Mixed results for Singleton Strikers over the weekend

The weekend’s football resulted in the OneKey Resources first grade side siting at the top of the NewFM First Division for twenty four hours following their 1-0 win over South Cardiff at Howe Park on Saturday.

By beating West Wallsend 3-0, Cooks Hill returned to the top of the table on Sunday afternoon.

The other highlight was a first win of the season for the embattled 14s, they beat Toronto Awaba 3-2 at Howe Park on Sunday. 

The First Grade game started at a frenetic  pace with both teams looking to consolidate their top four credentials. Neither side were given time to play neat constructive football. Another factor was a certain amount of leniency by the central official.

During this time neither keeper was called on to perform more than basic duties. In a moment of brilliance Nathan Hall took control of the ball well in his own half and beating player after player (most spectators suggested at least half the opposition) rounded the keeper and slotted the ball into the bottom corner. It was arguably as good a goal as any seen at Howe Park for many years. 

The second half, with tackles flying in everywhere, was not for the purist. The visitors were bombarding the Singleton defence with long balls down the middle of the park only to be denied by the pairing of Jordan Phelan and Jackson Skinner. In the midst of all this Phealan made a rampaging run through the centre of the South Cardiff ranks before full time was called with three points staying at Howe Park.  Phelan was a popular winner of the player’s player award.

The 23’s earlier in the day fell to one lapse of concentration in the second half after holding their opponents in the first half.  This week, work rate and commitment were evident particularly in the middle of the park. Keeper Ryan Guihot was his team mates choice of player of the day with Dylan Hayes also mentioned in dispatches.

The first game of the day saw the nineteens off to a flyer with Jack Clare giving the home side a lead within five minutes only to be pegged back very quickly. Trae Proudlock restored the young Strikers lead with what spectators described as a ‘screamer’. A speculator from defender Josh Shade extended the lead before a further South goal caused some nail biting on the Singleton bench. They were however able to hang on and record another victory.

On Sunday, with the coach sending instructions from his sick bed, the 14s took on a Toronto Awaba side sitting in mid table. They were under early pressure before - against the run of play – Miles Ewin gave the local youngsters the lead. It was now the turn of Singleton to apply pressure and with a flowing movement, defying their lowly position, Campbell Martin made it two nil.

Shortly after afterwards Cody O’Loughlin added a third to give their opponents plenty to think about during the break. Playing with the wind Toronto soon pulled back two goals but were unable to add to that thanks to some fine keeping by Luke Meyn and a solid centre to the Singleton defence.  The win takes the boys off the bottom of the table.

This game was followed by the 17s who ended up holding on for a win too.  Although the boys showed plenty of drive and determination but were not able to control the ball as their coach would have wished. However, mid way through the first half a shot by Cameron Neal, from 35 meters caught the keeper unawares and gave Singleton a one nil lead. A brilliant save by Tyler Morris ensured that the score remained 1-0 at the break.  The visitors dominated the second half but solid defence by Kye Dann, Neal and Marlow Court-Kriesh held them at bay.

Sunday’s activities were completed by Singleton Ladies, the Storm, taking on one of the Newcastle University teams. Yet again they were only able to pick up one point. Each of their three games has ended in a draw.  The Storm certainly had the better chances of the game but were unable to convert them. Whilst it was hard to pick out players amongst those mentioned by spectators were Abby Sheridan and Lisa Kneller.

Both Over 35 sides were on the road on Friday night and both complained about the wind and wintery conditions. The two teams were also limited in selections due to a large number of players ‘rostered on’ for work.  D Grade were at Dudley and took an early lead when Darryl Messenger scored a classy goal but ended the night on the end of four one defeat.  G Grade were at Charlestown with several players describing the night as awful but were not willing to indicate whether they were referring to the weather or the football. As it was they were beaten by the odd goal or three. The Senior Strikers goal was scored by Matt Bentley.   

All Age travelled to Hamilton Azzurri were they were beaten three nil. This was despite some solid defensive work by the Jones/Shoebridge combination. Singleton had chances with one effort from Dan Murphy rattling the bar.

Next weekend heralds the half way mark for the three senior grade squads. They make the short journey to Turner Park at Cessnock on Sunday, for an always hard fought local derby. First grade kick off at 2.30pm.

The three young grade sides are also in action on Sunday with New Lambton visiting Howe Park with the 14s kicking the day off at 10am.

The weekend starts with Over 35 action at headquarters G Grade play Belmont at 6.30pm followed by D Grade against Wallsend at 8pm. All Age play Mayfield Juniors at Howe Park with a 1.30pm kick off while the Storm are on the road again on Sunday taking on Lambton Jaffas at Harry Edwards Oval.