Match of the Round
Kahibah FC 2 defeated by Lake Macquarie City FC 4
Sunday, July 3, 2.30pm
Lake Macquarie weathered a second-half storm to move five points clear at the top of the table with a 4-2 victory over Kahibah in the NEWFM First Division Match of the Round at Kahibah Oval on Sunday.
The Roosters were 1-0 up at half-time thanks to a curling Blake Green free kick. They were then 3-0 ahead early in the second half after Green scored his second and Steve Rospigliosi netted the first of his double.
Riley Ferguson then scored with a long-range strike to put Kahibah in the contest and substitute Brendan Trummel found the back of the net a minute later to have the Roosters on the back foot.
Rospigliosi struck again with about 15 minutes left and Lake Macquarie held firm to go to 40 points with four games left.
Kahibah, who were without player-coach Andre Gumprecht and other key players, remained third on 34 points, one behind Belmont Swansea.
Richards was relieved to get away with the crucial win.
“At 3-0 we were cruising then they score maybe the goal of the season, an absolute bomb, and another good goal straight after and we got the wobbles a bit,” Richards said.
“But the senior boys got them together, had a chat and after Stevie Peru’s last goal we looked comfortable again.
“We just had to weather that five-minute storm.
“They did well, Kahibah. They were missing a few but they are a good side.”
Lake Macquarie are in the box seat to take the minor premiership and finish the year with Wallsend, Cooks Hill, Cessnock and South Cardiff.
“I’d rather be where we are but we’ve got a tough run in,” Richards said.
“Wallsend and Cooks Hill are good sides and Cessnock and Southy have been going really well lately, so there’s a long way to go.”
Singleton Strikers FC 2 defeated West Wallsend SFC 1
Saturday, July 2, 2.30pm
Singleton ground out a 2-1 win over a 10-man West Wallsend at Howe Park on Saturday to head into the bye on a high for a well-earned rest.
West Wallsend led via a Ryan van Kemenade header from a corner but Singleton equalised on the half-hour with a strike on the turn from Klaudon Ahmataj after nice build-up work from Sam Ford and Tyler Felsch.
The Strikers went ahead midway through the second half with an own goal off a Ford cross and went to 16 points with the win.
They now sit eighth, ahead of Cooks Hill but behind West Wallsend on goal difference.
Singleton have come through a tough schedule, including FFA Cup games on June 18 and 19 and a midweek game last week, and now have the bye.
Coach David Willoughby was looking forward to the break and said his side deserved a win after some close recent results.
“We’ve played a lot better and got beaten,” Willoughby said.
“We were tired though and are overdue for a rest.
“Fatigue was a factor and we ran out of legs. We didn’t keep the ball as well as have been but we gutsed it out to get the win, so credit to the players.”
The Bluebells, who drew with Singleton 1-1 first time around, had Tye Jones and Michael Baillie out suspended and Ryan Cole sidelined with a hamstring tear. They lost senior player Jarrod Olivieri to a second yellow card with about 30 minutes left.
Coach Gary Rowe said his side struggled to make an impact with key attacking players Jones and Cole out.
“I thought we were pretty average from the get-go,” Rowe said.
“It was a game where it seemed like both teams didn’t want to be there.”
Toronto Awaba FC 2 defeated Belmont Swansea United FC 1
Sunday, July 3, 2.30pm
Lyall Peacock Field
An understrength Toronto Awaba caused the upset of the season to get off the bottom of the ladder and damage Belmont Swansea’s minor premiership hopes on Sunday at Lyall Peacock Oval.
The Stags, missing seven regular first grade players, beat second-placed Belswans 2-1 to move to 13 points, two ahead of Cessnock City.
The result left Belswans five points behind leaders Lake Macquarie with four games remaining.
Belswans, who were backing up from a 3-2 midweek win over Thornton, lead 1-0 at half-time after a ninth minute goal from Jamie Hadlow but the Stags scored through Liam Watson in the 60th minute and Tim Salter in the 75th to steal the three points.
