HUNTER SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
MATCH OF THE ROUND
Cessnock City Hornets 1 (Brad York) def. by West Wallsend 2 (Tye Jones x2)’
Sunday, April 7th, Turner Park
The Match of the Round produced a high-quality affair between Cessnock City Hornets and West Wallsend, with the visitors claiming their first three points of the season.
The Bluebells got off to a great start, grabbing the opening goal with Tye Jones scoring his first for the year from the penalty spot.
Both defensive outfits proved resilient as little chances were created as the scores remained 1-0 at half-time.
The Hornets were boosted by the return of forward, Lachlan Hodgetts, although it was goalkeeper Jed Horder who was then busy after the break.
The pressure would soon be too much as Cessnock gave away another penalty which Tye Jones slotted away to make it 2-0.
A late consolation goal from Brad York made it 2-1 with the player showing his quality with an impressive free-kick.
The result gets the Bluebells off the mark for the season however coach Brendan Slade said the game could have gone very differently.
“It was a hard, old game and could have gone either way but it’s a huge relief to get the first win,” Slade said.
“We tweaked our formation a bit and it sort of worked but we still need to be more creative in the front third.”
Cessnock remains winless in 2019 however coach Arthur Hodgetts said his side were unlucky in the defeat.
“The game was really tough as Westy (West Wallsend) are always strong but we ended up losing to two penalties,” Hodgetts said.
“I think attack-wise there is room for improvement but we also want to be tough to break down from the back which we showed today.”
Belmont-Swansea United 1 (Clayton Poole) drew with Kahibah 1 (Josh Clark)
Saturday April 6th, Blacksmiths Oval
The first match of the round saw two unbeaten sides go toe to toe with Belswans and Kahibah clashing at Blacksmiths Oval.
Both defences have been hard to break down so far in 2019 and this proved to be the case in this fixture as chances were few and far between in the opening half.
The scores remained at 0-0 at the break with both teams sticking to their structures and not letting the other get ahead.
Soon after the break, a moment of quality from Clayton Poole proved the difference as the attacker hit a sweet shot into the bottom corner to give Belswans the lead.
Kahibah then were forced into deploying men forward to search for the equaliser and found one with one of the last kicks of the game as Josh Clark struck the back of the net to seal a draw.
Belswans defender Mark Finlayson also received a red card in the dying stages as Kahibah stole the three points from the hands of the home side.
The result keeps Belswans undefeated however coach Mick Stafford was ruing missing out on the three points.
“We were quite comfortable for most of the game, but I thought we had the better of the chances,” Stafford said.
“It was a bit of a slow game, both defences cancelled each other out really.”
Kahibah is the first team in 2019 to take points of Belswans and coach Andre Gumprecht praised his defensive unit for their excellent performances.
“The way the game went, obviously, we were fortunate to score at the death, but I thought the 1-1 draw was a fair result,” Gumprecht continued.
“There wasn’t a lot of goalscoring opportunities but our game is based around our defensive structure.
“Heath Kepreotes had a great game, he’s very experienced and advises the younger players around him really well.”
Cooks Hill United 3 (Jack Wilkinson, Alex Gillespie, Nick Russell) def. Toronto Awaba Stags 0
Saturday April 6th, Fearnley Dawes Athletic Field
Round 5 continued with Cooks Hill taking on Toronto Awaba with the ladder leaders scoring a convincing 3-0 victory to keep them at the top of the table.
Toronto certainly gave the Cookers headaches during the game, but it was Jack Wilkinson who notched an early goal for the home side.
Cooks Hill took a 1-0 lead into half-time however the Stags were starting to put pressure on the home side’s goal.
However, Cooks Hill proved they have too much quality with Alex Gillespie and Nick Russell wrapping up the match closer to full time as they found the back of the net to seal another three points.
The Cooks Hill juggernaut continues to roll on as they now sit on four wins from four and coach Graham Law said he was delighted with the performance.
“Happy with the three points in what was very warm conditions for my players and we played the conditions much better in the second half and managed the game well,” Law said.
“Recent results around the competition are proving if you want to win the game you are going to have to be on it every week.
“I can’t fault my boys for their professional approach and respect to each team, which has presented us with the points tally we were hoping for at this stage of the season.”
The Stags have certainly come along way since their heavy 13-0 defeat to the same opposition last season and coach Darrell McAllister said his team is showing a lot of promising signs.
“We were a bit short as a couple of our key players were missing, but the boys really stepped up and I was happy with the performance,” McAllister said.
“Cooks Hill can really put you away on their day but we held our own as we created a good five chances I thought.
“For us, we need to get a few troops back and work on our attacking third combinations.”
New Lambton 2 (Ammon Currie, Riley Taylor) def. by Wallsend F.C 3 (Lez Wallace x2, Wez Pryce)
Saturday 6th April, Alder Park
New Lambton came up against Wallsend in their second fixture in the space of four days and it was the Red Devils who recorded a 3-2 upset win.
The Eagles would have fancied their chances of obtaining a victory after their 3-0 win over the same opposition in the FFA Cup mid-week
However, the boys from Wallsend were determined to achieve their first win of the campaign with new signing, Lez Wallace, proving pivotal in attack as he notched a double in his second appearance while Wez Pryce fired in the other goal for the away side.
Riley Taylor scored his fourth goal of the campaign while Ammon Currie also found the net for the Eagles, but it wasn’t enough to secure a win.
The win moves Wallsend off the bottom of the ladder and coach Jesse Pryce said he was ecstatic with the performance.
“Good to get the win off our back, but we’re still adapting and can still improve but it was much better than the previous weeks,” Pryce said.
“We had the idea to go with a high defensive line and it worked well.
“Lez Wallace give us another point of attack away from Ty (Goldsmith) to give us now a complete forward line.”
New Lambton remains in the top four due to other results, but coach Jim Foley said his players could do better.
“We were a bit complacent but it’s still early days in our development and all credit is due to Wallsend as they were playing their third game in a week,” Foley said.
“Our defending all over the park wasn’t up to scratch.”