including two one-on-ones and it could have been a different kettle of fish if we’d scored them.”
South Cardiff FC 0 defeated by West Wallsend SFC 1
Sunday, May 22, 2.30pm
West Wallsend put a missed penalty and several opportunities lost behind them to score a 1-0 win over South Cardiff at Ulinga Oval on Sunday.
Left-footer Ryan Cole scored with his right foot off a Jarrod Olivieri ball midway through the second half, five minutes after teammate Tye Jones shot his penalty strike over the bar. The win saw West Wallsend rise to fifth place on 15 points, three goals ahead of Thornton Redbacks on for and against.
West Wallsend, who won the round-one clash with South Cardiff 3-2, had the bye last round and stretched their unbeaten run to four games with the win over the Gunners, who are ninth on eight points.
Bluebells coach Gary Rowe was relieved to get away with the three points after a frustrating day.
“It was good to win, but we should have scored more goals,” Rowe said.
“We missed the penalty but we should have had it wrapped up before then.
“Coley hit the bar, their keeper made a couple of nice saves and a couple of other times it was just frustrating.”
He said the positive, apart from the win, was the effort at the back without suspended defender Michael Baillie.
“We defended really well, Tyler [Warren] had to make only a couple of saves,” Rowe said.
“Our make-shift back four did really well and Bryson Cox was outstanding. He marked Winstone [Oku] out of the game, which is a big challenge for anybody.”
South Cardiff coach Andrew Packer said his side were “a bit flat” after a 3-2 loss to Lake Macquarie in which they led 2-1 midway through the second half.
“They thought they should have got the points last week, so I think they were a bit down in the dumps about that,” Packer said.
“We knew West Wallsend’s strengths, with the fast wide players and their No.10, but they caught us out.
“We had a couple of good chances but I don’t think we deserved anything out it. If we got a point, it would have been a good result considering how we played. I was a bit disappointed.”
Thornton Redbacks FC – Bye