HIT106.9 Northern League One Round Two Review: BelSwans steal three points from Kahibah, while the Redbacks defeat reigning champions Westy

Match of the Round
Kahibah FC 1-4 Belmont Swansea United FC

Belmont Swansea United scored a 4-1 victory against Kahibah in the Match of The Round.

The game was Kahibah’s first of the season after they sat out with the bye in the opening round. They opened the scoring in the 48th minute when debutant Daniel Byrne put away a tidy finish to break the deadlock after the sides had entered half-time at 0-0.

BelSwans equalised 10 minutes later when Ethan Hall intercepted a back pass and put his strike away.

Reece Newton put BelSwans ahead from the penalty spot in the 76th minute after Kane Woolston had been brought down in the box.

Kahibah was reduced to 10 men in the 81st minute when Liam Whitehead was sent off for a second yellow card offence despite protests that he had not received a yellow card before that booking.

The side’s night went from bad to worse two minutes later when Woolston netted his fifth goal in two matches following some superb build-up play down the left from Cameron Lodge.

Adam Woodbine then scored in injury time to make the score 4-1 and put the result beyond doubt as BelSwans remained on top of the table following their 10-3 victory eight days earlier.

BelSwans coach Mick Stafford said his team was still a work in progress as his players continue to gel, but he was pleased with what he saw from them on Sunday night.

“We showed plenty of character and grit to get the three points at a place we’re not familiar at playing at and after some personnel ins and outs at the last minute,” Stafford said.

“It was a very cagey first half. They presented quite well and were winning the 50/50s more often. I believe we created more chances, but they showed more intensity in the first half.

“In the end, it was a good intense game that you’d expect from Kahibah versus BelSwans.”

Stafford thought that conceding three minutes after half-time clicked his team into gear.

“There’s a bit of a pattern forming that we take a bit to get going, but once we get going, we’re hard to stop. It’s always disappointing to concede, but it sort of struck us into gear,” Stafford said.

“Again, our depth off the bench and our fitness I think were key factors.”

Kahibah’s coach Mat Moncrieff was disappointed with the result but was pleased with the way his team played and said there were plenty of positives to work on.

“The send-off killed the game I thought. We dominated the game up until the send-off,” Moncrieff said.

“The two teams went at it, and to be honest, even though it was 0-0 at half-time, it had been a cracking game.

“Our goal was quality from Dan Byrne on debut but we gifted them their first goal with a back pass that was a mix-up.

“If they’re the best team in the comp, we’ll be more than happy to keep fronting up every week. We were the much better team in that game.”

Kahibah now have a short turnaround as they prepare to face South Cardiff at Ulinga Oval on Friday night, and Belmont Swansea will go in search of a third consecutive win when they host Singleton Strikers at Blacksmiths Oval on Saturday afternoon.

West Wallsend SFC 0-1 Thornton Redbacks FC

Defending champions West Wallsend were stunned in their first game of the season on Friday night when they went down 1-0 on home soil at Johnston Park against Thornton Redbacks.

The Bluebells were washed out in round one but showed no signs of rust as they created enough chances to win three or four matches against the Redbacks. But they were unable to put any opportunities away.

The two sides entered the half-time break locked at 0-0 before Thornton hit the lead in the 77th minute when Jack Wetney scored his third goal in two games.

Redbacks co-coach Gerard Carey thought that it was attitude and discipline that earned his side a result for the second week in a row after they had picked up a point in the season opener against Toronto Awaba.

“We work hard. It’s two weeks in a row we haven’t had the quality of play that the opposition has had,” Carey said.

“We stuck to the plan though. It was a similar plan with variations to suit the opposition.

“The week before we gifted the opposition three goals. We looked at that and wanted to come out with some composure, which we had a lot more of in defence.

“The club song after the game was the loudest I’ve heard it in years.”

Thornton has now taken four points from last season’s premiers and champions across the opening two rounds and will be hoping to continue that positive start to the season on Saturday when they host Cessnock City Hornets at Metford in the Match of the Round.

West Wallsend have two matches to play this week as they host Singleton in a rescheduled Round One clash at Johnston Park on Wednesday and then head out to The Gardens for a derby clash against Wallsend on Sunday.

Cessnock City Hornets FC 0-4 Singleton Strikers FC

Singleton Strikers kicked off their season in style when they took down Cessnock City Hornets 4-0 at Turner Park on Saturday.

Jake Barner opened Singleton’s account for 2024 in the 17th minute when he found the back of the net to make the score 1-0.

Debutant Wil Pannowitz struck in the 39th minute to double the visitors’ lead.

Striker’s captain Hayden Nichol made the score 3-0 with the goal of the game eight minutes into the second stanza before Joel Barner made it 4-0 with a goal in injury time.

Doug West’s coaching debut at the Strikers was initially delayed a week after their round one clash against West Wallsend was washed out and rescheduled.  The gaffer was happy with their first result of the campaign despite what he thought was an ordinary first-half performance.

“I think in the first half we were quite clunky. We looked a bit underdone and our structure wasn’t great,” West said.

“We fixed a lot of things at half-time and we managed the game out in the second half. There were some very direct words spoken at half-time around the expectation because the performance was well under par for the first half. The guys definitely responded. They came out and dominated, and Cessnock was not in the game in the second half.

“It’s great to get off to a winning start. Galvanising the group with a win is really important first up. We were washed out last week so it was great to get out on the pitch and get that win.”

Singleton is back in action this Wednesday when they travel to Johnston Park to challenge West Wallsend in their rescheduled round one clash before travelling to Blacksmiths Oval to take on Belmont Swansea United on Saturday afternoon.

Cessnock have now lost both of their first two games this season and will be hoping to turn that around on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Metford to play against Thornton Redbacks in the Match of the Round.

Wallsend FC 0-3 Toronto Awaba FC

Defending premiers Toronto Awaba scored their first win of the year on Sunday when they took down Wallsend 3-0 on a hot day away from home at The Gardens.

A week after opening the season with a 3-3 draw at home against Thornton, the Stags managed to put three goals away again this week and they were able to keep a clean sheet to earn the three points.

They opened the scoring in the 14th minute through Jarrod Purcell and took that 1-0 lead into half-time before Purcell doubled their advantage with a strike nine minutes into the second stanza. Ethan Wilson then made sure of the result with his first goal of the campaign in the 81st minute.

Toronto Awaba was forced to pay the final 10 minutes with 10 men after Reece Green was sent off in the 83rd minute for a foul just outside the area when he was the last man. 
But the Stags were too solid and managed to keep Wallsend out to keep the clean sheet and score their first win of the year.

Toronto Awaba’s coach Jarrad Hiles thought Wallsend made it difficult for his men but said he always felt comfortable throughout the 90 minutes.

“It’s a narrow and bumpy pitch there and Wallsend dropped their lines and set up a block, so it was hard to play through and hard to move the ball,” Hiles said.

“But we did okay. We rode our luck a few times. They hit the bar and had a couple of other good chances that they didn’t capitalise on.

“It was a game where we always felt comfortable. We dominated possession and they let us have the ball. But it was still quite a relief to get the third goal.

“It’s always been a hard place for us to play at. Any time you can go there and keep a clean sheet and get the points and get out of there, I’m happy.”

Wallsend will be looking to bounce back this Sunday when they return to The Gardens to host West Wallsend in the derby, while Toronto Awaba will have a chance to get over the bumps and bruises of the first two rounds this weekend when they sit out with the bye.

South Cardiff FC had the bye.