Match of the Round
New Lambton 3-0 South Cardiff
New Lambton coach Tom Davies is not getting carried away despite his side climbing to the top of the NEWFM Northern League One table with a convincing 3-0 win over South Cardiff on Saturday.
Ben Prangemeier opened the scoring from the penalty spot 17 minutes into the second half at Alder Park before Lachlan Sessions came off the bench to add a second.
Riley Taylor then sealed the result for New Lambton with almost the last kick of the game.
The victory kept New Lambton’s perfect record intact with the Eagles scoring a third win from as many matches to start the season and ahead of Cessnock City on goal difference at the top of the table.
“Once again the attitude and application from our boys was excellent across the park,” Davies said.
“From our point of view in terms of the effort it was good to see the way we executed the game plan as well. That’s two wins in a row since the re-start as well.
“I thought it was positive in terms of the boys having to work hard for the first goal which then opened up the game a bit which was good. We were patient, we had a fair bit of possession and opportunities. It took a while to get that first one but then we started to apply more pressure.”
Davies has challenged his side to be able to back up performances week to week, with consistency required for New Lambton to achieve what they believe they are capable of this season.
“In terms of mental focus from week to week that’s what we want. In terms of individual roles on the park but also the collective in what we’re trying to achieve as a team. It’s a positive thing to see that focus into the second game,” Davies said.
“I guess results are always going to be a morale boost. But the main thing is to keep focused from week to week to improve on what we weren’t so great at. Obviously there are a lot of positives when you win 3-0 but there were moments we could have used the ball better and movement off the ball.
“Overall our defensive structure was really good. Set pieces I think we can do better attacking wise and be a little more clinical in the final third. But in terms of effort it was fantastic.”
The disappointing defeat for South Cardiff leaves them in seventh place with three points.
New Lambton face another tricky test next week when they travel to Blacksmiths Oval to take on 2019 grand final winners Belmont Swansea United in round five, while South Cardiff host high-flying Kahibah FC at Ulinga Oval.
Thornton 0-2 West Wallsend
West Wallsend coach Geoff Blomfield was pleased with the way his side overcame the difficulty of having an extra week off in downing Thornton 2-0 at Thornton Park on Saturday.
While the rest of the NEWFM Northern League One competition returned to action last week following the four-month long suspension of football due to the COVID-19 pandemic, West Wallsend endured an extra week off after being handed the round three bye.
That unfortunate luck of the draw would allow whoever they were to play first up an advantage of having played a competitive match but the Bluebells found a way to secure a valuable three points.
A Brendan Frost free-kick 15 minutes into the second half broke the deadlock before a Redbacks own goal secured the result for the visitors.
“We’re still underdone. We were lucky to get the first one out of the road. We’ll turn up next week and go again,” Blomfield said.
“You could tell Thornton had us under the pump for periods of time. [But] the boys dug deep and showed pretty good resilience in defence. The main thing out of the game was that we all stuck together and defended pretty well. The boys really hung in there.
“That was most pleasing, the way we did hang in there. We were definitely underdone. The bye [last week] didn’t help us.
“We are a few weeks away from being even close to our best. Thornton were strong, they obviously had that game in hand the week before. But our players really responded well.
“We held our defensive shape really well and Bailey Jensen was pretty good. He was just everywhere in the middle of the park. Defending, attacking, closing down, he was outstanding.”
The victory lifts West Wallsend to the edge of the top five in sixth, two points behind Belmont Swansea United.
The defeat meanwhile was Thornton’s third from as many matches, leaving them without a point heading into their round five clash with Toronto Awaba on Saturday.
West Wallsend host top of the table Cessnock City at Johnston Park on Sunday.
Belmont Swansea United 0-1 Cessnock City
Cessnock City coach Michael Gatt said last week his side would be genuine NEWFM Northern League One title contenders should they secure three points against 2019 grand final winners Belmont Swansea United on Sunday.
The Hornets made the rest of the competition sit up and take notice with a hard-fought 1-0 win over BelSwans at Blacksmiths Oval, regarded by many as one of the toughest away trips in the competition.
Brad York’s 30 metre screamer 20 minutes into the second half handed Cessnock the points, maintaining the Hornets’ perfect record to leave them sharing the competition lead with New Lambton.
“It really sunk in today against a quality side like BelSwans. To go into a really hard match like that, both teams played some great football in parts and really slugged it out. To get the result was awesome. And it’s true and I stand by it even more now. I believe the boys can go all way,” Gatt said.
“I never had a doubt throughout pre-season and season 2020 season part one. Now it’s 2020 season part two [following the suspension of football] and today it was a real statement of intent. We’re going for the title.
“That goal, Brad’s hit a one-touch volley from 35 yards out. I said to the boys at half-time it was such a hard, closely contested match. One goal was going to win it. We had to go out in the second half with the intent of winning it. When the cards are on the table, sometimes it’s wonder goals or big moments like that that win you big matches.”
The upset loss saw Belmont Swansea slip to fifth place, three points behind leaders New Lambton and Cessnock.
BelSwans will look to bounce back when they host the Eagles at Blacksmiths Oval in round five on Saturday.
Cessnock will face another test of their title credentials when they travel to Johnston Park to face West Wallsend.
Singleton 3-1 Wallsend
Singleton maintained their place in the top five with a 3-1 victory over struggling Wallsend at Howe Park on Saturday.
The Strikers are in fourth place with seven points after their opening four games, having made a strong start to the campaign.
Wallsend meanwhile are rooted to the bottom of the table with three losses from their opening three matches and a goal difference of -12.
Wallsend will get the chance to regroup with a round five bye, while Singleton face 2019 premiers Cooks Hill United at Fearnley Dawes Athletics Field on Saturday.