Singleton Strikers capture 2-0 victory against Thornton at Howe Park

A WIN AT HOME: The Singleton Strikers' senior side bid farewell to Howe Park for season 2019 with a 2-0 win against the Thorton Redbacks. Here Joseph Civello celebrates a goal with Jake Barner and Lachlan Nicol in the second half.
A WIN AT HOME: The Singleton Strikers' senior side bid farewell to Howe Park for season 2019 with a 2-0 win against the Thorton Redbacks. Here Joseph Civello celebrates a goal with Jake Barner and Lachlan Nicol in the second half.

Singleton Strikers had their best weekend of the season winning five of the seven New FM games as well as Over 35 and women's matches.

It was also the worst weekend weather wise, with gale force winds and occasional freezing showers faced on all three days at Howe Park.

Results ensured semi-final football for the ladies, kept the 17s in touch with the top four and E grade 35s missing the semis by an agonising point..

The Strikers 19s, at the foot of the table, took on a Thornton team just a point ahead of them, meaning that the match was for the unwanted "Wooden Spoon".

The young Strikers had early chances but even midway through the second half a goal-less stale mate looked on the cards. Then a sleeping Singleton defence allowed the visitors to take the lead.

This ignited the home side and a corner was soon turned home by Oran Marzol and just before the final whistle Nick Watson headed home the winner.

It was a well deserved result for this battling team and particularly the younger players who have allowed them to get on the park each week.

Disorganisation in the 23s defence saw Thornton take a very early two-nil lead. The visitors, pushing for a top four finish added a further three goals.

The first grade game was really all about pride and bragging rights as neither teams had any chance of football after next weekend.

Climatic conditions ensured that the early part of the game was a scrappy affair but a long distance throw by Zane Hand was met perfectly at the near post by Jordan Phelan who steered it into the back of the net.

While Thornton had a few half chances it was Singleton who were taking control and when Joe Civello added a second after the break the game was virtually all over.

At a jubilant Royal Hotel after the game Nick Watson, Paul Taylor and Hayden Nicol took their teammates accolades as "Players Player".

Conditions on Sunday for the NewFM youth games was even worse than the day before.

The 13s despite their usual fighting performance were well beaten but from then on the day was all Singletons.

The 14s goal machine Alex Staffa soon had the locals three nil up before Thornton pulled a goal back.

Staffa added a fourth and the final score of 4-2 was probably a true reflection of the game.

The 15s endured the worst of the weather with both teams finding control difficult. A mix up at the back resulted in Singleton taking the lead courtesy of an own goal.

The game was still in the balance until Josh Ihle found himself one on one with the Thornton keeper and calmly put the game beyond the visitors.

With all due respects to the other teams it was understood by all that the 17s game was the one that really mattered. Win both this game and next week and the 17s would be in semi-final action.

The home side started well but failed to convert a couple of early chances before the quality of football became disappointing.

A fortuitous goal by Lachlan Passlow gave Singleton the much needed lead and they switched back on. Soon a scramble in the box saw Passlow add a second.

Passlow added two more goals making his and Singleton's tally four.

Both of these goals were well taken and both from great lead up play by 15s Callan Hungerford and Josh Ihle, the first a header and the second a volley.

On Friday the Singleton ladies, The Storm beat second place Tilligerry 3-1 leaving them in third place ahead of next weekend's semi-finals.

Katie Bell score twice with the other slotted home by Josie Bates. The E grade Over 35s, thanks to goals from Mark Squires and Gregg Dann won 2-0 at Lochinvar.

The F grade ended their season with defeat and yet again short of numbers.

The coming weekend will be a vital one for the NewFm 17s who take on New Lambton in the city with the winner ensured of a semi-final spot.

A draw may be good enough for either depending on other results as leaders West Wallsend also take on a semi contender, Kahibah.

The senior sides are in action on Saturday with first grade kicking off at 4.30 under lights, Youth grades will be in action on Sunday.

On Friday evening The Storm take on Cessnock in a minor semi at Rutherford.

12s & 18s from the Junior section of the club will be playing Community Football semis on Saturday.