Match of the Round
Wallsend F.C 2 (Ty Goldsmith x2) def. by Thornton Redbacks 5 (Daniel Toohey x3, Jacob Golding, Liam Kulupach)
Sunday 31st March, The Gardens
The Match of the Round has served up another classic match, with Thornton Redbacks running out 5-2 victors over Wallsend in a highly-entertaining affair at The Gardens.
The goal-scoring machine, Ty Goldsmith, got the ball rolling for the home side, scoring a stunning goal from range early in the first half.
However, the Redbacks hit back straight-away with Jacob Golding weaving his way through defenders before teeing up Daniel Toohey for the equaliser.
Both outfits were hunting for their first points of the season and were desperate to kick-start their seasons with a win.
Jacob Golding was again in the thick of the action, etching his name on the scoresheet with a smart finish to put the away side in the lead.
Soon after, Wallsend would respond with their own goal as Ty Goldsmith was delivered a brilliant through ball by Travis McCabe and the striker buried his opportunity with a composed finish for his fourth goal of the campaign.
On the stroke of half-time, Daniel Toohey grabbed his second of the night to reclaim the lead heading into the break.
Play soon resumed with Wallsend reduced to 10-men when Luke Conners was given a red card for bringing down an opposing player through on goal.
This proved to be the turning point in the game as the Redbacks dominated the remainder of the match with Daniel Toohey converting a penalty kick to cap off an impressive hat-trick while Liam Kulupach slotted home a header to seal the three points for Thornton.
The result leaves the Red Devils squandering on the bottom of the ladder having conceded 13 goals in the opening three games while Thornton pick up a vital first win.
The emphatic victory gets the ball rolling for Thornton and coach Gary Wand said he was content with the performance.
“It was okay, bit off a sluggish start but it kind of felt like we were starting the season again, but Wallsend are always tough to play, so it was a good win,” Wand said.
“The send-off changed the game no doubt, we began to find more space and opened them up, also happy with Dan Toohey getting a hat-trick, he’s our striker and he will only get better with more games.”
Toronto Awaba Stags 1 (Nick Roberts) drew with Kahibah 1 (Rhys Tippett)
Saturday 30th March, Lyall Peacock Field
Toronto Awaba has picked up their first point of the season with a gritty 1-1 draw against Kahibah in the only match to go ahead on a rain-affected Saturday.
Kahibah were coming into the game full of confidence after their last start win over South Cardiff and notched the first goal through Rhys Tippett as he slotted away a spot kick to give the away side the lead.
Soon after, Toronto’s Nathan McAllister would be awarded a penalty, but his effort rebounded off the crossbar to keep the score at 1-0.
Kahibah began to dominate and had many chances in the opening half but failed to convert.
The home side rejuvenated themselves in the second half, searching for an equaliser and found one through captain Nick Roberts, who netted his third of the campaign in his milestone 100th first-grade appearance.
A second goal alluded both sides as they settled for a draw and Toronto coach, Darrell McAllister, said he was proud of his player’s fightback in the game.
“We’re slowly building and we’re still working on a few things out but was pleased with how we came home strong,” McAllister said.
“We’ve now had two draws and we could have won all three of our games, but in this type of competition, we need to find a way to win.
“Nick Roberts was our player of the match and to see him score in his 100th game was great.
“We’ve got a few tough games coming up against Cooks Hill, Belswans and West Wallsend so that’s really going to test us and if we can pick up points, it will set us up well,” McAllister continued.
Kahibah remains inside the top four on four points and coach Andre Gumprecht said his side lamented a missed opportunity.
“I think we had much better first half then the second,” Gumprecht said
“The number of entries into the front third and goal scoring opportunities was telling me the game plan was right, but unfortunately we couldn’t convert this.
“Luckily, we have no injuries other than sore bodies, we will recover before we enter our FFA Cup fixture against Thornton,” Gumprecht continued.
South Cardiff Gunners 0 def. by Belmont-Swansea United 3 (David Swain x2, Clayton Poole)
Sunday 31st March, Ulinga Oval
Belmont-Swansea has battled through going down to 10-men to claim an emphatic 3-0 victory over South Cardiff to send an ominous warning to the rest of the competition.
Ulinga Oval hosted the highly-anticipated match with both side’s boasting strong squads and expected to challenge for the top four positions.
The in-form Belswans got on the board early with the youngster, David Swain, finding the back of the net in only his second appearance in the top grade.
Grand final hero, Clayton Poole, was causing headaches for the South Cardiff defenders down the left flank as he created a number of half-chances.
The match soon turned into a fierce battle as both sides combated for possession which saw several yellow cards distributed.
It wasn’t long for a second yellow to be shown as Belswans midfielder, Quinn McNeil, was given his marching orders.
However, the experienced Belswans defence proved impenetrable with South Cardiff sending waves after waves of attacks.
Soon after half time, Belswans would double their lead with David Swain grabbing his third goal of the season as he found himself unmarked at the back post to head home his second of the day.
Danger-man, Clayton Poole soon sealed the victory with a stunning solo effort to wrap up a gutsy three points for the visitors.
South Cardiff striker, Dino Fajkovic, continued to probe for a goal and almost pulled off an acrobatic shot but the ball unluckily hit the crossbar.
The Gunners will be licking their wounds after this defeat and will head back to the drawing board after now conceding six goals in their last two games.
The rock solid Belswans defence kept the Gunners to nil with Mark Finlayson and Reece Newton producing superb performances from the back.
The defending premiers have started the year with maximum points from their opening three games and coach Mick Stafford said he’s delighted with his side’s showing.
“Very happy with the boys and especially their effort today to keep a clean sheet with 10-men for 70 minutes,” Stafford said.
“It’s a great culture we’ve got here, everyone is good mates and been with the club for a while, everyone is sticking together and showing up for each other.
“We’ve got the best goalkeeper in the competition in my opinion and our backline is solid, the boys stick to the structure and we just keep moving forward.
“We’ve got FFA Cup on Tuesday and hopefully we can get some more time for the young boys who deserve it and give the old boys a rest before Kahibah,” Stafford continued.
All other games were postponed.