HUNTER SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Match of the Round
Singleton Strikers 0 def. by Wallsend FC 1 (Tom Adams)
Sunday 1st July, 2:30 pm, Howe Park
Wallsend has boosted themselves back into finals contention with a strong victory away from home against Singleton who’s position in the top four is now at risk as the league heads into the final straight.
It was a tense beginning to the match and that atmosphere continued right throughout the match as neither team could really be split.
Chances came at a premium throughout the first half, and neither side was able to take them as the sides went into the break scoreless.
The second half was only ten minutes old though when the Red Devils finally broke the deadlock after Travas McCabe displayed a nice back heel on for Tom Adams who buried the ball into the bottom corner.
As the match continued on, tensions began to rise and as a result, multiple yellow cards were shown across the park, but ultimately neither team could gather any momentum or supremacy of the match and Wallsend held on for what might be a season-making victory.
After losing six straight matches, Wallsend have now won their last two putting them right back into the finals mix, while Singleton sits just inside the top four having only won one match from their past six.
Toronto Awaba Stags FC 0 def. by Thornton Redbacks FC 3 (Jake Millstead x2, Joel Redden)
Saturday 30th June, 2:30 pm, Lyall Peacock Field
Thornton seems likely to have booked their spot in the finals after a convincing performance over Toronto, that although started slow, finished off in dominant fashion.
It was a very cold and windy day in Toronto and it made for a challenging but even contest in the first half.
It seemed both sides would go into the break with the scores still level, but Joel Redden was able to finish off a good Thornton move just minutes before half-time to grab the visitors the lead.
With the game still there for the taking, Thornton rubbed out any chance for Toronto working their way back into it and begun to show their dominance.
Jake Millstead grabbed a goal about 15 minutes into the second half, and it wasn’t long before he found another one to cement an unassailable lead and the eventual win.
Thornton coach Gary Wand said it wasn’t exactly an eventful contest, but that it was enough for them to get the win.
“It was a pretty even first half,” Wand said.
“Toronto proved to be a much stronger opposition than they must have shown midweek.”
“It wasn’t a very exciting game, but I’m happy to get the points in tough conditions.”
New Lambton 1 (Tom Davies) def. by Cooks Hill United 5 (Nick Russell x2, Ash Balcombe, Jarryd Johnson, Brodie Richardson)
Saturday 30th June, 4:30 pm, Alder Park
As many would have predicted before the beginning of this match, Cooks Hill ran out overriding victors in their away clash with New Lambton that continues their 11-point lead at the top of the table and puts them right on the edge of a second straight premiership.
With star Riley Taylor missing for the home team, the league-leaders were the first to strike and it was a spectacular goal to Ash Balcombe who chipped the New Lambton goalkeeper Josh Cox from a distance to give his team the early lead.
Just minutes later, Cox denied the Cookers star Nick Russell, but there was nothing he could do when Jarryd Johnson knocked home a scrambling goal.
The Eagles kept themselves in the fight though when Alex Ihlow beat Jake Hamilton in goals and although his first shot hit the post, a supporting Tom Davies made no mistake slotting it away, however, their comeback would be short-lived.
Cooks Hill was awarded a free kick that was almost immediately altered as a penalty, and Russell nailed it home giving the league-leaders a 3-1 half-time lead.
The second half saw Cooks Hill carry on with their efforts as Russell grabbed his second goal and Brodie Richardson finished off the game with one as well.
New Lambton coach Jim Foley said although the score-line reads a disappointing figure, he was pleased with how his team is beginning to shape together.
“We found the competition leaders too good in the end,” Foley said.
“The development, discipline and character that our young team are showing though is highly pleasing.”
“We will regroup for our next match which is another tough midweek assignment.”
Kahibah 0 def. by Belmont-Swansea United 3 (Cameron Lodge, Josh Sutton, Clayton Poole)
Sunday 1st July, 2:30 pm, Kahibah Oval
It was a game that both teams would have been desperate to win, but it was Belswans who came out with the solid victory, despite spending most the match with just ten men, to now sit just one point out of the top four.
The match was only twenty minutes old when Belswans goalkeeper Ben Parmenter was shown a yellow card for taking out Kahibah’s German import Tom Butzmann outside the box and was immediately shown a second yellow for dissent meaning Will Reeves would come on in goals at the expense of Klaudon Ahmataj.
The disadvantage didn’t stop Belswans though, as a brilliant ball from new signing Mark Finlayson found Cameron Lodge who successfully finished the goal to give the away team a surprising lead heading into halftime.
Down at half-time, the visitors stunned Kahibah once again, when returning star Josh Sutton, popped up to punish poor defending to double Belswans’ lead.
Kahibah attempted to gain control of the match, but just weren’t able to find a way through their opponents’ defence and their day went from bad to worse when Clayton Poole pounced in a counter-attacking move that sealed an incredible win and a terrible day out for the Green and Blacks.
It’s been an extremely impressive turnaround this season from Belswans who have now gone eight games undefeated and sit on the verge of yet another comeback to finals.
Belswans coach Josh Rufo said he felt his team was deserved of the great result and the turnaround the club has experienced in the recent weeks.
“We dominated the game and our football and movement on and off the ball was at a very good level,” Rufo said.
“The players deserve all the credit for their work rate and attitude.”
South Cardiff FC 1 (Daniel Wells) def. West Wallsend Bluebells 0
Sunday 1st July, 2:30 pm, Ulinga Oval
In a round where every other home team lost, South Cardiff reigned supreme in a tough tussle with West Wallsend that sees them return to the top four, and the Bluebells momentarily exiled once again.
The match started with both sides battling for control, but it’d be Daniel Wells who stepped up early on to give the Gunners the lead.
Wells quickly skipped past two defenders and took a shot from outside the box that nestled into the bottom left corner.
As the game played on, the Bluebells had chances to equalise and get back into the game but just weren’t able to take their chances.
Both teams’ desperation showed as the match neared its end, and a scrappy game began to ensue, but in the end, the one goal would be enough for South Cardiff to win.
Cessnock City Hornets had the bye.