Match of the Round
Belmont Swansea United FC 3 defeated Cooks Hill United FC 1
Sunday, May 29, 2.30pm
Belmont Swansea overcame a young and enthusiastic Cooks Hill to move to second place with a 3-1 win in the NEWFM First Division Match of the Round on Sunday at Blacksmiths Oval.
Jamie Hadlow scored with a glancing shot off a Joel Shearer free kick and Fletcher Price converted from the spot for a 2-0 lead inside 20 minutes.
Matt Williams scored with a header from a corner to give Cooks Hill hope at half-time at 2-1 down.
Belswans then scored 10 minutes into the second half when Josh Sutton deflected the ball in from a free kick.
Belswans coach Brad Paul was proud of how his side were able to hold out Cooks Hill in the second half when injuries struck.
“It probably wasn’t one of our better performances, we seemed a bit flat compared to the last couple of weeks,” Paul said.
“We’ve had a couple of hard games so it was probably always going to be hard to get them up.
“We started OK and got a couple of goals and the positive was that we were able to ride out the attacks they put to us at the end.
“They came at us at 2-0 and we sat back a bit. They out-enthused us on the day and won a lot of second-phase ball. They played quite well.”
Goalkeeper Nick Popel was players’ player again for Belswans.
Cooks Hill coach Blake Glennie dropped five players after two poor performances in a shock 3-1 loss to Singleton and 6-1 defeat to Kahibah. They now sit seventh on 13 points.
Despite the loss to Belswans, Glennie was proud of the response from his side.
“It was a really young team and I couldn’t be prouder of them,” Glennie said.
“The work rate was phenomenal and we were a bit unlucky. They scored three goals from set pieces and we had some good chances.
“Overall I was so happy with the effort.”
Glennie said young midfielders Asher Beasley and Milan Lettau were outstanding for his team.
Toronto Awaba FC 0 defeated by Lake Macquarie City FC 6
Saturday, May 28, 2.30pm
Lyall Peacock Field
A Sam Walker hat-trick and an impressive starting debut from Steve Rospigliosi lifted Lake Macquarie to a 6-0 win over Toronto Awaba at Lyall Peacock Field on Saturday and back to the top of the table.
Walker, who now has scored 18 goals in 12 games, scored with a back-post header off a Rospigliosi cross in the first half to put the Roosters ahead 1-0 at half-time.
He added two more in the second half as Rospigliosi, Mat Grey and Joe Cacic also scored to put Lake Macquarie on 28 points. The Roosters had dropped to second on goal difference to Kahibah with a 3-2 loss to Belmont Swansea last week but are back three points clear after their rivals’ defeat and Wallsend’s bye.
Lake Macquarie coach Anthony Richards said Grey scored from a loose ball off a corner and the other goals were well-constructed in a dominant performance against the Stags, who they beat 6-0 in round seven.
“They gave us a good game until half-time, but we did really well in the second half,” Richards said.
“It wasn’t easy but we were doing OK and never in too much trouble in the first half before kicking away.
“We were fairly solid and created some good chances.”
Richards said former NPL player Rospigliosi “did really well” in his first start after a delayed beginning at the Roosters. He came off the bench the previous two weeks.
The loss was the seventh in a row for second-last Toronto Awaba, who have conceded 38 goals and scored only five gals since earning their last competition point.
West Wallsend SFC 3 defeated Kahibah FC 0
Saturday, May 28, 4pm
West Wallsend produced their best performance of the season to defeat Kahibah 3-0 and help knock them off the top of the table at Johnston Park on Saturday.
The Bluebells led 1-0 at halftime after Ryan Cole scored with a right-foot strike on the half-hour. Tye Jones then produced a second-half double with left-foot strikes as West Wallsend retained fifth place and moved to 18 points. They lead Thornton on goal difference and are seven points outside the top four.
The win was the highlight so far this season for West Wallsend and stretched their unbeaten run to five games.
“Our boys played as well as they have all season and we caught them on a good day,” West Wallsend coach Gary Rowe said.
Rowe said the victory was a reward for his players, who stuck to the game plan.
“We realised that they are the most dangerous on the counter so we tried to stop them counter attacking. We tried to kill those options and it worked, which was pleasing,” Rowe said.
Kahibah went top of the table on goal difference with a 6-1 win over Cooks Hill last week and were on a four-game winning streak before Saturday.
Kahibah player-coach Andre Gumprecht said his side failed to adjust to West Wallsend’s strategy.
