PHOTO: VALENTINE SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Match of the Round
Wallsend FC 4 defeated Kahibah FC 1
Sunday, July 31, 2.30pm
Debutant Jack Lyddiard and imposing striker Tega Marcus scored doubles as Wallsend beat an understrength Kahibah 4-1 in the NEWFM First Division Match of the Round at The Gardens on Sunday.
The Red Devils moved to three points behind third-placed Kahibah on 37 with a round to play but are certain to stay fourth because of a far inferior goal difference.
Wallsend led 3-0 at half-time and 4-0 in the 64th minute before Jayden Demir, who had come off the bench in his return from injury, got one back for Kahibah in the last 10.
Marcus pounced on a failed clearance for his first goal, on the half-hour, before Lyddiard showed pace and skill to beat defenders and finish his chance. Marcus struck again just before half-time and Lyddiard scored again midway through the second term.
With their minor premiership hopes over and a finals place in second or third place assured, Kahibah focused on their lower grades and the play-offs for the top team.
As a result, the likes of Colvin Williams, Skii Webster, and Andrew Darr were missing, while Sean Clerke and Ash Illfield were rested because of yellow card trouble.
Assistant coach Matt Moncrieff said Wallsend, who lost their first clash 3-1, were deserved winners on the day.
“It was pretty even the first 25 minutes but then they scored three quick goals on us,” Moncrieff said.
“I thought it was fairly even in the second half, but they tore us apart late in the first half and were too good for us on the day.”
Kahibah player-coach Andre Gumprecht came off at half-time and played a young squad in the semi-final warm-up.
“I think eight of the players we had can still play under-19s,” Moncrieff said.
Wallsend finish the regular season against Belmont Swansea, while Kahibah meet Toronto Awaba in the final round.
Cooks Hill United FC 0 defeated by Thornton Redbacks FC 3
Saturday, July 30, 2.30pm
Newcastle Athletics Field
Nathan McAllister scored twice as Thornton Redbacks survived a strong first-half from Cooks Hill United to win 3-0 at Newcastle Athletics Field on Saturday.
The Redbacks moved to 28 points and a guaranteed finish of fifth place with a round to play after McAllister’s double either side of a 66th-minute goal from second-game youngster Jack Halverson.
McAllister was on the spot to score in the 50th minute when Jamie Subat forced a mistake at the back with a challenge on the Cooks Hill goalkeeper. Jesse Smith then provided the ball for Halverson, who took a nice touch and finished for 2-0.
McAllister put the result beyond doubt in the 79th minute with a volleyed strike into the top corner of goals.
Coach McAllister was proud of the defensive effort as much as the second-half attack.
“We were under the pump a bit in the first half,” McAllister said.
“It took us a bit of time to work them out and I think it was 10-0 corners against us at half-time.”
“We just couldn’t keep the ball, but we were better in the second half. Once we got the first goal, we took over from that point.”
“We weathered the storm and still probably had the best chances in the first half.”
Cooks Hill player-coach Mal Hinchliffe believed his side were unlucky and should have led at half-time.
“It was the story of our season,” Hinchliffe said.
“We were the better team in the first half then they score a dubious goal and we get counter-attacked on the others.”
“We could have been 2-0 up at half-time but we just didn’t take our chances.”
The result left Cooks Hill, who defeated Thornton 2-1 in their first clash this year, ninth on goal difference on 19 points. They finish their season away to Singleton, while the Redbacks host last-placed Cessnock City.
Toronto Awaba FC 0 defeated by Singleton Strikers FC 6
Sunday, July 31, 2.30pm
Lyall Peacock Field
Keiron Burrell was the star as Singleton dominated Toronto Awaba 6-0 at Lyall Peacock Field on Sunday.
The UK import scored a hat-trick of goals inside opening 20 minutes as the Strikers led 4-0 at half-time. Nathan Hall scored the other goal and Robbie Field bagged a second-half double to round out the victory, which moved Singleton to 22 points and sixth on goal difference ahead of West Wallsend.
Singleton coach David Willoughby said it was a complete performance from his side.
“We kept the ball well and we were very good, it could have been 10 goals really,” Willoughby said.
