Match of the Round
Wallsend FC 1 drew with South Cardiff FC 1
Sunday, May 1, 2.30pm
Wallsend were looking to get ‘back to their best’ against their match with Singleton on Wednesday night, after a “rusty” performance in a 1-1 draw with South Cardiff on Sunday at The Gardens in the NewFM First Division Match of the Round.
South Cardiff, who were coming off the bye, led late in the first half through a header from Cameron Herring, who came in at the back post to make the most of a second effort from a free kick into the box.
Wallsend equalised midway through the second half via Trent Milton, who got in behind the Gunners’ defence and slotted away his chance.
The result left defending major premiers Wallsend in fourth place with 16 points from seven games, while South Cardiff are eighth with eight points from eight matches.
Wallsend play Singleton at Howe Park on Wednesday night from 8pm in their rescheduled round-eight game. The Red Devils had the bye in round seven, meaning the game against South Cardiff was their first time in three weeks.
Wallsend coach Josh Rufo said he was also without “three or four” starting players, including Chris Gazzard and Kyle Macorig, but his team should have done better.
“That’s our first game in three weeks, so it was rusty,” Rufo said.
“There were some really good patches but we weren’t quite the slick team that we should be.
“We had a couple out with work and other commitments, but really, we’ve got a big and decent squad in terms of players and names, so we shouldn’t be dropping points likes that.
“I think South Cardiff will take more out of it. We’ll probably put it to one side and look to Wednesday and hopefully get a positive result there,” Rufo concluded.
South Cardiff coach Andrew Packer said the draw was just reward for his side’s effort.
“We probably dominated the first half and they dominated the second,” Packer said.
“We sat back, which is sort of a problem with us. If we get up, we sit back instead of going on with it, but that comes with experience,
“They played some good stuff in the second half and we both had a couple of chances, so it was probably a fair result.
“You can see they have enough quality and experience up front, so we can be pretty happy getting that result, and we’ll take some confidence from that.
“It was good for our young boys to come away with a point, and just be positive we’re on the right track.”
Packer said goalscorer Herring was his side’s man of the match and central midfield partners Daniel Wells and Josh Casey were also strong. Emmanuel Okumu made his starting debut for the Gunners and also played well.
Cooks Hill United FC 1 drew with West Wallsend SFC 1
Saturday, April 30, 2.30pm
Newcastle Athletics Field
West Wallsend goalkeeper Tyler Warren was a standout as the Bluebells picked up a valuable point on the road against Cooks Hill at Newcastle Athletics Field on Saturday.
Cooks Hill led in the sixth minute after a poor challenge from Zac Parkes on Luke Alexander gave away a penalty which Mal Hinchcliffe converted.
West Wallsend equalised in the 51st minute when Jarrod Olivieri deflected in a well-struck long-range shot from Parkes.
The result meant Cooks Hill dropped to sixth place with 10 points from eight games. West Wallsend are a point further back but have played one extra game.
Cooks Hill coach Blake Glennie was not unhappy with the performance and said Warren proved the difference.
“Tyler pulled off four or five top-level saves and we hit the crossbar with five minutes to go,” Glennie said.
“But I reckon for probably 70 per cent of the match, it was pretty even.
“All in all, it was a good football match and Tyler made some good saves.
“I was pretty happy with the effort and the way we played. We didn’t do much wrong. Unfortunately, it was one of those days their keeper did really well.”
West Wallsend coach Gary Rowe agreed “a draw was a fair result” but was critical of his side’s approach.
“We didn’t do enough to win it and didn’t execute the game plan at all, we had probably more than half our team play really poorly,” Rowe said.
“We both had chances and the result could have gone either way, but I think they will feel disappointed they didn’t win.
“We’ve been setting up to play through the thirds, but they played more ad-lib and direct, which is not what we asked them to do.
“We tried to adjust that at half-time, but it just didn’t sink in. When you’ve got more than half your team playing poorly, you take a point.”
Rowe agreed Warren was the best player on the field.
Kahibah FC 3 defeated Singleton Strikers FC 2
Sunday, May 1, 2.30pm
Player-coach Andre Gumprecht scored with a long-range strike deep in injury time to give Kahibah a 3-2 win over Singleton at Kahibah Oval on Sunday.
Kahibah led on 12 minutes when Daniel Bartlett, back from suspension, scored when his attempted cross beat everyone and found the back of the net.
