Under 17's: Cooks Hill United 2 def. West Wallsend 1
This was one of the better games I've seen this year in the lower grades of the New-FM 1st Division. I arrived a tad late and missed the opening goal to West Wallsend. I heard it was to their main goalscorer in the 17's this season Josh Knight. Can't say I saw it though.
Cooks Hill looked decent but were a bit off the pace compared to their match at Valentine the other day. West Wallsend had some decent players in the attacking third and were threatening a few times. I thought their 58 did well on the left edge, didn't manage to find out his name.
Cooks Hill looked hungry to equalise before half-time and it came from Tyler Hoffmann, sending the sides in locked at 1-1. The second half began to swing towards the home side as West Wallsend began to lose their discipline a bit. Both sides I thought defended well tonight in a game that was at times very end to end.
The visitors were reduced to ten men by what I considered a very card-happy referee. I'm not sure the challenge warranted a second yellow but there may have been some backchat that I of course didn't hear from the sidelines. This threw West Wallsend's structure out the window.
The Bluebells coped well but couldn't hold on as the Cookers smashed home a late goal. I have no idea who got the goal as whoever it was got mobbed by teammates but it was a neat finish nonetheless past a helpless goalkeeper. The Cookers held on for a tight victory.
I have to make note that I thought West Wallsend showed a fair bit of class in the 17's, maybe even more than their first graders did last night. They've got some handy youngsters who'll no doubt play 1sts and maybe even NPL somewhere down the line.
Under 19's: Cooks Hill 1 def. West Wallsend 0
The Cookers went into this one knowing a win was a must against a West Wallsend side that was right below them on the league table. They got off to the perfect start, scoring in the first few minutes. I didn't catch the name of the goalscorer but it was #6 who made some space for himself inside the penalty box and smashed it past the keeper.
West Wallsend had some silky touches between each other in the front third and forced Cookers keeper Kaia Roth into two or three spectacular diving saves to keep his side in the lead; not bad for a keeper backing up from the first game. Westy's wingers I thought had a bit of pace in the 19's and were getting in behind one or two times.
The second half was much of the same with West Wallsend testing Cooks Hill's defence as they pushed hard for an equaliser. Their chances were hindered when they were reduced to ten men mid-way through the second half. I've got to say, I watched three games over the two nights and three Westy players were sent off. Discipline I think needs to improve. I thought both the 17's and 19's allowed themselves to get too much into the aggressive style of play, cooler heads always prevail in my opinion.
West Wallsend had a superb one on one chance late on but again Roth was on hand to deflect the ball out for a corner. The Cookers certainly have a star goalie in the making; playing 1sts last night and then two games tonight and conceding just the two goals is very impressive.
I feel for West Wallsend as I thought they created enough chances in the 19's to get something out of the game but unfortunately it wasn't to be. I was impressed with their 17's and a couple of their 19's. It's good to see some decent young players at a club that came so close to folding just a year ago.
Tough Night At The Office For Redbacks:
Not the best night at Thornton Park as the home side went down in both the 17's and 19's to a high-quality Lakes outfit. Credit to the Redback 17's as I thought this one could have gotten ugly. Being winless after half a season mustn't be good and hopefully that big win will come soon for a side that haven't had the best year.
Beating Lakes was always going to be tough and the Roosters' 17's are now ten from ten and could very well run away with the minor premiership if they continue this form. I'm going to go out on a limb now and say they won't go 20 from 20. Come back to this comment in two months time and see if I'm right.
Kahibah Enjoy Two Wins At The Gardens:
I've been told it was an entertaining clash between two mid-table sides as Kahibah came out 2-1 winners in the Under 19's. The 17's finished 3-1 to the visitors in a result that saw Wallsend record just their second loss of the season. It'll certainly be an interesting clash between Wallsend and Cooks Hill in the 17's on Saturday morning.
Belswans' Youngsters Rise To The Occasion:
The top of the table Under 19's clash ended 2-1 to a Belmont-Swansea side that remain undefeated in 2015. The 2-1 victory helped the Belswan 19's extend their lead atop the table as they handed Valentine just their second defeat of the campaign. It was also a win for Belswans in the 17's as they capped off a good two nights away from home for the club.