NPL Round 9 Weekly Wrap
Three of last week's top four sides have fallen in a round that saw some of the National Premier Leagues newest clubs find their feet.
Review all the weekend action in the Round 9 Weekly Wrap.
NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES COMPETITION TABLE
|2||Redlands United FC||9||6||1||2||36||18||+18||19|
|3||Brisbane City FC||8||6||0||2||30||16||+14||18|
|4||Brisbane Strikers FC||9||6||0||3||32||20||+12||18|
|5||Sunshine Coast FC Fire||9||5||1||4||22||12||+10||16|
|6||Northern Fury FC||9||4||1||4||26||20||+6||13|
|7||Moreton Bay United Jets FC||8||4||0||4||14||20||-6||12|
|8||Western Pride FC||9||3||1||5||15||22||-7||10|
|9||FNQ FC Heat||9||3||1||5||13||27||-14||10|
|10||Palm Beach Sharks FC||9||2||1||6||18||25||-7||7|
|11||Queensland Academy of Sport||9||1||1||7||8||26||-18||4|
Palm Beach Sharks 3 (Alex PANIC 16’ 27’, Jarrod KYLE 33’)
Brisbane Strikers 2 (Greg KING 45’, Josh TAYLOR 90’+3)
Crowd: 100 (approx.)
Mid-season signings Alex Panic and Jarrod Kyle have helped Palm Beach Sharks record their first home win of the NPL season, upsetting Brisbane Strikers 3-2 at Mallawa Complex on Saturday evening.
Panic scored his first goals for Palm Beach since April transfer from league leaders Olympic when he turned in Chris Lucas’ right-sided cross in the 16th minute to give the hosts a deserved early lead.
Nine minutes later Sharks delivered a mirror image to double the difference, Daniel Vickers creating space on the left flank before floating a pin-point cross that allowed Panic to head powerfully into the top corner of the goal.
Jarrod Kyle netted his fourth goal in as many games to extend the margin further, pressuring Strikers’ goalkeeper Will Rockett into an error on debut before tapping home from close range.
Dynamic left-wing Greg King clawed one back for the visitors just prior to the break, his venomous left-footed strike catching Sharks goalkeeper Ryan Meskell flat-footed from 25 yards out.
Strikers were a different team in the second stanza, however Sharks held firm to deny the visitors several gilt-edged chances; the Strikers second goal a mere consolation in the final minute of the match as Josh Taylor capitalised on a fortuitous deflection to restore some credibility to the final score.
The result sees the Strikers record back-to-back losses for the first time this season, the capital city club dropping one place to fourth on the table while Palm Beach remain in tenth spot.
Olympic FC 3 (Danny BYRNE 6’ 90’+4, Matt HEATH 83’)
Moreton Bay United Jets 1 (Royce BROWNLIE 61’)
Crowd: 325 (approx.)
Undefeated Olympic FC extended their lead atop the NPL ladder to six points on Saturday night, scoring twice in the final ten minutes to defeat Moreton Bay Jets 3-1 at Wolter Park.
Captain Danny Byrne was the hero for Olympic, giving the hosts the lead early before sealing the points on the counter attack in injury time.
Byrne opened the scoring after barely six minutes, dribbling inside the penalty box before coolly slotting his shot past Jets custodian Andrew Houghton and into the far corner of the net.
The hosts defence regalvanised following the opener, holding firm against the league leaders until the hour mark when Royce Brownlie levelled terms – the former Brisbane Roar striker heading home neatly from Chris Maticic’s well delivered cross.
A thrilling final half hour ensued, however Olympic once again demonstrated their quality in the final third to claim the win in the final ten minutes.
Matt Heath restored the visitors lead when he broke free down the right on 83 minutes, skirting a defender before steering his shot in from ten yards for his second goal of the season.
Byrne then completed his brace in injury time as Jets desperately sought an equaliser, finishing off a swift counter attack with a well-struck drive from 15 yards to seal the points for the visitors.
Northern Fury 4 (Gareth EDDS 34’pen, Alex READ 51’ 72’, Jake NAVARRO 86’)
Redlands United 2 (Reuben WAY 47’ 53’)
Crowd: 1400 (approx.)
Northern Fury have extended their unbeaten record at home to four games, defeating the in-form Redlands United 4-2 on Saturday night at Townsville Sports Reserve on the back of an Alex Read brace.
Redlands levelled terms twice in the breezy coastal conditions, however were eventually overrun in the final twenty minutes as Fury surged home with the support of the parochial home crowd.
Fury player-coach Gareth Edds gave the hosts a 1-0 half time lead, converting from the spot after the energetic Read was felled inside the area just after the half hour.