“Nathan Hall missed two one on ones in the first half and we had other chances.”
“They made a better start in the second half but we were good for it and deserved the win.”
Willoughby said Burrell scored with a tidy finish for the first goal and did it all himself for the next two with incisive runs and shots.
He said Burrell “was on fire” and produced the dominant performance despite a groin injury and heavy marking from a Stags side desperate to shut him down.
He said Matt Franz, Daniel Palozzi, and Hall were strong in midfield for the Strikers, while Jackson Hough and Zane Hand were standouts in defence.
The loss means Toronto Awaba, who are 16 points, are guaranteed to finish in 10th place.
Coach Tony Jovcevski missed the game because of family commitments but said his players had been disheartened by previous losses to Thornton and West Wallsend in which they failed to convert chances.
“It’s a tough time of the year, players are not as eager and from all reports, we were not in the game at all today,” Jovcevski said.
Cessnock City FC 2 defeated by West Wallsend SFC 3
Sunday, July 31, 2.30pm
Nick Evans scored a hat-trick as West Wallsend finished their season on a high with a 3-2 win over last-placed Cessnock City at Turner Park on Sunday.
The Bluebells, who have the bye in the last round, finished the year on 22 points and sit seventh ahead of the final weekend.
Evans scored midway through the first half and early in the second term, both off long balls from goalkeeper Tyler Warren, to put West Wallsend ahead 2-0.
Cessnock got one back via Jeremie Morton before Evans completed his hat-trick.
The Hornets received a well-earned penalty, which Kyle Clarke converted, five minutes from the end but the Bluebells held on for the three points.
Coach Gary Rowe was pleased with the effort given Ryan Cole and Bryson Cox were among three players who withdrew on Sunday.
“They did pretty well and didn’t make it easy on us,” Rowe said of Cessnock.
“We were missing a few players and had three pull out on us on the day, so we did well all things considered.”
“Our points tally puts us where I believed we are in the competition, so that was nice.”
He said Bailey Cox was his man of the match after filling in for Bryson Cox at centre back, while under 19s player Greg Mason was another standout for his understrength line-up.
Cessnock coach Stephen Thomson said he had six players missing and the Hornets were made to pay for their errors.
“We basically gave them a three-goal start,” Thomson said.
“They scored all their goals off our mistakes.”
“We have Lakes five goals the week before [in an 8-1 loss]. It’s been the story of our season.”
“It wasn’t the best results-wise but the effort and commitment has been there. It’s just a bit of execution in the front third that’s let us down.”
Cessnock stayed on 11 points and will finish last this season.
South Cardiff FC 1 defeated Belmont Swansea United FC 0
Sunday, July 31, 2.30pm
A Josh Casey strike and strong defensive effort helped South Cardiff finish their home season on a high with a 1-0 upset over Belmont Swansea at Ulinga Oval on Sunday.
Casey scored midway through the first half with a strike into the bottom corner on a day the Gunners farewelled Daniel Wells, who is leaving to play college football in the US.
Coach Andrew Packer said it was a fitting way to send off Wells.
“We played well and it was good to see in our last home game of the year. We deserved to get the three points,” Packer said.
“We made a presentation to Daniel Wells before the game and he wore the armband. He’s played about 100 games for us and been here for years, and he was a standout for us on Sunday.
“It was a good send-off for him.”
The win lifted South Cardiff to 19 points in eighth place, while Belmont Swansea stayed second on 41 points.
Belswans coach Brad Paul said his side, who were backing up from a 3-0 win over the Bluebells last Wednesday night, “didn’t have the run in their legs” to break down the well-structured Gunners.
Paul said his team also gifted Casey his goal with a failed clearance.
“We created a couple of chances but all in all, it was a lacklustre performance,” Paul said.
“It was a pretty boring game, really, and there wasn’t a lot of goalmouth activity from either side.”
“I think we got caught in an arm-wrestle on a compact ground and they have probably the best-organised defence we’ve come up against this year.”
“It was pretty ordinary from us and one of our lower performances this year,” paul concluded.
Lake Macquarie City FC – Bye