Battered and bruised Hornets fight hard, but suffer tough loss

LOSS: Tom Stewart was missing after the Kahibah midweek loss in the FFA Cup.
LOSS: Tom Stewart was missing after the Kahibah midweek loss in the FFA Cup.

It was a week Cessnock Hornets coach Michael Gatt would like to forget.

First his side let a one goal lead slip against Kahibah in their FFA Cup match midweek and goes on to lose 5-2.

But there were extenuating circumstances. A run of injuries on the night meant the Hornets finished the match with nine men.

"We lost our left back and our right back, Jayden Ziernik and Tom Stewart, our goalkeeper was injured . . . it was a tough night," the coach said.

Especially so when West Wallsend were fit and waiting to take them on on Sunday.

And despite limping in to the game, Cessnock battled bravely only to concede a late goal and go down 1-0.

"The guys fought really hard and we were the better side for the majority of that game," Gatt said. "We managed to create quite a few opportunities but their keeper managed to pull off some very good saves to deny us.

"West Wallsend are always a tough fixture, so I wouldn't complain about the effort. We played with a lot of spirit."

To make matters worse for the Hornets, Ziernik tried to back up from the Kahibah match with just a couple of days rest on his hamstring and had to leave the field after eight minutes.

"It popped on me," he said. "I would think I'll be out for a few weeks now."

Cessnock have a tough run of matches ahead, starting with Cooks Hill this weekend, followed by last season's premiers Singleton and Belmont-Swansea.

In the Northern NPL, Weston kept their second successive clean sheet and recorded their second straight win, accounting for Adamstown Rosebud 2-0 on Saturday.

It is hard to believe after being smashed 7-1 in the opening round of the season, the Bears are now sitting third on the ladder on six points behind only unbeaten Maitland (9), and Broadmeadow (7).

Not only that, but the Bears had to overcome the loss of Liam Wilson to a red card for a studs-up tackle in the 16th minute - it was careless rather than malicious, but nonetheless left his side a man down.

The two sides went to the half-time break at nil-all, but with Adamstown no doubt fancying their chances as the home side became leg weary in the second half. But things didn't turn out that way .

A corner from Chris Hurley after 63 minutes saw Connor Heydon emerge from a chaotic melee inside the six yard box to prod the ball home and break the deadlock against his former club.

In the 80th minute, it was another ex-Adamstown attacker in Niyonkuru who would double the lead with a strike of fine quality. Carrying the ball from 45 yards, the livewire trickster danced past three defenders and unleashed a drive from 20 yards into the top right corner.