The upset followed a goalless draw between the clubs first time around in a season where Toronto Awaba have conceded 52 goals.
Toronto Awaba coach Tony Jovcevski was proud of his young line-up and said they were rewarded for sticking to the game plan.
“We had seven blokes out and 15 all up through the club, we had people doubling up and four under-17s in first grade, but everyone did their job and played extremely well,” Jovcevski said.
“I think in the end we just wanted it more than Belswans.
“They are a counter-attacking side so we just tried to combat what they were doing and just shut them down.
“It was a fantastic effort from the boys.”
Belswans coach Brad Paul was extremely disappointed with the lacklustre effort but said his team had spoken pre-match about not using their midweek game as a potential excuse.
“We were missing a couple of boys but we were pretty flat on the day and missed a lot of chances,” Paul said.
“We should have been three or four up at half-time. We hit the post, the crossbar and their keeper made some good saves, but it was just one of those days.
“It was probably our worst performance in 16 games, but the positive is we’ve reached our goal for the season in finishing in the top four.
“This has put the minor premiership probably out of reach now. Pressure builds up around that and that will be released now.
“It’s not the best but we’ll take stock now and realign our goals.”
Wallsend FC 2 defeated Thornton Redbacks FC 1
Sunday, July 3, 2.30pm
Thornton Redbacks were left to rue missed chances as they fell nine points behind fourth-placed Wallsend with a 2-1 loss to them on Sunday at The Gardens.
Trent Milton scored twice for Wallsend, who moved to 28 points, 12 off the leaders, with five games to play. Fifth-placed Thornton, who also have five matches remaining, are on 19.
Milton scored with a deflected strike midway through the first half to give them the lead at the break.
Jamie Subat finished a one-on-one chance early in the second half to give the hosts hope of bridging the gap on the ladder, but Milton beat a defender before shooting truly to put the Red Devils back in front with 15 minutes to go.
It was the third time in the past four rounds Thornton have lost by a goal and continued a frustrating period for coach Darrel McAllister.
”We got back into it and had another great second half, but we’re just not getting the goals we need to,” McAllister said.
“Even the first half, we had one cleared off the line and hit the crossbar twice. We probably shaded them in chances created.
“It was a pretty even game and I thought a draw would have been a good result. We asked some questions of them but we were just not good enough.”
South Cardiff FC 3 defeated Cooks Hill United FC 1
Sunday, July 3, 2.30pm
Striker Winstone Oku was the star for South Cardiff as they moved to sixth on 16 points with a 3-1 win over Cooks Hill at Ulinga Oval on Sunday.
Oku scored in the 73rd minute to ice the win with a secondary header off a corner and he also set-up the Gunners earlier two goals.
David Hecimovic scored with a back-post tap-in on 22 minutes to give South Cardiff a 1-0 half-time lead. Cooks Hill levelled with a deflected strike from Jared Neale in the 47th minute and created chances to go ahead.
But it was South Cardiff who kicked clear when Josh Casey made the most of a through ball from Oku, who later sealed the win.
South Cardiff coach Andrew Packer was glad to see his side, who have the best defensive record outside the top four, convert some chances.
“It’s good to see them finishing off chances,” Packer said.
“It’s starting to come together for us and it’s good to see the boys getting what they deserve.
“We’ve just got to keep it going. We’ve got a tough run of games with Thornton, Wallsend, Belswans and Lakes, so hopefully we can shake things up in the top four. A couple more wins would be nice.”
Cooks Hill coach Blake Glennie said it was a frustrating day for his side, who remained on 16 points and now sit ninth on goal difference.
“I think they got the job done,” Glennie said.
“They deserved to win but it was a really scrappy game with a lot of long balls. They just wanted it more than us and were hungrier.
“When it got to 1-1 their keeper made a couple of good saves and we had a penalty call that the referee deemed a free kick. But all in all, we didn’t play well.”
Cessnock City FC – Bye