Heat Fight Back Silences Roar
Words: Michael Flynn, Brisbane Roar
Image: FNQ FC Heat
FNQ FC Heat extended their winning streak to six NPL Queensland matches with a 5-2 win over Brisbane Roar NYL at a rain-soaked Perry Park on Saturday night.
Heat fell two goals behind inside the opening half hour courtesy of goals to Roar’s Mitch Hore and Yandi Munawar, but fought back through strikes to Tom Murphy, Mqondisi Nkiwane and Jamie Carroll to hold the lead at the break.
An own goal in the second half added to a further strike from midfielder Alex Smith as Heat made amends to their seven goal defeat in Round 2 against Roar’s youngsters in Cairns in early March.
Both sides began the contest tentatively in the wet conditions but chances were still forged as Cameron Nucifora shot wide for Heat and Shelford Daiz and Sam Sibatuara missed the target for Roar.
Heat created the best opportunity of the opening exchanges on the counter attack when Carroll’s shot was tipped over the bar by Roar goalkeeper Denver Crickmore.
Hore missed the target from the edge of the area soon after before delivering a composed first time strike on 21 minutes to turn in Diaz’s clever cutback to open the scoring.
Munawar doubled the host’s advantage two minutes later when he fired home a fierce angled free kick from 20 yards.
Heat pulled a goal back on the half hour when Murphy’s low strike benefitted from a small deflection as it borrowed through a congested penalty area and beat Crickmore on his far post.
Parity was restored only four minutes later when Nkiwane’s well-timed run allowed him to turn the ball in from close range courtesy of Carroll’s pin-point centred pass.
Two minutes before the break Heat’s defensive intensity caused Roar to lose possession in their own third – Smith pouncing on the loose ball and playing in Carroll for another assured finish.
The visitors continued to attack from the restart as Ethan Docherty saw his shot denied by a combination of Crickmore and the crossbar on 51 minutes.
As the rain eased, the chances dried up for both sides before Heat sealed the win with a quick double-punch just after the hour.
Roar conceded an own goal at the near post from a corner before Smith sealed the result two minutes later on the break with a composed finish.
The hosts were spared further blushes when Crickmore produced a back-to-back reflex saves to deny Heat substitute Crios O’Hare with ten minutes remaining but were unable to reduce the margin as Sam Cronin steered his shot wide in the final minutes.
The victory was Heat’s seventh of the season and lifts the Cairns-based club to third in the NPL Queensland standings. They leap-frog Roar, who find themselves in fourth and could drop to as low as sixth based on results later in the round.
Brisbane Roar NYL 2 (Mitch HORE 21’, Yandi MUNAWAR 23’)
FNQ FC Heat 5 (Tom MURPHY 30’, Mqondisi NKIWANE 34’, Jamie CARROLL 43’, own goal 65’, Alex SMITH 66’)