Sunday, 19 July 2015

REVIEW: New-FM 1st Division Round 19


Lake Macquarie City 0 def by. VALENTINE F.C 4

I decided to leave the Toronto v Cooks Hill game and head down the road to Macquarie Field for the top of the table and perhaps promotion-defining game between Lake Macquarie City and Valentine Phoenix F.C, mainly because I thought there was a lot more on the line in the Lakes v Valentine game.

I arrived at the ground to see a few lopsided scores in the lower grades but more importantly a 1-0 lead to Valentine in first grade. I was behind goal when Valentine smashed one home through captain Scott McGinley and the number eight was at it again, converting from the spot just before half-time.

It was a convincing three-nil lead for the visitors and one Lakes would always struggle to come back from. The Roosters were better in the second half but poor finishing cost them dear and when Valentine made it 4-0 not long into the second stanza, the game was all but over.

It was a routine day at the office for the Phoenix and I was asked by their goalkeeper Perry Budden to give him a mention. Fortunately for the Valentine stopper he wasn't required to do too much at all so I can't really say he did well can I? He's a decent keeper who produced some decent saves if I remember correctly on the recent FFA Cup qualifying weekend. And he's a fan of the site so he's got my approval. (Wish I could insert a thumb emoticon or whatever.)

Anyway, it was all class from a Valentine side who now surely take the front foot in the race for promotion. With just three games remaining, it's Valentine's title to lose in my opinion. They'll know they've done the hard yards this season and they can't afford to let it slip by. Beating Lakes twice isn't easy and full credit has to go to the boys in orange for their performance today.

In the lower grades, Valentine were big six-nil winners in the Under 23's, which I'm sure sealed the minor premiership. Goalscorers were Connor Motherway, Jacob Hall, Matt Williams, Derek Costello, Ben Clouchlan and an Own Goal.

The Valentine 19's were stunned as they went down 7-0 to a rampaging Lakes outfit. Adam Buchmasser bagged two, as did Jordan Harper and James Ward whilst Thomas Stewart added one onto the scoresheet.

The 17's finished 4-0 to the home side, a result that keeps them in line for the minor premiership. Goalscorers were Callum McGoldrick, James Ward, Dario Nikic and Jack Russo.

And a big thanks to Lakes for sending me all the goalscorers. I'd love for all teams to do the same as it makes the site work that much better. Some clubs like to keep their goalscorers a secret but I believe they should be praised and highlighted.


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TORONTO-AWABA 2 def. Cooks Hill United 1

I didn't get to catch the first grade game at Toronto as I made my way over to Lakes but have been helpfully informed of all the details from a player at the Stags. The home side opened the scoring through Tim Stones from the penalty spot. Cooks Hill would hit back from 12 yards with Peter Pryce slotting one home.

With time running out and a draw looking imminent, Toronto-Awaba stunned the Cookers as Nick Roberts bagged a late winner, much to the delight of the home fans...I'd imagine. A hard-fought win for a side that haven't had the greatest of luck in 2015.

I have to give a shoutout to Cooks Hill though for allowing some younger players to play first grade today. Quality 19's defender Jared Neale was handed a start and 19's captain Rocky Sovechles was awarded a spot on the bench. Add these two to recent 1st grade addition Jayden Wiggins and it's obvious that the Cookers are using the last part of the season to blood some youth which is a step in the right direction in my opinion.

Talking about the lower grades, the Under 23's ended with Cooks Hill coming out 2-0 winners. Goals to Ryan Bartlett and Josh Fellows helped the away side to another decent win. I thought the Cookers were combining well in midfield and it was good to see 17's defender Milan Lettau produce a quality game at left back.

The 19's finished with a 1-1 draw. After the visitors dominated the majority of the first half, a 35th minute goal to Cody O'Brien would open the scoring for Toronto-Awaba. The visitors came out firing in the second half and Jackson Gosling's 42nd minute goal would be the perfect start for the Cookers in the second stanza.

