Match of the Round
Wallsend FC 2 defeated West Wallsend SFC 1
Sunday, June 12, 2.30pm
Wallsend player-coach David Hodgson started his time in charge with a hard-fought 2-1 win over derby rivals West Wallsend at The Gardens on Sunday in the NEWFM First Division Match of the Round.
Trent Milton scored for Wallsend off a rebounded shot about 10 minutes into the game and Chris Gazzard made it 2-0 15 minutes after halftime with a header off a corner.
Sam Holt scored for West Wallsend off a Nick Evans cross with about seven minutes left to give the visitors hope and their chances increased when Wallsend striker Tega Adjeke was sent off for dissent.
Evans had a one-on-one chance denied in injury time and Wallsend held on for the three points, which kept them in fourth place. They have 28 points and sit behind third-placed Kahibah on goal difference but with a game in hand.
The win and other results pushed Wallsend 10 points clear of next-best Wallsend and Thornton in the race for a top-four finals place.
After last week’s washed-out round, the match was Hodgson’s first in charge since coach Josh Rufo quit the club and he was pleased with the performance.
“With seven minutes to go it became a bit tighter, but I thought we played very well, especially in the first half,” Hodgson said.
“We kept possession well but in the second half it became a bit of a slog. They were knocking long balls and we dealt with it quite well until late when we had some tired legs. All in all, I thought we deserved to win. We had six or seven good chances to their one or two outside of their goal.”
Bluebells coach Gary Rowe and his players believed there was doubt over whether the ball crossed the line on both of Wallsend’s goals.
Rowe said the second Wallsend goal “took the wind out of our sails a bit, I thought we were doing quite well up until that point. The boys are gutted.”
West Wallsend lost 3-2 to Wallsend in round four and had gone down only once since on the way to fifth place.
Rowe was again pleased with the effort from his team.
“The performance was great,” he said.
“It wasn’t their finest game but they stuck to the task. They are showing a fair bit of ticker and desire to get results, which was really pleasing.”
The Bluebells face an even greater test on Wednesday night when they take on leaders Lake Macquarie at Macquarie Field from 7.45pm without senior players Jarrod Olivieri, Tye Jones and Michael Baillie.
All three will be suspended on card accumulation for the round-14 catch-up game against the Roosters after picking up a yellow on Sunday.
Wallsend play Cooks Hill at Newcastle Athletics Field on Wednesday night from 7.45pm in their catch-up game.
Singleton Strikers FC 0 defeated by Belmont Swansea United FC 2
Saturday, June 11, 2.30pm
Second-placed Belmont Swansea finished the stronger to beat a determined Singleton 2-0 at Howe Park on Saturday and stay within two points of the competition lead.
Belswans won the first encounter between the sides 3-0 but were forced to work harder for the win on Saturday.
Both sides created chances on a windy day but Belswans did not score until the final few minutes when Josh Hall got a foot to the ball from a free kick and scramble in the box.
The game stayed in the balance until Josh Sutton broke free and chipped the keeper with a tidy finish two minutes into injury time.
The win was the third in a row for Belswans, who have 29 points from 13 games, but coach Brad Paul said it did not come easily.
“I thought defensively they played quite well and we found it difficult to break them down,” Paul said.
“They probably went away thinking they deserved a bit more out of it.”
“It was a really close game. It was a windy day up there and we definitely didn’t play our best football, but you can only play to what they do, and I think they played really well.”
Paul said Michael Peachey “made a couple of crucial saves” as a replacement for regular keeper Nic Popel, who was away with family commitments, and midfielder Cameron Lodge was players’ player after coming on for Joel Shearer (hamstring) early.
Singleton coach David Willoughby said the Strikers, who remain eighth on 12 points, paid the price for not taking their chances, especially in the first half.
“They had seven corners and a couple of free kicks in the second part of the second half and it felt like it was only a matter of time before it would fall to feet and they’d score, and it did,” Willoughby said.
“The last goal was us pushing forward and getting caught out in behind.”
“But in the first half at times were better and we had some really good chances. We were disappointed we didn’t something out of it.
I was bitterly disappointed for the players. We were better than Belswans in a lot of ways but we just lost our way in the last 15 minutes.”
Singleton and Belswans both play their rescheduled round 14 games on June 29. Singleton host South Cardiff and Belswans are away to Thornton. Singleton’s next match is against Thornton in the FFA Cup on Saturday.
Kahibah FC 1 defeated South Cardiff FC 0
Saturday, June 11, 2.30pm
A goal from recent addition Riley Ferguson proved the difference as Kahibah edged out South Cardiff 1-0 at Kahibah Oval on Saturday to stay in third place.
Ferguson made a late run into the box to meet a cross from player-coach Andre Gumprecht before controlling the ball and striking it home with three minutes remaining in the match.