A sensational start to the second half then saw Redlands level twice in six minutes – Reuben Way netting the first of his two goals when he poked the ball over the line amidst a frantic goal mouth scramble.
Read gave the hosts the lead with a solid right-footed strike four minutes later, before Way again restored parity with a well-struck shot to the right of Fury custodian Brad Burrows on 53 minutes.
Fury’s fleet-footed forwards proved invaluable as the contest wore on; Read again restoring the hosts advantage when he latched on to a through ball, beating a defender before driving the ball home with his right boot.
Jake Navarro then sealed the result for the hosts in the final five minutes, running on to a neat through ball before turning sharply to fashion a well-placed shot past the outstretched glove of Redlands goalkeeper Bradley Stout.
The result returns Fury to the top half of the NPL table, while Redlands remain in second place but fall six points adrift of league leaders Olympic FC.
Western Pride 6 (Peter DRAGER 30’ 60’ 90’+3, Russell WOODRUFFE 40' 45', Will JORDAN 57')
CQFC Energy 2 (Sander WATERLAND 24’, Braydon CROWLEY 83’)
Crowd: 375 (approx.)
Western Pride have recorded back to back wins for the first time in their short history after routing fellow newcomers CQFC Energy 6-2 at Eric Evans Reserve on Saturday night in Ipswich.
Peter Drager scored his first hat-trick for Pride to extend his season tally to eight goals, while strike partner Russell Woodruffe also chimed in with a double for the hosts in the comprehensive win.
CQFC started promisingly in the chilly conditions, fashioning several early chances before Sander Waterland gave the visitors the lead on 26 minutes when he finished off a swift counter attack with a well-placed strike into the top corner of the net.
However, the goal only served to inspire a polished Pride performance from thereon – Drager levelling terms when he pounced on a parried save from CQFC goalkeeper Joel Morrison on 32 minutes.
Woodruffe headed the hosts ahead from a corner three minutes later before he and Drager teamed up for the third just prior to the half time whistle – Woodruffe converting from the spot after Drager was felled just inside the area following a strong run.
The second half saw Pride continue their dominance when Will Jordan scored his second goal of the season on 56 minutes, before Drager netted his second on the hour when he steered the ball in from close range.
CQFC were valiant despite the scoreline, probing the Pride defence before pulling one back via Braydon Crowley with seven minutes to play.
However, Drager rubbed salt into Energy’s wounds just prior to full time to seal his hat-trick, again combining with Woodruffe to head home with the final play of the game.
The result lifts Pride to 8th on the table and will be warmly welcomed by Pride player-coach Kasey Wehrman, who watched the match from the stands as he served the final game of his two-match suspension.
Sunshine Coast FC Fire 0
Brisbane City 1 (Antonio MURRAY 85’)
Crowd: 325 (approx.)
Brisbane City have surged into the NPL top four, defeating Sunshine Coast Fire 1-0 at Sunshine Coast Stadium to extend their winning run to six straight games.
Striker Antonio Murray once again proved the difference for City, his match-winning strike taking his season tally to a league best 15 goals.
His goal came courtesy of a City counter attack as Fire lost the ball in the centre of the pitch - Sean Goulding running to the byline before picking out Murray at the back post, who produced a typically collected finish.
The result continues an impressive run of results for Glen Volker’s City outfit, who have surged into finals contention after finding themselves in second last place at the start of April.
Sunshine Coast head coach Kevin Aherne-Evans will once again be left to rue his side’s poor finishing as the Fire wasted several scoring opportunities in the first half and saw a solid Leon Dwyer strike denied by the post.
Queensland Academy of Sport 2 (Elliott RONTO 42’, Alex SCHIAVO 90’+2)
FNQ FC Heat 3 (Jamie CARROLL 35’p 56’p 76’)
Crowd: 100 (approx.)
Jamie Carroll scored his first hat-trick in the National Premier Leagues to give FNQ FC Heat a 3-2 win against Queensland Academy of Sport at Meakin Park in Logan on Sunday afternoon.
The dynamic forward scored twice from the penalty spot for the visitors before capping off a busy performance with the decisive goal with fifteen minutes remaining.
The opener came after Carroll was felled by a late Roman Hoffman challenge, the striker sending the subsequent spot kick into the top right corner of the goal.
Elliott Ronto equalised for the Academy prior to half time from a direct free kick, dipping his shot over the defensive wall from 20 yards out.
Carroll slotted his second penalty to the left of the ‘keeper before sealing his hat-trick when he tapped in on 6 yards from Justin Sabbadin’s low cross, taking his tally to five for the campaign.
Academy netted a consolation goal in injury time when Alex Schiavo headed home from a corner but it proved too little too late for the hosts who remain in 11th spot on the NPL ladder with a third of the season completed.
Words: Michael Flynn (Football Queensland)