Strikers stay second, with catch-up game in hand

PS4 NPL Queensland
PS4 NPL Queensland wrap courtesy of Jay Stewart.

It’s been a huge week here in Queensland, with shock results, dominating performances and even a little controversy. Before we get right into it, I want to extend my condolences to the family of Robert Blanch, whose commitment to football in Southeast Queensland has been exceptional. RIP.

Brisbane Roar Youth 0-4 Sunshine Coast Fire, Cleveland, 2 July

Looking at the ladder, one may not have expected much of a contest from this game. That being said, the Roar went into the game unbeaten at home and on a four game winning streak, while the Fire beat Brisbane City last time out and have an excellent record in Cleveland. It would be the Fire who started the game better, applying immense pressure on the Roar backline. Jordan Loy would step up and hammer home the Fire’s advantage, scoring on the fifth and ninth minutes, including a fantastic shot from 25 yards out. On 13 minutes, Shoichi Koshimizu’s low cross to Jeremy Stewart saw the Fire race out to a 3-0 lead. The Roar would fight back and come close on 44 minutes when Daniel Leck took a shot with Fire goalkeeper Sam Nickolls caught out of position, only for Grant de Chastel to clear the shot on the goalline. Immediately after the restart, Connor Hancock would take advantage of confusion after a corner to poke home from close range on 47 minutes. The Roar would throw all they had forward after that, but Fire goalkeeper Sam Nickolls was rarely threatened through a solid defensive performance, and the Fire ran out 4-0 winners.

SWQ Thunder 1-5 Brisbane Strikers, Toowoomba, 2 July

Brisbane Strikers have developed somewhat of a reputation for their ability to come from behind in recent weeks, and this clash against SWQ Thunder was no different. On 26 minutes, Lachlan Atkinson got up to score for the Thunder. Once again, it was Fraser Hills who pulled the Strikers level on 37 minutes, his fourth in three games. Four minutes after halftime, Rhys Meredith would give the Strikers the lead, before Hiroki Omori added a third on 62 minutes. The Strikers weren’t done though, as Rhys Meredith got his second on 69 minute and Luke Marsh scored on 84 minutes. The result sees Strikers stay second, knowing they need to win their catchup game against Redlands to take top spot.

Moreton Bay United 0-1 Gold Coast City, Brisbane, 2 July

Both these two sides would see this fixture as a must-win fixture – both sides were separated by just one point before this game. With that said, it will be Gold Coast City who head home the happier, following a 24th minute goal to Justyn Mckay. The result sees Gold Coast City go third, while Moreton Bay slip back to seventh, four points from the top four. It’s going to be a tough task for Moreton Bay to retain their title it seems, with just one win in their last five games. They’ll take solace in the fact that they only play one team above them on the ladder for the rest of the season – FNQ Heat.

Brisbane City 3-1 Western Pride, Brisbane, 2 July

It’s been a bit of a rough patch for Western Pride. After a very reasonable start to the season, the Ipswich side have dropped off the pace a little bit and have picked up just one point from their last four fixtures. Brisbane City come into the game off a shock loss to the Fire, so both sides were looking to get back into form. Brisbane City opened the scoring in the game when Carter Glockner got his first goal for City on 15 minutes. Maxime Hoppenot’s second goal in two weeks on 29 minutes pulled Western Pride level at half time. Just after half time, Carter Glockner’s second goal gave City the lead on 48 minutes, before Sam Sibatuara scored on 79 minutes to give Brisbane City all three points.

Northern Fury 0-5 FNQ Heat, Townsville, 2 July

It was an awful start to the season for the Northern Fury, losing all of their first 13 games of the season. It appeared that they had stemmed the tide somewhat, with successive 3-3 draws with the Fire and Western Pride. Up next would be the league leader FNQ Heat for the Fury, and unfortunately for them, the Heat did not mess around. Joshua Pin opened the scoring for the Heat on 13 minutes, before a double to Crios O’Hare on 26 and 45 minutes and a goal to Jamie Carroll on 37 minutes saw the Heat lead 4-0 at half time. After the half-time break, it was Crios O’Hare who finished the scoring for the Heat, completing his hattrick on 57 minutes.

Olympic FC 3-2 Redlands United, Brisbane, 3 July

Olympic have been on the charge lately, and with a potential top four spot on the line, they have to go into every game with a potential finals rival with a must-win attitude. Redlands, sitting in third, equally needed a win to keep up with the top sides, as they have just one win from their last 3 games. Redlands would get the first goal of this match when Stephen Green scored on 7 minutes, but Liam O’Bryan levelled the game up for Olympic on 11 minutes. Grant Brix would once again put Redlands ahead when he scored on 49 minutes. Redlands held that lead until the 80th minute, when Danny Byrne converted a penalty to draw Olympic level. Olympic would leave it late to get a winner, when James Cuminao scored on 90 minutes to secure Olympic’s win.

It’s also worth talking about the SWQ Thunder vs Brisbane Roar Youth game. Originally, this game was scheduled to be played several weeks ago, but heavy rainfall lead to the postponement of this fixture. The game would be played last Tuesday, 28 June. Brisbane Roar Youth would win that fixture 5-1, with a hattrick to Dylan Wenzel-Halls, and goals to Daniel Driver and Daniel Leck. However, this result would end up being overturned over the weekend, as an error with the teamsheet led to Brisbane Roar Youth being forced to forfeit the fixture.

With all that being said, there’s still another week of action coming up; the fixtures are below.

Redlands United vs Sunshine Coast Fire, Cleveland, 9 July

Brisbane Strikers vs Olympic FC, Brisbane, 9 July

Moreton Bay United vs SWQ Thunder, Brisbane, 9 July

FNQ Heat vs Brisbane City, Cairns, 9 July

Western Pride vs Brisbane Roar Youth, Ipswich, 9 July

Gold Coast City vs Northern Fury, Gold Coast, 10 July

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