Singleton equalised on the half-hour with an own goal from a corner for 1-1 at half-time.
The hosts were back in front with 10 minutes to play when Trent Vegter scored.
Chasing their first win of the season, Singleton were given hope of a result in the 90th minute when Nathan Hall was on the spot to tap-in for 2-2 after a well-constructed move inspired by import Sam Ford.
Gumprecht, though, had the final say when the ball fell to him 25 yards out from a rebounded corner kick. His strike through traffic was almost the last kick of the game.
Singleton coach David Willoughby said it was a frustrating result for the Strikers, who produced their best display of the season.
“We were the better team, except for the first 20 minutes,” Willoughby said.
“Once we stopped Gumprecht diving into midfield and laying off his 40-metre angled balls, we dominated possession and field position. We had twice as many shots on goal but unfortunately we hit their goalkeeper’s chest nine times out of 10.
“Our performances have been really good but we just need to execute better in front of goals.”
Singleton, who welcomed UK import Kieron Burrell to their side last week, will back-up against Wallsend in a rescheduled match on Wednesday night at Howe Park.
Willoughby said it will be a test for his side after an intense contest with Kahibah in which both sides pressed hard in defence.
Kahibah are third on 16 points from eight matches, while Singleton sit last on three points from seven games.
Toronto Awaba FC 2 defeated by Thornton Redbacks FC 6
Sunday, May 1, 2.30pm
Lyall Peacock Field
Doubles from Nathan McAllister and Jesse Smith helped Thornton Redbacks climb to fifth spot with a 6-2 win over Toronto Awaba at Lyall Peacock Field on Sunday.
Thornton trailed twice in the first half as the Stags led 1-0 and 2-1 with goals from Nic Roberts. Josh Benacquista and Smith equalised for the visitors for a 2-2 half-time score.
An early brace the McAllister in the second half followed by goals from Smith and Josh Davies secured the win for Thornton, who have 12 points from eight games.
It continues an impressive run for the Redbacks, who have now have three wins on the trot and four victories from the past five games after a slow start to the season.
For Toronto Awaba coach Tony Jovcevski and his team, the game continued a frustrating period.
The Stags won consecutive games but have now lost three in a row to be ninth on seven points from eight matches.
Jovcevski said his side produced an improved performance in attack but mistakes at the back proved costly.
“We dominated the first half but two stupid errors in the backline and they scored,” Jovcevski said.
“Inexperience at the back, guys making some stupid errors by not clearing the balls in our box and that led to the goals they scored.
“They scored one good goal in the second half, but other than that we basically gave them goals by not clearing the ball.
“Second half we stuck it to them and had some opportunities to score, but we didn’t finish and kept making mistakes at the back.
“They played well, don’t take anything away from them. They are one of the better sides we’ve played and they took their chances well,” Jovcevski concluded.
Cessnock City FC 1 defeated by Lake Macquarie City FC 6
Sunday, May 1, 2.30pm
Lake Macquarie strengthened their position at the top of the table with a 6-1 win over Cessnock City at Turner Park on Sunday.
Sam Walker scored three goals and Blake Green two, while defender Mat Grey nailed a header from a corner for the Roosters, who have now netted six goals or more in a game four times this season.
The hat-trick for Walker was the third time he has scored three or more in a game.
Lake Macquarie moved to 22 points from nine games and lead next-best Belmont Swansea by five points.
The Roosters led 3-0 at half-time and 6-0 before Jeremie Morton grabbed a late consolation goal for the Hornets. Cessnock’s Sam Garaty was sent-off late for a second yellow card. Cessnock were also without key defender Jayden Gunther, who was man of the match in a 3-2 win over Belmont Swansea in round eight.
Lake Macquarie coach Anthony Richards was glad to take another three points without any major injuries.
“It was a good day for us,” Richards said.
“The scoreline says it was easy but they were trying hard Cessnock and they were a bit physical at times, but we were good enough to get out of trouble and get the points.”
Richards was happy to see Grey get on the scoresheet.
“He’d been close for the last couple of weeks, so it was good that he finally got one. He’s been playing really, he’s a good leader.”
Dan Walker made his return from injury for the Roosters and set up his brother’s first goal, which came in the opening minute.
Richards said a 25-metre free kick from Green was the pick of the goals.
The loss left Cessnock in 10th place with four points from eight games.
Belmont Swansea United FC – Bye