HUNTER SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Match of the Round
Cessnock City Hornets 0 def. by Cooks Hill United 5 (Ashton x3, OG, Yaxley)
Sunday 15th July, 2:30 pm at Turner Park
If results went their way this round, Cooks Hill would wrap up the Premiership with four games to play. All they could do was hold up their end of the bargain.
That they did – Lee Ashton the key man on his return to the side, Cooks Hill celebrate back-to-back premierships and now have the chance to kick on and smash last season’s points total.
The visitors got things underway early as Ashton wasted no time at all reintroducing himself to the score sheet. Just three minutes in, the striker found the back of the net to give Cooks Hill the early advantage.
They’d got to the sheds two goals to the good after an own goal from Brad York in the 31st minute of play put Cessnock further behind.
A six-minute blitz shortly after the half-time break ensured that Cooks Hill had done their bit to ensure the premiership wasn’t going anywhere.
Dan Yaxley scored in the 47th minute to just about put it out of sight, and Lee Ashton grabbed his second in the 53rd minute to ensure it was so.
Ashton completed his hat-trick in the 82nd minute, and when the full-time whistle went and word of Thornton’s draw with Singleton made it’s way to Cessnock the celebrations got underway.
Cooks Hill wins their second premiership in as many years and looks just about as unstoppable as ever.
Kahibah FC 2 (Ferguson x2) def. by Wallsend FC 3 (Goldsmith, McCabe, Williams)
Saturday 14th July, 2:30 pm at Kahibah Oval
It’s a faint one, but Wallsend’s finals hope still have something of a heartbeat after they came from behind in the second half to snatch all three points at Kahibah Oval.
The home side took the lead early on, just the second minute when Riley Ferguson scored his fourth first-grade goal of the season.
It took until shortly after the half-time break for Wallsend to find a way back into this one against tenth-place Kahibah, and it was Ty Goldsmith who came up with the goal.
When Travis McCabe doubled Wallsend’s tally in the 56th minute, the visitors had the lead for the first time and some wind in their sails.
They doubled their lead and put the game virtually out of sight in the 71st minute when Matt Williams put one away to put Wallsend 3-1 ahead.
Kahibah had a sniff of a point in the 89th minute when Ferguson scored his second of the day, but it’d prove just a consolation goal and Wallsend would take all three points.
South Cardiff FC 6 (Runge x3, Nicholas x1, McAllister x1, Fajkovic x1) def. Toronto Awaba FC 1 (Roberts)
Saturday 14th July, 2:30 pm at Ulinga Oval
The race for the top four is tight, and South Cardiff ensured it remained that way with a win which temporarily put them into the top four – but Sunday’s results saw them just a point outside.
While they do remain outside the top four, South Cardiff really have the potential to shake things up next week when they face second-place Belmont-Swansea.
If it is as comprehensive a result as the one they managed over Toronto at the weekend, then they’ll look good for a tilt at finals football.
Four goals in the first half for South Cardiff put this one out of reach for Toronto with 45 minutes still to play, in a match which they were widely expected to lose all the same.
It could have been five goals for the Gunners in the opening 45 minutes, if not for a missed penalty.
The second half wasn’t as fruitful for the home side, with Toronto managing to pull one back. South Cardiff still scored a further two goals though, to claim a 6-1 victory.
With the race for the top four so tight, it’s a swag of goals which may prove crucial as the season winds down.
Thornton Redbacks 2 (Thompson x2) drew Singleton Strikers 2 (Hand, Hall)
Sunday 15th July, 2:30 pm at Thornton Park
A draw would have done neither side much good here on Sunday, but it’s what they had to live with after a late Thornton goal rescued the home side a point.
The visitors opened the scoring through defender Zane Hand in the 36th minute of play and would go to the sheds a goal to the good.
They doubled their advantage with almost three-quarters of the game gone when Nathan Hall finished giving Singleton a 2-0 lead.
A penalty to Thornton in the 72nd minute gave them a sniff, and it was Nick Thompson who stepped up and converted the spot-kick.
With things winding down, it didn’t look like the Redbacks would manage to find the back of the net and that elusive equaliser – but somehow they did.
Nick Thompson pinched a goal in the third minute of stoppage time and ensured that the two teams shared the points.
Thornton coach Gary Wand was ‘happy to get a draw in the end’.
“Disappointed to concede two goals, I thought we did okay in parts and probably had the better of the game,” said Wand.
“They didn’t create a great deal of scoring opportunities, one on a set-piece and one on a counter-attack where we made a mistake and turned the ball over.
“We never banked on the three points, Singo are a tough team and obviously, we tried extremely hard for three points.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game, we’ve just got to take it for what it is. It’s frustrating, but you can’t do anything about it. It’s disappointing, but we move on.”
It’s a result which pulls Thornton back into the mix for the top four. They’re still in third, but they could drop as low as sixth next weekend if results go against them.
“It doesn’t worry me at this stage, we’ve still got four games to go,” said Wand.
“It’s worrying, I never had aspirations for the top four at the start of the year. The fact is, we have such an inexperienced side and I know the players want to keep on pushing for the top four.
“You can’t change anything, if we fail we just have to hope that others fail around us. There are big games coming up, other than Southy we’ve played all the top sides and they’ve all played each other.
“That said, we haven’t got an easy run home.”
New Lambton FC 0 def. by Belmont Swansea United 3 (Lodge, Matthews, Sutton)
Sunday 15th July, 2:30 pm at Alder Park
It was a match which had the potential to put Belswans into second place should results go their way.
Results did go their way, including the one at Alder Park, and Belswans have fired up at the back end of the year once again and stormed into second place.
The scoring started early, with Cam Lodge firing home in just the ninth minute of play to put the visitors ahead.
They’d go to the sheds two goals to the good when Sean Matthews put one away, his fourth of the campaign.
Two goals looked a long way back for New Lambton after the break, but Belswans made sure it was virtually impossible not long into the second half.
Josh Sutton fired home in the 49th minute, and with that goal, the visitors had all three points tied up.