1st Grade: Valentine F.C 1 def. Cooks Hill United 0
I made it back to Cahill Oval for the final twenty minutes or so and to their credit, Cooks Hill pushed hard for an equaliser for the time I was their and almost stole a point with the final kick of the game but unfortunately for the team in black and white they'd go down 1-0 to the ladder-leaders.
It was an important win for Valentine as they take one more step towards NPL promotion and the minor premiership. I enjoyed my day at Valentine and was delighted to see my previews feature in their match program. Good ground and good people. Well wishes for the rest of the season.
Under 23's: Valentine F.C 2 def. Cooks Hill United 1
Not much I can say about this one as I had to duck out for my own game at Kahibah (finished 2-2 if you wanted to know). Valentine remained at the top of the table with a 2-1 win, seeing off a Cooks Hill side that had troubled the higher-placed sides in recent weeks.
Under 19's: Valentine F.C 2 def. Cooks Hill United 1
The Under 19's match I thought would be a good encounter and it didn't let down as two quality sides went toe to toe. Cooks Hill were lucky to get a lead at all as Valentine showed some real threat in front of goal in the first half but were unable to convert their chances. Cooks Hill would strike first but the home side wasn't finished.
A defensive slip-up allowed Valentine to equaliser and from there it was never going to be a surprise to see them take the lead as the visitors dropped their heads and became frustrated. Dissent sent the visitors down to ten men late on and they paid the price as Valentine struck on a pacey attacking ending with a simple tap in that sent the home fans into celebration.
The Cookers will bounce back as they've got a strong side in the 19's. I thought the keeper Andrew De Souza (apologies if I've got the wrong keeper but that's what my team sheet says!) had a strong game apart from one or two moments. Jackson Gosling I thought was decent for the away side as was Seb Lewis in midfield. They'll like their chances against a struggling Wallsend side next week.
For Valentine it's back to the top for them as they record their 8th win of the season and remain unbeaten. They showed urgency when it was needed and got the result they needed to return to the summit.
Under 17's: Valentine F.C 1 def by. Cooks Hill United 5
Cooks Hill's Under 17's moved into the top two with a third impressive victory in a row as they saw off Valentine 5-1 in the opening match of the day. It was the first 17's match I've seen this year and the quality was fairly impressive.
Valentine were always going to be up for a challenge against an in-form Cooks Hill side. The visitors were up 1-0 at half-time and Valentine weren't too far off the pace but the second half was all Cooks Hill as they showed their class and skill to put four more in the back of the net.
It was a third-straight win for the Cookers and they took their tally in those three games to sixteen goals, not bad at all. Only goalscorer I got for the Cookers was Harrison Owens but the majority of the team looked good in the 5-1 victory.
Valentine's loss is their sixth of the season and the 17's is probably somewhere the Phoenix will look at strengthening next season. As for Cooks Hill, they now move into second spot with a crucial clash between Wallsend and Lakes tomorrow to determine their final standing after this weekend. More importantly it's another step towards finals football for the Cookers.
1st Grade: Thornton 2 drew. Cessnock City 2
This result did no favours for either team as they both remain down in the lower part of the NewFM 1st grade table. The Hornets in particular will have to look over their shoulders as Toronto-Awaba have two games in hand. Still, a decent result for a Cessnock side that were beat 5-1 last week.
*Update*: I've received word that Thornton scored an injury-time goal to equalise which obviously is a much better result for the Redbacks than it was for the Hornets.
Under 23's: Thornton 1 drew. Cessnock City 1
The team that got the most out of this match was Valentine as they stretched their lead atop the table in the Under 23's with Thornton and Cessnock producing a 1-1 draw. Both these sides have had their fair share of draws in season 2015.
Under 19's: Thornton 3 def. Cessnock City 2
The Thornton 19's moved into 6th position with a 3-2 victory over an out-of-form Cessnock City side. It could prove to be an important three points in Thornton's race for a finals spot.
Under 17's: Thornton 0 drew. Cessnock City 0
The result from the 17's was a 0-0 draw between two sides that are struggling this season. It's never good to see bottom of the table sides produce a scoreless draw but at least both sides avoided another defeat on Saturday afternoon.
1st Grade: Kahibah 2 drew. Belmont-Swansea 2
Belmont-Swansea have ended Kahibah's winning streak with a gutsy 2-2 draw at Kahibah Oval on Sunday. The Belswans stayed in eighth place but got some
confidence in front of goal ahead of a visit to top of the table Valentine mid-week whilst Kahibah's form has stalled ahead of Wednesday's catch-up game with fellow top four side Wallsend.
Under 23's: Kahibah 2 def. Belmont-Swansea 1
Kahibah's 23's have jumped the Belswans on the league table with a 2-1 victory at Kahibah Oval. The Green and Blacks can push for a top four spot with a win over struggling Wallsend mid-week whilst Belmont-Swansea will face a tough test when they travel to top of the table Valentine.
Under 19's: Kahibah 2 def by. Belmont-Swansea 5
It was another impressive win for the top of the table Belswans 19's side as they overcame Kahibah 5-2 on Sunday. The win takes the Belswans back ahead of Valentine and takes their goal difference to an impressive +31. Kahibah will look to bounce back against Wallsend mid-week whilst it will be a juicy clash for Belswans as they take on Valentine in a top of the table clash.
Under 17's: Kahibah 3 def. Belmont-Swansea 1
Kahibah's Under 17's returned to form after a mid-week loss to ladder-leading Lake Macquarie City with an impressive 3-1 win over mid-table side Belmont-Swansea. The Green and Black 17's now move into second place, jumping Cooks Hill in the process. Both these sides are in action mid-week, Belswans away to Valentine whilst Kahibah will travel to Wallsend.
1st Grade: West Wallsend 1 def by. Toronto-Awaba 2
At long last Toronto-Awaba have lifted themselves off the bottom of the New-FM 1st Division table at the expense of West Wallsend. The Stags recorded their second-straight victory and jumped both Cessnock and Thornton into 9th place. It's a much needed result for a side that started the season in horror form.
For the Bluebells the door to the top four is closed over a bit more as they miss a chance to close the gap between themselves and Lakes. The ball is now over to the Roosters who have four catch-up games compared to West Wallsend's one, which comes on Wednesday night against Cooks Hill United.
Under 23's: West Wallsend 1 def by. Toronto-Awaba 2
West Wallsend's 23's suffered another disappointing defeat as they went down 2-1 to Toronto-Awaba at Johnston Park. The Stags moved up to 8th place whilst the Bluebells remain rooted to 10th and it doesn't get easier for Westy as they now have to play Cooks Hill mid-week.
Under 19's: West Wallsend 6 def. Toronto-Awaba 2
It was a crucial victory for West Wallsend's Under 19's as they kept in touch with the top four and saw off Toronto-Awaba in an impressive 6-2 result. Goalscorers for Westy were Matt Turner (x3), Sam Jones, Liam Muir & Greg Mason. The Bluebells will need to keep this form up with a vital game against fourth-placed Cooks Hill on Thursday night.
Under 17's: West Wallsend 2 def. Toronto-Awaba 1
West Wallsend's Under 17's also picked up a crucial win with a 2-1 victory over Toronto-Awaba on Sunday morning. The win keeps West Wallsend in fifth and just three points behind Wallsend in fourth. Goalscorers for the Bluebells were Tom Muir and Brady Coe. It'll be a tough test for West Wallsend mid-week as they travel to in-form Cooks Hill.