That would be the end of the goalscoring but it was a highly-entertaining game and full credit has to go to Toronto-Awaba who played a lot better than their ladder position would show. Midfield general and captain Rocky Sovechles was strong in the air and did a good job of retreating on transition.

A few 19's for the Cookers put in a good shift. James Zullo was involved in a lot throughout the game and young midfielder Seb Lewis showed some skill as well.  Oh and that goal from Jackson Gosling was an absolute screamer off of the left foot so I can't forget to mention that. Also I thought the Toronto keeper, Adam Rosandic pulled off a couple of decent saves.

The Under 17's failed to live up to the hype as the two teams produced a frustrating scoreless draw. Both sides created some decent chances but neither could find the back of the net. Cooks Hill lacked the crucial touch in the last third and lacked a bit of control (those who know the control gag will like that last line, those who don't know it will think I'm rambling or something.)

*I'm in a not so serious review mood today so I will mention the 'control' gag. The Cookers' 19's coach filled in for the 17's today and had to have yelled control at least 100 times. He calmed it down for the 19's but I counted 41 times he said that now infamous seven-letter word.

Needless to say when he played for the 23's, some were giving him a taste of his own medicine, myself included as he struggled to get any control behind the ball. I used to think there was more to coaching than yelling out one simple word but today proved different. Sorry to Giles if he happens to read this review! It was just really funny.

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1st Grade POSTPONED due to Wet Weather

It was a funny old day at Kahibah Oval as the lower grades went ahead but due to rain and what not, the 1st Grade fixture was rightfully abandoned and will of course be re-scheduled in due course. The lower grades saw Kahibah win 5-0 in the 17's and keep their top spot on the table alive whilst the Kahibah 19's scraped over the line in a 3-2 win.

The 23's ended 2-0 to Thornton which is a very important win on the road to finals and may be the end of Kahibah's finals hopes. All in all, sad to see the first grade fixture get called off but at least Kahibah didn't end up bogging a roller like their nearby neighbours at Charlestown City did.

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West Wallsend 2 def by. CESSNOCK CITY 5

West Wallsend and Cessnock City were fighting to avoid the wooden spoon and from what I've heard, a late surge to the visitors gave them a big win and more importantly a crucial win at this stage of the season. Tye Jones bagged a double for the home side but that was as good as it'd get as they fell to another disappointing loss.

I haven't updated the ladders yet so I can't comment on exact points but this result leaves West Wallsend as a heavy favourite to pick up the dreaded wooden spoon. It hasn't been the best few months for the previously high-flying Bluebells. Credit to Cessnock though as they produced a much-need perfomance when it mattered most.

In the lower grades, the Under 23's finished 4-1 to the visitors whilst it was a 3-3 draw in the 19's with West Wallsend scoring two late goals to seal a miracle comeback. The 17's finished 6-3 in what I've been told was an entertaining and a fiery encounter in which punches were thrown.

Never good to see punches being thrown in an Under 17's match but I'm sure whoever was involved will be regretting their actions as they sit on the sidelines for a few weeks...that's if the ref took action. 

I've been told that some West Wallsend crowd members were a bit vocal towards the Cessnock players and seriously some of the comments I've heard were very offensive. As a neutral I think it'd be best for both clubs to let the boys just play and get on with it. There's no place for verbal abuse at any level of our great game.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a shot at West Wallsend as I know the majority of the Bluebells' faithful are decent people and show respect to all but there's always one or two people at each club who should just keep their comments to themselves.

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WALLSEND F.C 3 def. Singleton 2

Singleton arrived at The Gardens with a bit of form behind them and they knew that Wallsend's form going into this game was shaky at best. The Red Devils stepped up at a crucial time though and pulled off a gutsy 3-2 victory. The win sees Wallsend return to the winners' circle and sees Singleton's already slim finals hopes take another dent.

In the lower grades, Singleton were 1-0 victors in the Under 23's whilst the Under 19's finished 6-2 to Wallsend. The Under 17's was a closer affair as Wallsend came out 1-0 winners.

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