PHOTO: Valentine Sports Photography
Match of the Round
West Wallsend SFS 1 defeated by Cooks Hill United FC 3
Saturday, July 23, 4pm
Cooks Hill player-coach Mal Hinchliffe scored a goal in his first win in charge and Tom Sparre a double as they defeated West Wallsend 3-1 in the NEWFM First Division Match of the Round at Johnston Park on Saturday.
Sparre used his speed on a counter-attack and got in behind to open the scoring for Cooks Hill but the Bluebells hit back soon after through a strike from Dom Langowski.
Hinchliffe, in his second game as player-coach after the departure of Blake Glennie, then produced a back-heel finish to score just after the equaliser late in the first half.
Sparre made it 3-1 on the hour and West Wallsend were soon down to 10 men when Michaell Baillie was booked in quick succession for swearing then a foul tackle.
Hinchliffe was thrilled with the effort from his side, who had several key players out.
“It was a good result considering the team we had on the day,” Hinchliffe said.
“We had four debutants, some 16-year-olds, because of injuries and illness.”
“They had plenty out as well and we caught them on a good day but it could have been 5-1 or 6-1. We played well.”
The win lifted Cooks Hill alongside sixth-placed West Wallsend on 19 points but they sit eighth on goal difference.
Bluebells coach Gary Rowe was pleased with the effort given the state of his side.
“They probably deserved the win but we had nine first graders out,” Rowe said.
“We had three players backing up from under 19s and some making their debut, which is good for them.”
“It’s that time of the year but the boys showed a bit of ticker, which was good to see.
“It was Old Boys day, and the effort was good.”
Singleton Strikers FC 2 defeated Kahibah FC 0
Sunday, July 24, 2.30pm
Keiron Burrell starred as Singleton ended the minor premiership hopes of Kahibah with a 2-0 upset at Howe Park on Sunday.
Second-placed Kahibah went into the match hoping to keep in sight of Lake Macquarie but the loss and the Roosters’ win over Cessnock pushed the gap to nine points and handed the minor premiership to the leaders.
Burrell put the Strikers in front in the 12th minute with a stunning solo effort. The import beat three defenders in a long run before scoring his one-on-one chance.
He then turned provider for Singleton’s second goal, which came on the hour from a Nathan Hall finish. Burrell made an even longer run to elude the Kahibah defence before setting up Hall.
Singleton went to 19 points and seventh on goal difference with the win, which coach David Willoughby said was their best this year.
It was even more remarkable given key player Sam Ford was forced off with an ankle injury after 15 minutes.
“We were very good and the result was phenomenal considering we had six players out,” Willoughby said.
“We started with nine players and two backing up from 23s. We had only 40 players available across the grades, so the club did very well.
“As far as results go, it was our best, to knock off Kahibah, who are trying to win the title and had everything to play for, when we have only fifth place to aim for.”
While Burrell was outstanding, Willoughby also praised centre-backs Ryan Hartwell and Jackson Skinner for their performances.
Kahibah were without Brendan Trummel, Ashley Illfield and Jayden Demir and had no answers to Singleton at a wind-blown Howe Park.
Kahibah assistant coach Matt Moncrieff said the young Singleton midfield were impressive in the tough conditions.
“We never looked like scoring,” Moncrieff said.
“We just couldn’t get anything going and they played to the conditions well. They were just too good on the day.”
Lake Macquarie City FC 8 defeated Cessnock City FC 1
Sunday, July 24, 2.30pm
Lake Macquarie secured the minor premiership with their best-attacking effort of the year in an 8-1 victory over last-placed Cessnock on Sunday at Macquarie Field.
Sam Walker scored four goals and Steve Rospigliosi three, including a back-heel finish, in the domination. Joe Holt scored their other goal.
Walker and Rospigliosi had hat-tricks in the first half before Cessnock got one back through Kyle Clarke for a 6-1 half-time scoreline.
