NPL Round 5 Weekly Wrap
Redlands United and Brisbane Strikers remain hot on the heels of league-leaders Olympic FC after five rounds of the National Premier Leagues.
Review all the exciting weekend action in the Weekly Wrap.
National Premier Leagues Competition Table
|2||Redlands United FC||5||4||0||1||21||6||+15||12|
|3||Brisbane Strikers FC||5||4||0||1||18||15||+3||12|
|4||Sunshine Coast FC Fire||4||3||0||1||13||2||+11||9|
|5||Moreton Bay United Jets FC||4||3||0||1||9||6||+3||9|
|6||Northern Fury FC||5||3||0||2||10||8||+2||9|
|7||Brisbane City FC||4||2||0||2||20||12||+8||6|
|8||Western Pride FC||5||1||1||3||4||13||-9||4|
|9||FNQ FC Heat||5||1||1||3||6||16||-10||4|
|10||Palm Beach Sharks FC||4||1||0||3||6||7||-1||3|
|11||Queensland Academy of Sport||5||0||1||4||3||17||-14||1|
Western Pride FC 1 (Russell WOODRUFFE 13’)
Redlands United FC 4 (Jason MACUACE 79’ 83’, Graham FYFE 57’, Ramon CLOSE 44’)
Crowd: 500 approx.
Redlands United remain in second place on the NPL table following a 4-1 win against Western Pride at a rain affected North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday night.
Contrary to recent form, Pride took an early lead when Russell Woodruffe netted for the hosts on 13 minutes from Peter Dragar’s well-placed cross - the club’s first goal since the second round.
However, the early goal only spurred a Redlands resurgence, as the visitors wrestled for control of the game before squaring terms immediately prior to the half through Ramone Close.
The visitors then ran away with the match courtesy of three further goals in the second stanza – Graham Fyfe giving Redlands the lead just before the hour mark with a rifled shot from 20 yards.
Jheison Macuace chipped in with a further two goal in the final fifteen minutes to put the game beyond the reach of the hosts – the flashy forward benefitting from sublime passes from midfielders Fyfe and George Barbarouses before twice finishing confidently.
The result is the third consecutive defeat for Kasey Wehrman’s Pride outfit, who remain in eighth place on the NPL table with one win from the opening five rounds.
CQFC Energy 3 (Chris GEDDES 3' 64'. Sander WATERLAND 75')
Brisbane Strikers 4 (Matt THURTELL 9' 20' 52', Josh MCVEY 61')
Crowd: approx. 275
A ten-man Brisbane Strikers overcame a heavy pitch and a late charge from CQFC Energy on Saturday night to prevail 4-3 at Rugby Park in a rainy Rockhampton.
A star-turn from Matt Thurtell did the bulk of the damage for Strikers, the prolific marksman netting a hat-trick before turning provider for his team’s fourth goal.
However, Strikers head coach David Large will be left to rue another lacklustre defensive display that saw centre half Andy Callaghan dismissed on the half hour mark.
The visitors conceded inside the first ten minutes for the fourth consecutive match when CQFC talisman Chris Geddes pounced on a parried save from his own 18-yard shot to open accounts.
Strikers responded through the both flanks with wingers Jonti Richter and Greg King setting up Thurtell for a quick fire double before the half hour.
Thurtell secured his hat-trick from a well-worked set piece in the second half, midfielder Michael Angus stepping over a low corner that allowed Thurtell to drive his shot home from more than 20 yards.
Former Brisbane Roar youth player Josh McVey added the fourth to seemingly seal the result when he worked a neat one-two with Thurtell before producing a clinical finish from 15 yards.
Geddes sparked the home side’s resurgence when he found space at the edge of the area to place a shot into the top corner of the net late in the half before Sander Waterland added a third for the hosts when he slinked past two defenders before finishing with an assured strike.
Despite the support of the parochial home crowd, it proved too little too for CQFC who remain without a competition point from their first five fixtures.
FNQ FC Heat 1 (Simon FERNANDEZ )
Olympic FC 1 (Danny BYRNE)
Crowd: approx. 800
(goal minutes unavailable at time of publication)
FNQ FC Heat held NPL league-leaders Olympic FC to 1-all draw at Barlow Park on Saturday night on the back of an impressive performance from goalkeeper Mikel Breckenridge.
Several telling second-half saves from the Heat gloveman saw the hosts split the points with the highly-fancied Olympic, who hit the post twice in the final half hour in search of a winning goal.
A see-sawing first half saw the sides locked nil-all at the break before Simon Fernandez broke the stalemate after switching wings – cutting inside the left back before rounding Olympic keeper Shannon Lancini and finishing with his left foot.
Heat then held firm for half an hour against a frustrated fightback by Olympic, however a frantic goal mouth scramble saw Olympic awarded a penalty in the final ten minutes to the disappointment of the fiercely parochial crowd.
Olympic skipper Danny Byrne slotted the subsequent spot kick ensuring his side remains in outright first place on the NPL ladder after five rounds.
Meanwhile, the drawn result sees Heat record their first competition points since their opening round home win against rivals Northern Fury in March.
Northern Fury 6 (Alex READ 7' 25' 34', Michael EISENHUT 28' , Gareth EDDS 80' 88')
Queensland Academy of Sport 1 (Sam CRONIN 23')
Crowd: approx. 1950
Northern Fury made it back-to-back home wins following an impressive 6-1 demolition of QAS in a fast-paced match at Townsville Sports Reserve on Sunday afternoon.
Fury forward Alex Reid was the star for the home side, scoring a first half hat-trick to effectively seal the result for the hosts before half time.
Buoyed by the enthusiastic home crowd, Fury took the game to the Academy youngsters early – Reid opening accounts after barely seven minutes when he used his pace to get in behind the QAS line and finish assuredly.
QAS then levelled terms via Sam Cronin, before Mick Eisenhut restored Fury’s advantage shortly after when he snuck the ball past the keeper from an acute angle on the right.
Reid once again used his speed to break the line again for his second, before hitting a first time strike to complete his hat-trick.
The second half proved to be a more evenly contested affair with the visitors holding the hosts at bay for most of the half however QAS were still unable to make a genuine impact at the other end of the pitch.
A cameo from Gareth Edds gave Fury extra impetus in the final ten minutes, with the player/coach scoring twice, including a superb lobbed effort for his first, to bring about Edds’ now trademark dancing goal celebration, first exhibited when he represented the club in the A-League.
The result lifts Fury to the top half of the table, while QAS remain mired in second last place having not recorded a competition point since their opening round draw with Western Pride.
Palm Beach Sharks v Sunshine Coast FC Fire – POSTPONED
The Saturday evening National Premier Leagues match between Palm Beach Sharks and Sunshine Coast FC Fire was postponed due to inclement weather.
The match will be rescheduled at a date to be advised.
Moreton Bay United Jets FC v Brisbane City FC – POSTPONED
The Saturday evening National Premier Leagues match between Moreton Bay United Jets FC and Brisbane City FC was postponed due to inclement weather.
The match will be rescheduled at a date to be advised.
Words: Michael Flynn (Football Queensland)