Match of the Round
West Wallsend 2-1 Wallsend
West Wallsend coach Geoff Blomfield was delighted with the commitment his side showed as the Bluebells edged Wallsend FC 2-1 at Johnston Park on Sunday.
The visitors took the lead when Lucas Egge tucked away a Ben Shieb cross, only for West Wallsend to equalise through a Josh Carroll strike.
The Bluebells secured a valuable three points and Wallsend Derby bragging rights early in the second half when Tye Jones finished from a Brendan Frost freekick.
The win on a difficult, heavy pitch saw West Wallsend climb to fourth on the NEWFM Northern League One table.
“It was a tough game. A typical derby and thankfully we ended up coming out on top,” Blomfield said.
“We’re just going week by week. The boys are turning up for each other at the moment. They’ve been good but there’s still a lot of improvement in us.
“You look at the competition and everyone is beating everyone else. Anyone can do it on their day. You’ve got to just keep on picking up points and when it comes to the business end of the season hopefully you’re still there.
“But there’s a long way to go.”
Blomfield was thrilled with the performance of Jed Conway and left back Josh West but saved special praise for Huey Price, with the striker putting his hand up to play in goal with West Wallsend suffering a goalkeeping crisis thanks to the suspension of Blake Redman.
“We’ve got three goalkeepers out. Two are injured, one suspended. [Price] put his hand up, he said he’d played there before,” Blomfield said.
“He put his hand up, that was the main thing. He had a blinder as well. I think he was probably equal player’s player with Westy. The boys loved his effort. It shows we’ve got guys willing to do anything for the team.”
The tough defeat saw Wallsend remain rooted to the foot of the table, with the Red Devils to turn their attention to hosting Toronto Awaba at The Gardens on Sunday.
West Wallsend face another tough test away to resurgent 2019 premiers Cooks Hill United on Saturday.
Thornton 1-0 South Cardiff
Thornton secured their second win of the season to with a 1-0 victory over South Cardiff at Thornton Park on Saturday.
Sam Rossi’s header on the half hour mark secured the three points for the Redbacks, their second win in a row after a difficult start to the campaign.
Thornton co-coach Scott Winslade said it was arguably his side’s best performance of the season so far.
“I think we’ve been on top in most games we’ve played but we really dominated large parts of the game [against South Cardiff] which was really pleasing for us,” Winslade said.
“We’ve been saying we need to be more clinical and again we were left needing [goalkeeper] James [Wand] to make a great save to keep us in front.
“We definitely just need to put teams away rather than being on top for the whole game to end up getting sucker punched.”
Winslade paid tribute to Rossi’s performance as well as Jake Millsteed, with the second consecutive win giving Thornton plenty of confidence, in particular the clean sheet.
“The goals that teams have scored have either flown in the top corner of they’ve been from our own mistakes,” Winslade said.
“We’ve just been a bit unlucky. But scoring with the last kick of the game [against Wallsend] maybe our luck has turned a little bit.
“You see the boys are excited to be at training. When it’s called off they’re figuring out what they can do instead. The whole atmosphere has changed in the last couple of weeks.
“After the Toronto game they were questioning if they were as good as they thought. We know we’ve got a good young side, predominantly ball players rather than overly aggressive players.
“We’re trying to grow and build something here. We’ve got a lot of young kids in reserve grade as well so hopefully we can push on and chase down a finals place this year and move forward into next year”
Thornton remained 10th despite the win, with the Redbacks to face arguably their biggest challenge of the season so far when they take on top of the table New Lambton at Alder Park on Saturday.
Meanwhile the defeat saw South Cardiff remain seventh, missing the chance to climb into the top five.
The Gunners host Cessnock City at Ulinga Oval on Sunday.
Belmont Swansea United 3-2 Toronto Awaba
Belmont Swansea United took the competition lead thanks to a 3-2 win over Toronto Awaba on Sunday.
Ty Goldsmith scored twice in the first half at Blacksmiths Oval while Corey Wilson added a third as BelSwans led 3-1 at half-time.
The Stags reduced the deficit but couldn’t find an equaliser as BelSwans held on to return to the top of the table.
While BelSwans have a three-point lead on New Lambton, the Eagles now have three matches in hand.
Matt Ellis was among BelSwans’ best, with the side bouncing back from their deflating 4-0 defeat to Cooks Hill United in their rescheduled round one clash last Wednesday night.
BelSwans will now prepare for one of the longest away trips in the division when they travel to Howe Park to take on Singleton on Saturday.