Match of the Round
Cooks Hill United 3-3 Singleton
Fearnley Dawes Athletics Field – Saturday
Cooks Hill United missed the chance to build some much-needed momentum when they were held to an entertaining 3-3 draw by Singleton at Fearnley Dawes Athletics Field on Saturday.
Cooks Hill had shown great resilience to come from a goal down to beat Kahibah in their rescheduled round four fixture in midweek.
But the home side were unable to keep that momentum going, sharing the points with the Strikers to leave them in sixth place. The dropping of points will be even more frustrating for coach Doug West and his players with Cooks Hill handed the round six bye.
Alex Gillespie, Nick Russell and Matthew Williams were on the scoresheet for the hosts, while Joel Barner, Hayden Nicol and Joseph Civello scored for Singleton.
Cooks Hill will turn their attention to their rescheduled round one clash with Belmont Swansea United on Wednesday night, a meeting between the 2019 grand finalists.
It was another excellent point for Singleton against the 2019 premiers, with the Strikers in fourth place on the NEWFM Northern League One table after five rounds.
Singleton face another tricky away trip when they travel to Ulinga Oval to face South Cardiff in their round six clash on Sunday.
Belmont Swansea United 3-2 New Lambton
Blacksmiths Oval – Saturday
Belmont Swansea United coach Mick Stafford was delighted with his side’s resilience as they came from a goal down to beat league leaders New Lambton 3-2 on Saturday.
BelSwans were desperate to bounce back from their disappointing home defeat to Cessnock City by taking down the high-flying Eagles.
The hosts were a goal down early on at Blacksmiths Oval before they equalised through Corey Wilson five minutes before half-time after good play out wide from veteran Chris Gazzard.
BelSwans took the lead early in the second half when Luke Connors finished from a corner before Gazzard sealed the result with a strike from the top of the penalty area.
New Lambton pulled a goal back in added time but it wasn’t enough as BelSwans held on to secure an important victory.
“I thought we played really well as a team to bounce back from that disappointment of last week against a very good side in New Lambton,” Stafford said.
“To come from 1-0 down showed really good character from the boys.
“I was very happy with the showing. Just backing ourselves to get there after falling behind. We changed a few little things at half-time. But I think it’s the sign of a good team to come from behind against a good side who were unbeaten. We’ll take plenty from that.”
The win saw BelSwans climb level with New Lambton and Cessnock City on nine points at the top of the table, though the Hornets have a match in hand.
BelSwans will now turn their attention to their rescheduled round one clash against Cooks Hill United on Wednesday night, the side they defeated in the 2019 grand final, before welcoming West Wallsend to Blacksmiths Oval on Sunday.
“It’s very early in the comp so winning the first few games doesn’t mean that much. It’s what happens at the end of the season is what matters,” Stafford said.
“The boys have set some goals in pre-season. We lost a few key players so we’re looking to blood a few young guys and take it week by week and hopefully be there at the end again.”
Toronto Awaba 3-1 Thornton
Lyall Peacock Field – Saturday
Toronto Awaba returned to action with an important 3-1 win over Thornton at Lyall Peacock Field on Saturday.
The Stags, coming off the round four bye, climbed to eighth with the victory.
Toronto Awaba will look to continue to build on their momentum when they host New Lambton in their round one rescheduled fixture at Lyall Peacock Field on Wednesday night. It is a tough four-day stretch for the Stags, who host top of the table Cessnock City in round six on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the loss was Thornton’s fourth from as many games so far this season.
The Redbacks will be desperate to kickstart their campaign when they host fellow strugglers Wallsend FC at Thornton Park on Saturday.
The matches between West Wallsend and Cessnock City at Johnston Park and South Cardiff and Kahibah at Ulinga Oval scheduled for Sunday were washed out.
Wallsend had the bye.