PHOTO: VALENTINE SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Belmont Swansea 9 (Marcus 14’, 38’, 53’, 86’, Matthews 21’, Shearer 34’, Lodge 56’, McMaster 60’, 68’) def. Wallsend FC 0
Belmont Swansea showed the competition what they’re capable of with a huge 9-0 win over last year’s champions on a miserable old day at Blacksmiths Oval on Saturday afternoon.
A rainy week and three games prior presented both sides with a pitch choppy in parts, and perhaps the familiarity of home helped Belswans pass their way into a commanding control of the ball in the early periods of this one.
Tega Marcus proved influential early on – he won a free kick in the 14th minute, and a flatly hit free kick from the deep was glanced off the head of Belswans’ leading goal scorer and somehow found its way past James Wand to put the fifth place Belmont-Swansea into an early lead.
A second goal seemed only a matter of time, and just seven minutes later it was a shot from some distance which would double Belswans’ lead – a 40-yard Sean Matthews speculator slipped through the hands and legs of Wand in the Wallsend goal, and cue delirium among an expectant Belmont-Swansea crowd.
Wallsend were struggling to find a way back into the match as they battled a two-goal deficit – Belswans were controlling the ball and knocking it around with ease, and it was some opportune awareness which extended their lead further in the 34th minute. Club captain Joel Shearer marked his return to the starting line-up after a lengthy absence with a 30-yard thunderbolt, which caught Wand unexpectedly and almost put a hole in the back of the net.
Jackson Pett registered Wallsend’s first shot on target with a strike across the face which forced Ben Parmenter into a low save, but the home side would add to their advantage yet again before the half was out. They had some vintage counter attacking football and talisman Marcus to thank – the striker received the ball inside his own half and a speedy run past the Wallsend defence helped him finish low and hard across Wand to give Belswans a 4-0 lead at halftime.
Wallsend had a chance early in the second half, Jason McGuire was forced wide by Corey Wilson before Red Devil Matt Williams got a good shot away from the resulting corner. Just two minutes later in the 53rd however, Belswans would snuff out any hope of a revival. A Chris Gazzard ball over the top found the indomitable Marcus in the middle, who had the easiest of finishes to claim his hat-trick and Belmont Swansea’s fifth.
Three minutes later and they’d make it six. Sean Matthews won a free kick inside the Wallsend half, and Gazzard stepped up with a nice ball over the top which Cameron Lodge headed in to claim his first of the day. They’d pile on the misery once more with 15 minutes gone in the second half, Tega Marcus won a free kick which was dispatched this time by Angus Joseph. It was scrappy, but Will McMaster claimed the last touch and it was 7-0 with half an hour to go.
Matt Williams nearly clawed one back straight from the resulting kick-off, but Wallsend could do little to stem the wave after wave of Belswans attack. Their short passing brand of football wasn’t diminished by the shocking conditions on the day, and the substitute McMaster claimed his second in the 68th minute to take the score to 8-0.
The heavens opened up just a couple of minutes later, which looked to finally even out the match a little. There were some heavy Wallsend legs, which were made even heavier when Belswans made it 9 with just four minutes to play – Sean Matthews found Marcus in the middle, who couldn’t help but slam the ball home to give his side a huge 9-0 victory.
Belmont-Swansea coach Josh Rufo was determined to not let his team get ahead of themselves despite the result.
“I wouldn’t call it a warning shot to the rest of the competition, our aim is to be competitive and to play a consistent brand of football,” Rufo said.
“I’m pretty stubborn, we’ve got a system and a style that suits our squad and the players deserve all the credit for their hard work and execution, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t and I’m confident it’ll bear fruit as the season wears on.
“We’ve got a squad and that’s something I’m very big on, Will (McMaster) is one of the young fellas we’re looking to get a lot out of this season and beyond and I’m very happy with his impact… it was also Joel Shearer’s first start this season, and he’s been around the club and offers some more quality and that point of difference.”
The remainder of the weekend’s matches were washed out and will be rescheduled in due course.