Match of the Round
West Wallsend 2 (Jarrod Olivieri, Tom Sparre) drew with South Cardiff Gunners 2 (Corey Nicholas, Murray Leyland)
Sunday 11 Aug, Johnston Park
Two sides locked in semi-final spots have played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Johnston Park.
South Cardiff and West Wallsend couldn’t be split after 90 minutes as the two outfits begin to narrow their focus on an upcoming semi-final series.
Jarrod Olivieri would score first for the home side while Tom Sparre would add another in the second before defenders Murray Leyland and Corey Nicholas would provide two equalisers to earn the draw.
The Bluebells remain in fourth but will take on an inform Kahibah next round in a pre-cursor for the semi-finals.
The result keeps South Cardiff in third spot but they’ll serve the bye next round giving the Bluebells a chance to leapfrog them.
The Gunners will now prepare for their two leg semi-final series either against Cooks Hill or Belswans and captain-coach Denis Fajkovic said the club has a lot of excitement leading into some massive games.
“We wanted to go into the finals unbeaten since the Thornton game and we have done that,” Fajkovic said.
“For finals football, we are ready to do the club proud as it’s the club’s first finals appearance since 2011.
“Over the past six weeks, we have had a number of guys out with injuries and work commitments, and it has taken the whole 15 players to play a part and do the job.”
Cooks Hill United 0 def.by Kahibah F.C 2 (Rhys Tippett x2)
Saturday 10 Aug, Fearnley Dawes Athletic Field
Kahibah have claimed victory over Cooks Hill with a 2-0 away win to see them cement themselves in fifth spot.
The Rams have been one of the form sides of the competition in the last month, and reversed their dramatic loss to Cooks Hill earlier in the season to claim three points.
Rhys Tippett showed his class bagging a double to make it four goals in two games against the black and white, and his side now can’t finish lower than fifth.
The Cookers will be no doubt frustrated by the defeat but will view next weekend’s showdown against Belswans as an ideal opportunity to propel themselves into the finals series with a good performance.
The victory was Kahibah’s third in a row and coach Andre Gumprecht said he was pleased with their impressive showing and recent form.
“I am happy for the team to be in fifth place in what I think is a realistic position on the table,” Gumprecht said.
“I always said from the beginning if we are close to the final spots we have done very well.
“Brilliant effort by the team to perform in tough conditions, the game was played with a lot of enthusiasm especially when we didn’t have the ball.”
Singleton Strikers 2 (Jordan Phelan, Joe Civello) def. Thornton Redbacks 0
Saturday 10 Aug, Howe Park
Singleton have defeated Thornton 2-0 to see them jump to eighth on the table.
The Strikers have now won two of their last three after regular performers Jake Barner and Joe Civello both scored to pave the way for victory.
The result is the Redbacks’ third loss in a row, leaving them in sixth. They will take on Cessnock City next round with the aim to finish the season with a victory.
Singleton will be buoyed by their recent from and will savour the victory as they look to build into season 2020. Their last game of the season will be against New Lambton.
Cessnock City Hornets 0 def. by Belmont-Swansea United 1 (Mark Finlayson)
Saturday 10 Aug, Turner Park
Belmont-Swansea have wrapped up second spot on the table after claiming a 1-0 win against Cessnock at Turner Park.
Defender Mark Finlayson scored the sole goal for Belswans which was enough for the side to secure victory and more importantly, a second spot finish.
Cessnock has now dropped to ninth, but will be determined to finish their season on a high that has shown real promise while looking towards 2020.
The defending champions will either play South Cardiff or West Wallsend over two legs but will first have to tackle Cooks Hill at home before the finals.
The victory is also their 11th of the campaign and coach Mick Stafford said he’s delighted for the whole club on their achievement.
“It was a tough game in terrible conditions. We didn’t really get out of second gear, there was not much fluidity in our play, but credit to the boys as our work rate, enthusiasm and experience got us the three points,” Stafford said.
“With second spot locked in, I think the boys deserve time to enjoy that achievement, I’m pretty proud of the group and the club with the commitment everyone has shown to achieve our goal we set in January to finish top two.
“We will look to keep focused and freshen up ahead of semis and see if we can go back-to-back.”
Toronto Awaba Stags 0 def. by New Lambton Eagles 4 (Joe Melmeth, Joel Williams, Brad Andrews, Own Goal)
Sunday 11 Aug, Lyall Peacock Field
New Lambton have eased past Toronto, putting four past the Stags to keep the home side at the bottom of the table.
The Eagles moved into seventh with the win as Joe Melmeth, Joel Wlliams and Brad Andrews scored the goals while the other was an own goal.
The victory is New Lambton’s second on the bounce while they have scored seven goals in their past two fixtures.
Toronto will look ahead to their must-win game against Wallsend next round with the wooden spoon on the line.
Only a win will suffice for the Stags while the Eagles will prepare to take on Singleton at home.