“We deserved to lose the game,” Gumprecht said.
“Our defensive work-rate was not the way it should be and this was because we had to invest a lot of energy in attack, moving into spaces as West Wallsend were sitting very deep.
“We will work this coming week to improve. Overall we need to remind ourselves why we are in the top half of the ladder and that’s because we’re an organised and hard-working team when we don’t have the ball.”
Thornton Redbacks FC 2 defeated Singleton Strikers FC 1
Sunday, May 29, 2.30pm
Thornton kept within sight of the top four with a gritty 2-1 win over a resurgent Singleton in a wind-blown contest at Thornton Park on Sunday.
Nathan McAllister gave Thornton the lead 20 minutes into the match with a header off a Mitch Kiczynski cross after a great build-up from the Redbacks.
Singleton equalised inside a minute after Kieron Burrell beat multiple defenders in a run from halfway before slipping the ball past the Thornton keeper for a spectacular solo effort.
Jock Thompson put the home side in front midway through the second half when he got the crucial touch at a goal-mouth scramble from a corner.
Both sides created chances in a frantic finish but Thornton held on to move to 18 points in sixth place, behind West Wallsend on for an against and seven points off the top four with a game in hand on most teams.
Thornton coach Darrel McAllister said his side needed to play smarter to close out results but he was thrilled with their energy and effort in their first game back from the bye.
McAllister said Ben Henry, who started in attack, played a crucial role in defence in the second half.
“They’ve got some good players and some dangers,” McAllister said.
“They played a lot of good 1-2 stuff in the middle of the park and we were a little bit off there.”
“Burrell scored that goal and was a class above the rest of them, but we changed things around in the second half and put Ben Henry on Burrell at right-back and he pretty much eliminated anything he did.”
“If we started Ben Henry on him, he probably wouldn’t have scored that goal. He’s one of the best defenders in the comp.”
He said the game was “a bit of a scrap and a grind and either side could have won it”.
The result ended Singleton’s winning streak at three games and they remain eighth on 12 points.
Coach David Willoughby was pleased with the performance and thought his side deserved a share of the spoils.
“I think a point each would have been fair, but they took their chances and we didn’t,” Willoughby said.
“There wasn’t a lot in it. Stuey Plant had to make two saves for us and we probably had three shots on goal. It was windy and the ground was very hard, so it was difficult to play.”
“I was happy with the effort and how we played. We tried to play but it was difficult in the conditions and they scored two opportunistic goals. There were no real defensive lapses.”
The match highlighted the improvement of Singleton, who were thumped 4-1 by Thornton on a muddy Howe Park in round seven.
South Cardiff FC 4 drew with Cessnock City FC 4
Sunday, May 29, 2.30pm
Cessnock City scored in the last minute to take a share of the points in an eight-goal thriller with South Cardiff at Ulinga Park on Sunday.
South Cardiff led 2-0 through a Josh Casey top-poke finish in the 33rd minute and Drew Chapman’s far-post touch from a cross in the 38th.
Cessnock then scored through a long-range, volleyed strike from Wade Attewell in the 39th minute and Liam Stephenson from a turnover in defence in the 45th.
The hosts went ahead 3-2 early in the second half with a free kick from Corey Nicholas early before the Hornets drew level again with another shot from distance, this time from Connor Heydon.
Casey made it a double when he put South Cardiff back in front in the 87th minute with a free kick before Attewell struck in injury-time.
Attewell was rewarded for his work off the ball when he took advantage of a loose touch in defence to take possession and score for the draw and a personal double.
South Cardiff coach Andrew Packer said the result was a bitter pill to swallow for his side after breaking out of their goal-scoring slump. The Gunners had scored just 11 goals in 11 games before the weekend.
“It was good to score some goals but we should have scored 10,” Packer said.
“We had a lot of chances, probably three of four one on ones, and we just didn’t finish.”
“They scored two really good goals and we gave away two, pretty much. Two bad mistakes and one was in the last 30 seconds.”
“They came and worked hard for it, Cessnock, so you’ve got to give them credit, but it was very disappointing for us.”
South Cardiff remain ninth on nine points, while Cessnock are still last on five points.
Hornets coach Steve Thomson said Josh Bower and goalkeeper Steve Anderson pulled out at training during the week, following the loss Jeremie Morton and Anthony Bower, meaning he had a young side on the park.
Thomson said it was a great effort from a side with an average age of 19-20 years but “if you score four goals, you shouldn’t get beat”.
Wallsend FC – Bye