Match of the Round
West Wallsend 3-0 South Cardiff
West Wallsend co-coach Stephen Thomson believes the Bluebells’ 3-0 win over South Cardiff could be a massive result in terms of his side going on to play finals football.
An own goal gave West Wallsend the lead at Johnston Park on Sunday before a Tye Jones header handed the Bluebells a 2-0 half-time lead.
Josh Carroll added a third midway through the second half to secure the result, making it seven goals in six games since his arrival from Valentine.
Thomson was again happy with the effort from his side who were more clinical than in previous weeks.
“The boys were pretty good, especially in the first half,” Thomson said.
“We fell away a bit in the second half. We had a lot of chances but just didn’t put them away. Overall we’re happy.
“Their goalkeeper pulled off three or four good saves and probably kept the game a bit more respectable.
“Even the last few weeks has been really good in terms of effort. Just sort of the execution has been letting us down and that final pass. But the effort has certainly been there and we’ve been creating a lot of chances. Just probably not taking them has cost us a couple of games.”
West Wallsend are sixth on the NEWFM Northern League One table but level with Singleton and Cessnock City on 15 points, with the Strikers and Hornets ahead on goal difference.
And Thomson acknowledged the Bluebells could not afford any slip ups if they are to feature in the finals.
“Jarrod Olivieri, Josh Carroll, Quinn Macneill, they were all good today and have been pretty consistent week in, week out,” Thomson said.
“That result is massive. We’ve got a couple of hard games coming up. Today was a big step. Hopefully we can build on what we’ve done the last couple of weeks and just go out and do it.”
South Cardiff missed their chance to keep pace with the top five, with the defeat leaving the Gunners languishing in ninth place, six points outside the finals places.
West Wallsend will face another tough test when they take on New Lambton on Saturday, while South Cardiff turn their attention to a clash with in-form Toronto Awaba.
Wallsend 0-2 Belmont Swansea United
Belmont Swansea United coach Mick Stafford was underwhelmed with his side’s performance but happy with their ability to grind out a result as BelSwans returned to the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Wallsend on Sunday.
Cameron Lodge opened the scoring at The Gardens before Ty Goldsmith wasted the opportunity to double BelSwans’ advantage when he saw his penalty saved by Wallsend goalkeeper Zac Hamilton.
The visitors dominated possession but were unable to take a host of chances as Wallsend managed to keep themselves in the contest.
But the game changed midway through the second half when Hamilton was shown a red card after being adjudged to have pulled down BelSwans striker Joel Nicholson.
Nicholson would go onto seal the result as he picked the pocket of a Wallsend defender and rounded the goalkeeper to finish and make it 2-0 inside the final 10 minutes.
It was an important three points for BelSwans who are now two points clear of New Lambton at the top of the table, having secured the result despite missing Chris Gazzard and Corey Wilson through injury.
“It was a very, very average performance from us but we did enough to get the result with a few boys out,” Stafford said.
“We were pretty much all over them but we couldn’t take our chances when we needed to. We’ve been guilty of that the last few games.
“Credit to Wallsend. They fought hard and were a bit unlucky with a few decisions. I thought it was probably a soft penalty we got that we missed at 1-0 up. And I thought they were really unlucky to have their keeper sent off.
“But it’s good to see us get the result even if we weren’t at our best. We got the job done not playing our best football but we’re in first place now. At the end of the day 10 other clubs would love to be where we are and we can still improve when we get a few more players back.”
Wallsend remain last with the defeat, with the Red Devils to turn their attention to another tough clash with Cooks Hill United on Sunday.
BelSwans will enjoy next weekend off with a bye before returning to action with a clash against 2019 grand final opponents Cooks Hill in round 12.
Cessnock City 2-2 New Lambton
Cessnock City coach Michael Gatt was delighted with the spirit shown from his side as the Hornets came from 2-0 down at half-time to secure a 2-2 draw with New Lambton at Turner Park on Sunday.
Cessnock pulled a goal back through James Tassell 10 minutes into the second half before defender William Whitelaw popped up with a header in the 93rd minute to equalise for the Hornets.
The draw kept Cessnock in fifth place, while New Lambton slipped to second as they made it three games in a row without a win.
“It was a great game and a great fightback from our boys,” Gatt said.
“We left it right to the end. But we came out a completely different side in the second half.
“Willie saved us with a header on Wednesday night [against West Wallsend] to get us a draw and he did it again [against New Lambton]. He’s found his goal-scoring touch, the big fella.
“The first half we were really disappointing but the second half the boys all really stood up. There wasn’t really a standout performer. No one was any better than anyone else, it was more a team effort.”
After looking like they would cruise towards the premiership only a couple of weeks ago, New Lambton have hit a difficult run of form.
The Eagles were held to a 0-0 draw by Thornton before they were upset 1-0 by Singleton.
New Lambton have fallen to second place with the draw against Cessnock, with the Eagles in need of turning around their form when they host West Wallsend on Saturday.
Cessnock will take on Kahibah on Saturday as they look to keep their finals charge alive.
Toronto Awaba 4-1 Cooks Hill United
Toronto Awaba have surged into finals contention with an impressive 4-1 victory over Cooks Hill United on Saturday.
The Stags secured a valuable three points that saw them climb to third place, capping a perfect Old Boys’ Day at Lyall Peacock Field.
There was even more reason to celebrate for Toronto Awaba with new signings Nick Cowburn and Rob Macbeth scoring on debut.
A run of three wins in a row have catapulted the Stags up the table, with Steve Piggott’s side just two points behind leaders Belmont Swansea United.
And with the addition of former A-League player Cowburn and former Weston premiership-winning midfielder Macbeth, the Stags may be the dark horse of the competition.
The defeat was a potential hammer blow for Cooks Hill, with the 2019 premiers missing their chance to keep in touch with the top five.
Cooks Hill are eighth on 10 points, five points outside the top five. But they have rescheduled round seven and eight matches in hand against Thornton and Cessnock City in the next two weeks, which they will now need to win if they are to play finals football.
Cooks Hill also travel to The Gardens to face bottom of the table Wallsend on Sunday.
Toronto Awaba will look to make it four wins in a row, and keep their late premiership charge on track, when they host South Cardiff on Saturday.
Thornton 2-4 Kahibah
Kahibah kept their finals hopes alive with a 4-2 victory over Thornton on Saturday.
Kahibah are seventh after the win, two points outside the top five.
The next week could make or break Kahibah’s season, with an away trip to Howe Park to face Singleton in their rescheduled round eight fixture on Wednesday night before returning home to host Cessnock City on Saturday.
The defeat saw Thornton remain in 10th place, with the Redbacks to turn their attention to a midweek clash with Cooks Hill United before they travel to Singleton on Saturday.