The loss continues a frustrating run of close defeats this season for South Cardiff, who are ninth on just nine points from 13 games.
South Cardiff coach Andrew Packer believed there was a handball in the play leading up to Kahibah’s goal but said his defenders should have dealt with the situation better.
“We played really quite well, like we have done for a while now,” Packer said.
“We dominated possession and created some decent chances but lacked that cutting edge.
“They had one decent chance and took it. They showed us a lot of respect and sat back on us, and we controlled it.
“I can’t really ask any more of my players, they are doing well and playing at the peak of what they can do. Hopefully things just start falling for us.”
Kahibah, who beat South Cardiff 3-0 in their first clash, remain three points off top spot on 28 points in third, ahead of Wallsend on goal difference.
Neither side feature in Wednesday night’s round-14 catch-up games. Kahibah had the bye that round, while South Cardiff play Singleton on June 29.
Thornton Redbacks FC 2 defeated by Lake Macquarie City FC 3
Sunday, June 12, 2.30pm
Lake Macquarie lost defender Corey Fletcher to a heavy collision but held off a resurgent Thornton Redbacks to stay top of the table with a 3-2 win at Thornton Park on Sunday.
With four minutes of regulation time remaining and Lake Macquarie leading 3-2, Fletcher was heavily concussed in a four-way collision in the box. Play was held up for more than 20 minutes while he was treated on the ground. He was taken to hospital by ambulance and found to have a chipped bone in his wrist. He was cleared of any major head injury and released.
Fletcher had provided the ball in for an own goal which gave Lake Macquarie a 3-0 lead at halftime.
Earlier, Blake Green converted a penalty for a handball before burying a one-on-one chance moments later to give the Roosters a 2-0 lead.
Thornton were back in the contest midway through the second half after Nathan McAllister scored from the spot, following a foul from goalkeeper Shannon Szmynec, then a goal soon after from Tim Gleeson.
Thornton had chances late to steal a point but the Roosters held on to go to 31 points, two clear of Belswans, in the race for the premiership.
Lake Macquarie coach Anthony Richards was relieved to get away with the win.
“We were doing OK and had it under control in the first half but to Thornton’s credit, they came out and made it extremely difficult for us in the second half,” Richards said.
“The boys were good enough to hang on, and if anything, the break in play probably helped us.”
The Redbacks lost 8-3 to the Roosters in their first meeting and were out for redemption.
Coach Darrel McAllister was pleased with the turnaround but said missed one-one-one chances in the first half proved costly.
“The first half hour was pretty even then they got a penalty where we should have done better defensively, then they carved us for the second one,” McAllister said.
“The third goal was a bit lucky, but in the second half we were outstanding.”
“There were just a couple of scrambles that didn’t fall our way but I think if we take our one-on-ones in the first half, it’s a different story.”
“At the end of the day, we weren’t good enough. You’ve got to get the ball in the back of the net.”
Thornton stayed sixth on 18 points with the loss.
Lake Macquarie host West Wallsend on Wednesday night in their postponed round 14 game. Thornton’s next match will be in the FFA Cup on June 18 against Singleton.
Cessnock City FC 2 defeated by Cooks Hill United FC 3
Sunday, June 12, 2.30pm
Cooks Hill broke a three-game losing streak to deny last-placed Cessnock 3-2 at Turner Park on Sunday
Cessnock scored first through a great individual effort from Nic Hugo 20 minutes in but Cooks Hill equalised before half-time through a scrappy goal from Luke Alexander off a defender.
Cooks Hill took a 3-1 lead with 20 minutes left in the match after Tom Sparre produced a good finish inside the box off a rebounded shot and Asher Beasley hit a top-quality 20-metre strike.
Wade Attewell struck with about 15 minutes to go to give Cessnock hope at 3-2 down, but the visitors hung on for the win to move to 16 points in seventh place.
It was a pleasing result for Cooks Hill coach Blake Glennie, who had key players Aiden Palozzi and Zac Douglas quit the club in the lead-up.
“Overall, it was a pretty competitive game and I thought Cessnock played quite well,” Glennie said.
“On that performance, I was surprised where they are sitting on the table.”
“I might be biased, but I thought we were the better team, but not by a lot. I thought Cessnock did really well.”
Glennie had high praise for Beasley, who he said was “the best player on the park” for the second game in a row.
The scoreline was a massive turnaround for Cessnock, who lost the first-round battle with Cooks Hill 7-4. They remain last on five points.
Connor Heydon was their players’ player.
Stuart Thomson will be suspended for Cooks Hill when they take on Wallsend on Wednesday night at Newcastle Athletics Field from 7.45pm. Cessnock take on second-last Toronto Awaba from 8pm at Lyall Peacock Field on the same night in their rescheduled round 14 match.
Toronto Awaba FC – Bye