Strikers go two points clear at the top of the table, with just two games left . . .

Explore Football PS4 NPL Qld.
Explore Football PS4 NPL Qld.

Redlands United 2-1 Northern Fury, Cleveland, 6 August.

Redlands United came into this game off the back of their 2-1 extra time win over Adelaide United in the FFA Cup during midweek. They faced a last placed Northern Fury team as they looked to convery their FFA Cup form into the league. They got the perfect start to the game, when Stephen Green got on the end of a Paul O’Brien tap to shoot home from the edge of the area on two minutes. This was followed up on 18 minutes when a Paul O’Brien cross into the box comes off the crossbar before Kai Halliday heads home from close range. Redlands continued to push as the game went on but weren’t able to add to their advantage. There would be a late scare for Redlands when on 86 minutes, George Dalton managed to get a consolation goal following his tap-in from a cross. A valuable three points for Redlands in their finals push, while Northern Fury are now guaranteed to finish last.

Brisbane Roar Youth 0-4 Brisbane City, Cleveland, 6 August.

Brisbane City went into this game needing a win to keep the pressure on Redlands and Olympic. They got a good start when they took the lead on 12 minutes. Nathan Bird had his shot deflected to Scot Coulson, who shot home expertly from 6 yards. City would go on to double their advantage on 29 minutes. A long throw into the box goes beyond everyone before Nathan Bird poked home from six yards. Just after the restart, Brisbane City would be in again. Scot Coulson delivered a powerful volley from 18 yards that cannoned in off the underside of the bar. On 70 minutes, Brisbane City would wrap up the game with their fourth goal. City would end up being awarded a penalty, which Coulson would take. His initial effort was saved, but the rebound was hit home by Coulson from close range. The result returned Brisbane City to the top four ahead of their clash with Redlands next week.

Brisbane Strikers 2-1 FNQ Heat, Brisbane, 6 August.

The top two sides would do battle at Perry Park, with the result having massive title implications. A win for FNQ Heat would all but wrap up their maiden title, while a win for Brisbane Strikers would see them take the top spot for the first time this season. The first half was primarily two sides not wanting to lose, and the lack of clear chances indicated that. Not long after half time, a ball across the Strikers defence was pounced on by Jamie Carroll and hit home from 6 yards out. That lead would not last long as just before the hour, Brisbane Strikers would draw level. Trent Clulow would get on the end of a through ball before hitting low and into the back of the net from outside the area. On 79 minutes, Brisbane Strikers would take the lead. Following a corner, Jonti Richter would head home from close range to give the Strikers the lead. Neither team managed to find the back of the net for the rest of the game, despite the Heat’s best efforts going forward. The result sees the Strikers two points clear at the top of the table, with just two games left this season.

Western Pride 1-0 Moreton Bay United, Ipswich, 6 August.

It was a match with relatively little to play for. While Western Pride were out of finals contention, Moreton Bay United needed to win all three remaining games and have results go their way to make it. This didn’t stop Western Pride from pushing for a home victory, as they had the better of the chances throughout the game. They would finally capitalise on this advantage on 70 minutes. Mitchell Bird managed to run onto the end of a long through ball before coolly hitting home from inside the area. Any hope of a Moreton Bay fightback was ended late on when Jordan Farina was given a second yellow card following a tangle. The result ends any hope of the reigning champions defending their crown.

Sunshine Coast Fire 0-4 SWQ Thunder, Kawana, 6 August.

Sunshine Coast Fire hadn’t scored since their weekend off, but were eager to pick up points at home to a SWQ Thunder side with one point in their last five. Thunder got off to a better start, when Thomas Fanning delivered a low pass across the Fire backline, which Mustafa Jafari tapped in at the back post on 17 minutes. The Thunder would end up doubling their advantage on 28 minutes through almost the same route as the first. It would be Mitchell Tansky with a ball the other way across the Fire backline that Jafari once again tapped in. Jafari would go on to complete his hattrick less than ten minutes later. Fanning passed the ball to Jafari in the box, before he cut inside and curled it into the top corner. Things went from bad to worse for the Fire when Im struck from nearly 50 yards, lobbing over Nickolls and sealing a Thunder win. The Fire would push for a goal but fail to find the net. In injury time, Samuel Nickolls brought down Jafari in the box, before Xavier Pratt had his penalty saved.

Olympic FC 1-3 Gold Coast City, Brisbane, 7 August.

While first and second did battle earlier in the weekend, the final game of the round was between the sides in third and fourth. A win for Gold Coast City would almost confirm their spot in the top four, while Olympic needed a win to keep on top of Redlands and Brisbane City. Things started brighter for City as they got the first goal of the game on nine minutes. After a tackle from behind inside the box, Ben Litfin stepped up and converted the penalty to put City in front. Sam Cronin would draw Olympic level with a free kick from 35 yards, blasted into the top corner of the net. On 32 minutes, Gold Coast City had their lead restored. Nick Mooney conceded a foul in the penalty area to give City a second penalty, which was again converted by Ben Litfin. On 48 minutes, City would increase their advantage. Rhys Saunders would end up getting on the end of a cross into the box, before turning and shooting home from twelve yards. Olympic continued to push and were only denied by a double block from Vazquez, but the game finished 3-1 to the visitors.

 Upcoming fixtures:

Moreton Bay United vs FNQ Heat, Brisbane, 13 August.

Brisbane City vs Redlands United, Brisbane, 13 August.

Western Pride vs SWQ Thunder, Ipswich, 13 August.

Northern Fury vs Brisbane Strikers, Townsville, 13 August.

Gold Coast City vs Brisbane Roar Youth, Gold Coast, 14 August.

Olympic FC vs Sunshine Coast FC, Brisbane, 14 August.

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