Holt and then Walker scored for 8-1, which is the biggest win of any team this year in the competition.
The Roosters are now nine points clear of Kahibah, who have two games remaining, and are guaranteed to go one better than last year and take the minor title.
Roosters coach Anthony Richards said the performance was a great way to secure the title.
“That was probably the best we’ve been in that attacking third, things just stuck and most of the shots we had went in,” Richards said.
“That’s the minor premiership now, and the boys deserve it. They’ve worked hard these past few weeks and they played well.”
The result took Walker to 29 goals for the year and all but confirmed his second consecutive golden boot award.
Richards was full of praise for the hard-working frontman.
“For the work that he puts in, the rewards he gets are deserved,” Richards said.
“Even with five minutes to go, he was still chasing the ball down looking for more.”
Cessnock are last on 11 points, five points behind the field, with two games to play.
Lake Macquarie, who now have eight wins in a row, have the bye next week before finishing the regular season against South Cardiff.
Thornton Redbacks FC 6 defeated Toronto Awaba FC 2
Sunday, July 24, 2.30pm
Thornton Redbacks coach Darrel McAllister was proud his side’s full-game effort as they defeated Toronto Awaba 6-2 at Thornton Park on Sunday.
The fifth-placed Redbacks lost 3-1 to Kahibah last week to fall nine points behind the top four and all but end their finals hopes, which were officially over when Wallsend won on Sunday to maintain the gap.
However, they put their disappointment aside to lead the Stags 2-0 at half-time through a Nathan McAllister double from a free kick and a strike.
Liam Penglaze made it 3-0 early in the second half before McAllister hit a long-range shot for 4-0.
Tim Stone and Tim Salter scored for Toronto Awaba and Tanner White got on the board for the Redbacks, who led 5-2 before Jamie Subat finished a chance in the final minutes.
Coach McAllister was pleased his side finished the job after a string of incomplete performances this season.
“We blew them away in the first half and created plenty of chances,” McAllister said.
“It could have been five or six goals, but the good thing is we went on with it in the second half. That was the most enjoyable part of it.”
“We put together two good halves of football.”
McAllister said the win, which took them to 25 points, was even better considering defenders Ben Henry, Steve Cummings and Kieran Kerr were out.
“We had three in the backline who haven’t spent much time there and we had to juggle the rest of the team, but the boys were tremendous,” he said.
“Jack Halvorsen from our under 19s made his debut, so it was good to see some young ones come in for development and we still got the win as well.”
Toronto Awaba stayed on 16 points and 10th on goal difference.
South Cardiff FC 1 defeated by Wallsend FC 2
Sunday, July 24, 2.30pm
Wallsend confirmed their spot in the finals with a 2-1 victory over South Cardiff at Ulinga Oval on Sunday.
The Red Devils are fourth on 34 points, now nine points clear of next-best Thornton, after another hard-fought result against the Gunners, who drew 1-1 in their first encounter.
South Cardiff had a one-on-one chance in the first five minutes but it was Wallsend who took an early lead through Cameron Tapp.
The Gunners equalised early in the second half via Cameron Treweek. Wallsend player-coach Dave Hodgson had the chance to put his side ahead from the spot when goalkeeper Mikel Breckenridge was penalised for a challenge. However, the Gunners captain redeemed himself with a great save.
Wallsend, though, had the final say when Tega Adjeke scored the winner when five minutes remaining.
South Cardiff coach Andrew Packer said Adjeke proved a handful for his side all day but he was pleased with the overall performance.
“Their big striker gave our young boys a hell of a time all day and scored a good goal,” Packer said.
“It was a good learning experience for those boys.”
“I thought we played well in patches. We had some good moments but just a little bit of lost concentration at times cost us.”
“I thought both teams played good football and created some nice chances and a draw would have been probably a fair result.”
South Cardiff are on 16 points and dropped from seventh to ninth with the loss and other results.
Belmont Swansea United FC – Bye