MATCH REPORT – 21st  May 2017

Northern League One – Round 11 vs Cooks Hill

The Singleton Strikers were on the road against competition frontrunners Cooks Hill last weekend.

Singleton Strikers Under 15’s played Cooks Hill, who are just above Singleton in the competition, and needed to be at their best, unfortunately that was not the case particularly in the first half.

Cooks Hill were allowed to dominate the first period due to Singleton waiting for the ball to come to them while Cooks Hill were first to the ball resulting in them having the majority of possession and territory. It was only a case of time before Cooks Hill scored, when it happened, there was a short period when it appeared Singleton may get back into game unfortunately it fizzled out fairly quickly.

It was hoped the talk at half time may have lifted Singleton but I think the coach may have wasted his breath as the second half was similar to the first half. If you are second to the ball, let it bounce, have poor ball control and then pass it to the opposition there is going to be little chance of getting back into the game.

Cooks Hill added a second goal early in the second half and although Singleton’s game improved towards the end which resulted in two opportunities to score both of which were easily saved by the goalkeeper, Cooks Hill ran out deserving winners 2 goals to nil.

The Betts Bower Haulage Singleton Strikers U17’s were under pressure early as the home had the better of the opening exchanges on a pitch wet from overnight rain. Cooks Hill scored first through a scrappy goal, but otherwise it was quite an even affair given the gap on the competition points table between the 2 teams.

Just 5 minutes into the second half, a simple defensive error let Cooks hill for a second goal, and try as they might, Singleton were unable to find a way back into the game.

The Viatek U19’s weathered an early storm, before settling into the game. Singleton took the lead with a clinical header to Corey Henderson. Cooks Hill hit back straight away, before Singleton’s Will Holz judged his run perfectly to get on the end of a Campbell Nunn cross to slot in Singleton’s 2nd goal.

The second half was an even affair, but as Singleton tired, the home side got stronger.

Cooks Hill equalised at the 55m mark, but the score blew out over the last 10 minutes as Cooks Hill ran riot and banged in 3 more unanswered goals to bring up the final score of 5-2.

Unfortunately, an undermanned U23 team fell behind early and conceded a further 2 first half goals as they struggled to contain a very slick Cooks Hill team.

The Strikers U23’s put on a much more assured display in the second half and kept the home side scoreless until the final minutes, when they struck a 4th goal through a fierce long range shot.

The Onekey Resources First grade team were mindful of the task ahead as they took on the runaway competition leaders.

Cooks Hill were in the ascendency early, and in truth they remained there for the next 90 minutes. But Singleton took the lead against the run of play with a well taken Brad Millar goal.

The Strikers defence held firm and Stuart Plant in goals mad e a number of classy saves to keep Cooks Hill at bay, but the pressure finally told and Cooks Hill scored within the shadows of half time.

The second half was all Cooks Hill. But attack after attack was repelled by a resilient Strikers defence.

With just minutes remaining, it looked like the Strikers could hold on for an unlikely draw, but Cooks Hill finally breached the back line and scored what appeared to be a winner.

But Singleton had other ideas, and they stunned the premiership favourites with an equalising goal when Brad Millar floated his free kick into the top corner of the goal to secure a brave point for the visitors.

The Singleton Strikers have another hard task this Saturday when they host Belmont Swansea. Play commences at 9.15am with the main game at 2.30pm.