Match of the Round
Wallsend F.C 2 (Ty Goldsmith x2) def. by West Wallsend 5 (Tye Jones x3, Tom Sparre, Joe Holt)
Sunday, May 5th, The Gardens
The oldest derby in Northern NSW football certainly lived up to the expectation with West Wallsend claiming a stunning 5-2 win in a thrilling contest at the Gardens.
Both teams started strong with the intent of claiming all three points with the scores tied at 2-2 at one stage before West Wallsend clicked into gear and fired in three goals to emerge as victors.
Tye Jones was again the star, showing why he’s one of the in-form players of the competition with another hat-trick taking him to an impressive 12 goals so far for the season.
Tom Sparre and Joe Holt also got on the scoresheet in the impressive victory while Wallsend’s Ty Goldsmith continued his form with two goals of his own for the home side and taking his season tally to 6.
The win propels the Bluebells into third on 15 points while Wallsend is still stuck at the bottom of the table.
West Wallsend has also now made it four wins on the bounce and coach Brendan Slade said he was proud of his player’s outstanding effort.
“It was nice winning my first derby but thought the players could have been a lot better although I think everyone is doing their jobs and playing for each other,” Slade said.
“Tye Jones is in fantastic form up front, he’s a huge part of the team and a really good finisher but so good as a motivator for the younger players coming through.”
Wallsend will be ruing another missed opportunity after being in the game at stages while coach Jesse Pryce said his side were unlucky in the defeat.
“Felt like the game was out of our hands, unfortunately, the refereeing was inconsistent, we were in the game until a few decisions were made, once they happened the game was over,” Pryce said.
“Obviously we wanted the result but didn’t go our way so we will take the fact we fought hard.”
Cooks Hill United 1 (Nick Russell) drew with South Cardiff Gunners 1 (Tom Butzmann)
Saturday, May 4th, Fearnley Dawes Athletic Field
Round 9 was also highlighted by another mouth-watering fixture between two top-four sides in South Cardiff and Cooks Hill with the result finishing as a 1-1 draw.
Both defences were resolute while the teams were eager to claim a massive victory against a title rival.
Tom Butzmann opened the scoring for the Gunners to give the away side the lead before the ladder leaders replied with an equaliser as Nick Russell converted a penalty and scoring his fifth goal of the campaign.
Both sides had to settle for a draw in the end while the Gunners are now the first team to take points off Cooks Hill on their home turf this season.
The black and white remain at the top of the ladder, unbeaten in their eight games so far and assistant coach, Jarrod Gorsuch, said the team battled hard for the point.
“Decent game, a good end to end game of football as South Cardiff were structurally sound and the game would have been nice to watch as a neutral,” Gorsuch said.
“We will now shift our focus to a midweek FFA Cup game against Weston.”
The Gunners are also now preparing for another mammoth fixture midweek against NPL Northern NSW side, Broadmeadow Magic, in the FFA Cup, while captain-coach Denis Fajkovic said his team would take confidence from their showing against Cooks Hill.
“It was definitely a competitive game, what we take away from that is they were at full-strength at their home ground and we proved we could match it with them, we are looking forward to the second leg at Ulinga,” Fajkovic said.
“Over the weekend, we took 10 points across all grades, which is the most any club has done this year.
“We have a big week, starting with Cooks Hill, Tuesday night we host Broadmeadow Magic and we do look forward to that, then next Sunday we play West Wallsend, so this means we will need the whole depth of the squad.”
Singleton Strikers 0 def. by Belmont-Swansea United 1 (Clayton Poole)
Saturday, May 4th, Howe Park
Belmont-Swansea has made it back-to-back wins with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Singleton at Howe Park.
Belswans have often struggled in recent years on Singleton’s home turf but managed to overcome the hurdle to remain in 2nd spot on the ladder.
Clayton Poole scored the only goal of the game after some tidy work from youngster, David Swain, who set up the attacker and slotted it into the back of the net from outside the box while landing his fourth strike of the campaign.
The determined Strikers threw everything they had at the Belswans defence in the second half, but the away side would hold onto their one-goal advantage and take home all three points.
Singleton has now dropped to ninth on the ladder while suffering their fourth defeat in a row and will be looking to turnaround their form when they play Thornton this weekend in the NEWFM Northern League One Match of the Round.
The defending champions are now three points away from leaders, Cooks Hill, while coach Mick Stafford said he’s delighted with his side’s determined showing.
“Bit of an arm wrestle, we were better in the first half than in the second, but the boys worked hard to grind out the points against a tough opponent,” he said.
“To come away from Howe Park with three points with five regulars out is a huge step forward for us, it’s not about tactics or formation, it’s about working hard for your mates for 90 minutes.
“That’s what we do well and every time I call on the young boys to step up, they do, it’s not only good for this season but shows the future is bright at Blacksmiths.”
New Lambton 1 (Bradley Andrews) def. by Thornton Redbacks 3 (Jack Charnock, Jacob Golding, Jake Millstead)
Saturday, May 4th, Alder Park
The Thornton Redbacks have picked up another stirring victory with a 3-1 triumph over New Lambton at Alder Park.
The fixture was set up as a chance to regain a spot in the top four for both teams, as they battled hard in the first half but the scores remained at 0-0.
The Redbacks hit the lead early on through a free kick from Jack Charnock and from there the away side lifted as livewires, Jacob Golding and Jake Millstead, grabbed a goal each to take the score to 3-0 and all but wrap up the win.
Bradley Andrews scored a consolation header for the Eagles but it was Thornton’s day as they now sit just outside the top four on goal difference with 13 points.
New Lambton remains in sixth spot but is now four points away from Thornton with the top five starting to break away from the rest of the pack.
The win was Thornton’s fourth of the campaign and coach Gary Wand said there is still room for improvement.
“New Lambton started better with good ball movement and we were a little flat but we defended well,” Wand said.
“They played very good football and it was a good game, we just took our chances and goals change games, it was nice to get another win but we need to start better.”
Cessnock City Hornets 2 (Matt Rees, Tom Cunningham) def. Kahibah F.C 1 (Heath Kepreotes)
Sunday, May 5th, Turner Park
Cessnock has recorded their second win of the season with a 2-1 success over Kahibah at Turner Park.
The Hornets took the lead through Matt Rees in the first half and would take that lead into the break before Kahibah’s Heath Kepreotes levelled the score just after half-time.
The winner would come through Tom Cunningham who hit a stunning strike from the edge of the box, to curl it over the Kahibah keeper and secure the three points for the Hornets.
The win is the second in a row at Turner Park for Cessnock while Kahibah has lost back-to-back away matches.
Cessnock rise to 8th with the victory while the green and black remain in 7th spot with crucial fixtures coming up for both sides if they’re to move up the table.