Wallsend 0 def by. VALENTINE F.C 1
It was a really entertaining game for the neutral as Wallsend and Valentine through caution into the wind on a very cold and foggy winter's night at The Gardens. Arriving at the ground I was very impressed with the clubhouse/canteen facilities although the pitch itself left a lot to be desired. I've been told Wallsend will be working on the field in the off-season though.
I sat in the grandstand which is by far the biggest of all New-FM clubs and the set-up was nice. The PA was nice and loud, they played some music as teams came out. Little things like that I think go a long way towards making the game feel a bit more important. It's something I think most clubs should look at; at the very least a PA system is a good addition. The scoreboard on the big LED greyhound board was a nice touch as well.
Valentine scored the only goal of the game through Paul McGinley I believe and it was a deserved win for the promotion-chasing Phoenix and an important one that allows them to put one hand on the minor premiership.
I do have to make a point of it and say that Wallsend's discipline was shocking throughout the second half. Several clumsy challenges and a couple of blatant rugby league-like tackles saw them account about six or seven yellow cards throughout the match. A couple of their players were lucky not to see red and I thought their coach could very well have been given his marching orders as well.
Credit to Wallsend though as they dug deep and tried their very best to put a goal in the back of the net throughout the final moments. It's always good to see a side throw the kitchen sink at the opposition and refuse to give up. I stick to what I said earlier this season; Wallsend are a very serious football side and a quality club that are in my opinion just a few short years away from potentially returning to the top-flight in Northern NSW.
In the 23's, top of the table Valentine sealed the minor premiership in style with an emphatic 5-0 victory. It was all class from the Phoenix reserves and credit has to go to them for wrapping up the minor premiership with a few games still to play. They've been by far the best team in the Under 23's this season.
Thornton Redbacks 1 def by. SINGLETON 4
Singleton's finals hopes are still well and truly alive after they saw off the Thornton Redbacks with a 4-1 victory at Thornton Park. The Strikers now move to within three points of fourth-placed Kahibah F.C. It's going to be a big one on the weekend when Singleton host the Lake Macquarie City in what will be a hugely important game for both clubs.
In the 23's, Thornton put one foot in the finals with a comfortable 4-1 win over struggling Singleton.
Also tonight, Beresfield F.C produced yet another quality draw against a higher-placed side when they drew 1-1 with Cooks Hill United in the Zone League One catch-up game at Tarro Park.
Also tonight, Maryland-Fletcher produced a stunning result in Zone League Two, downing Medowie 5-0 at Kurraka Oval. The result keeps the Bulldogs' very slim finals hopes alive and does damage to the hopes of Medowie. A quality win by Maryland-Fletcher.
In Zone League Three, Edgeworth were put to the sword on their home turf by a Wallsend side that now move into top spot with the comfortable 6-0 win. Little fun fact for those who read this far down is that my biggest loss was a 7-1 defeat at Edgeworth last season. I know the feeling of being flogged on that ground.
Foggy Night At Wallsend