HUNTER SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Match of the Round
New Lambton 3 (Riley Taylor x2, Jacob Brain) def. Kahibah F.C 1 (Rhys Tippett)
Saturday, April 20th, Alder Park
New Lambton has re-discovered their winning touch in downing Kahibah 3-1 at Alder Park on Saturday in a tense Match of the Round.
Both sides traded chances in the early parts of the game before Kahibah front man, Rhys Tippett, fired in a shot to give the visitors the lead and take a 1-0 lead into the break.
The Eagles began their resurgence after half time with the inform attacker, Riley Taylor, converting from the spot for the home side and level the scores at 1-1.
Taylor would soon have a double and give New Lambton the lead late on in the half while notching his sixth goal of the campaign before Jacob Brain grabbed a goal before full-time on his first-grade debut to seal the three points for the Eagles.
The home side was missing key players in Luke Jovcevski and Ben Prangemeier but still managed to secure the win and move up to 5th on the ladder on goal difference.
New Lambton picked up their third win of the campaign with the result and Eagles coach, Jim Foley, said he was certainly pleased with his side’s effort.
“It was pleasing that our team remained focused and connected for the better part of the game,” Foley said.
“It was a deserved win, there is much improvement to come before we get too excited about where we are placed on the points table.”
After a promising opening to the season, Kahibah has now suffered their second straight loss to fall to 8th while coach, Andre Gumprecht, said his side need to find consistency.
“Overall performance has been hot and cold, again we get punished for making individual mistakes and not getting rewarded for all the efforts,” Gumprecht said.
“We have to continue working on our defending organisation as opponents are getting into our middle and back third to easy, but we will focus on the day to day process to improve rather than being worried about a ladder position now.”
West Wallsend 5 (Tye Jones, Bailey Jensen, Joe Holt, Cameron Smart, Mitch Kramer) def. Toronto Awaba Stags 2 (Nathan McAllister, Jarrod Purcell)
Friday, April 19th, Johnston Park
A second-half blitz from West Wallsend has seen them achieve a convincing 5-2 win over Toronto Awaba under lights at Johnston Park.
The Stags were coming in off the back of a stellar performance against Belswans last round and started the strongest of the two sides with Jarrod Purcell and Nathan McAllister both finding the net to be ahead 2-1 at one stage.
However, the Bluebells clicked into gear in the second half scoring four goals in twenty minutes to propel themselves to a 5-2 win and move into 3rd spot on the ladder.
West Wallsend had five different goalscorers with Tye Jones, Bailey Jensen, Joe Holt, Cameron Smart and Mitch Kramer getting on the scoresheet.
The Bluebells have now won three games out of six and are starting to recapture their 2018 from that saw them reach a grand final while Toronto has slipped to 10th on the ladder.
West Wallsend will also be back in action this Wednesday when they take on Singleton on their home turf.
Singleton Strikers 0 def by. South Cardiff Gunners 1 (Daniel Casciaroli)
Friday, April 19th, Howe Park
South Cardiff have surged into the top four, leapfrogging Singleton with a 1-0 win over the Strikers at Howe Park.
The match turned out to be a very tight affair with both sides defending brilliantly to cancel each other out as both teams were eager to move into a top-four spot.
The score remained 0-0 at the break before soon after Daniel Casciaroli whipped in a corner that found the net to give the Gunners a crucial lead.
Singleton tried desperately to find an equaliser however the South Cardiff defence produced their finest defensive performance of the season so far to keep a clean sheet and come away with a determined victory.
The Strikers now slip to 6th on the ladder but will have a chance to jump back into third with a win over West Wallsend when they play this Wednesday in another mammoth fixture.
South Cardiff have now recorded back-to-back wins after a couple of defeats and captain-coach, Denis Fajkovic, said he was delighted with the victory.
“The locals turned out and gave us a welcoming reception, so walking away with three points at Singleton is what not many teams will do this year so we are happy,” Fajkovic said.
“We are working hard to get better each week and we are fully aware of our position but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves just yet although it’s great to be in the top four.”
Thornton Redbacks 3 (Jye McKellar, Jacob Golding, Wade Attewell) drew Belmont Swansea United 3 (Cameron Lodge x2, Reece Newton)
Saturday, April 20th, Thornton Park
The Thornton Redbacks and Belmont-Swansea have played out another highly-entertaining 3-3 draw at Thornton Park as Round 7 continued.
Both sides came into this game as title contenders and would have wanted to get on over on their rivals on the day.
The boys from Blacksmiths led three times during the game with Cameron Lodge finding the net twice while defender Reece Newton also scored, however, the Redbacks clawed their way back to 3-3 with Jye McKellar, Jacob Golding and Wade Attewell all getting on the scoresheet.
It’s another lead Belswans have blown to end up with a draw to now be seven points behind leaders Cooks Hill while Thornton sits in 7th, only two points outside the top four.
Thornton has leaked 14 goals so far this campaign, however, their attack has been firing to save them in games which again proved the case against Belswans.
Coach Gary Wand said the draw was probably a fair result in the end.
“We were a little below par in the first half but Belswans were playing well and making things hard for us, we scored early in the second half but every time we scored they would score which is disappointing,” Wand said.
“Obviously need to stop conceding the cheap goals and making things hard on ourselves.
“At some stage, we might put the complete game together which may disappoint the crowd but save what hair I have left.”
The defending premiers remain in 2nd spot and coach, Mick Stafford, said he was again pleased with the effort of his players.
“We had four regulars out but the intensity and effort was there, but credit to Thornton they matched it in the second half which made for a quality game,” Stafford said.
“I’m not looking at the draw, just focused on getting results and how we can improve each week.
“The competition is getting stronger, so we must keep the pace.”
Cessnock City Hornets 1 (Kyle Gillis) def. Wallsend F.C 0
Sunday, April 21st, Turner Park
The final match of the round served up another top game with Cessnock City defeating Wallsend 1-0 to register their first win of season 2019.
The match was also, Lino Gatti’s first match in charge at Turner Park after taking over the head coaching role.
The Red Devils were without their star striker in Ty Goldsmith however were backed up with Lez Wallace and Matt Williams starting.
Both sides played at a high pace and on the stroke of half-time, Cessnock found a breakthrough with Kyle Gillis firing in a shot to put the Hornets up 1-0.
The home side then had to play out the remainder of the game with ten men after goalkeeper, Jed Horder, was sent off for a challenge on Wallace.
Wallsend fired everything they had at Cessnock but the young Hornets side weathered the storm to come away with a gutsy 1-0 win and impress their new head coach.
The Red Devils now slip to last spot on the ladder and have it all to do if they’re to make a run to the finals with tough games against rivals West Wallsend and Cooks Hill coming up.
Cessnock now leapfrog Wallsend and move into 9th spot above Toronto and their most recent opposition.