Round eight of the NPL has provided further insight into the competition, as the table-toppers begin to break away from the pack. Things are looking heated in the mid-table though, as teams look to keep pace with the peloton.
By Tyler Sunderland
Redlands United | 1 – 2 | Brisbane Strikers
Strikers steal three points from Redlands
A 12th minute Alexander Warrilow free kick wasn’t enough for Redlands United, as they went down 2-1 against the Brisbane Strikers. The Strikers replied to their early conceded goal with two strikes of their own before half time. Redlands keeper Andrew Ralph produced a strong performance to deny the Strikers from adding more goals to their tally.
The Brisbane Strikers now have three wins on the trot, and are edging their way closer to the top four. For Redlands United, their next challenge is the undefeated Olympic FC, were they must produce something special to break their two game losing streak.
Brisbane City | 6 – 0 | Sunshine Coast FC
Corporate Travel Management Stadium
City add to Sunshine Coast woes
Brisbane City produced a strong home performance against the Sunshine Coast FC, who will go back to the drawing board again this week. Doubles for both Seiji Shizuno and Samuel Sibatuara helped City ensure their round eight victory as they also look to close the gap between themselves and the competition leaders.
The Sunshine Coast remain on one win in 2018, and will look to their round nine clash against Moreton Bay United for redemption. Both ends of the Sunshine Coast’s game need to be addressed if they are to turn things around and be competitive this season.
Western Pride | 7 – 1 | SWQ Thunder FC
Briggs Road Sporting Complex
Pride earn bragging rights in the west.
The Battle of the West was taken out by the home side on Saturday night, as Western Pride put seven past the SWQ defence. Dylan Wenzel-Halls added to his 2018 goal tally, contributing two goals either side of the half-time break. Salomon Lukonga also contributed significantly, with two goals of his own.
In reply, SWQ managed one goal early in the second half courtesy of Christopher Hatfield, whose night drastically changed after he was sent off in the 81st minute. The defeat keeps SWQ Thunder on seven competition points, while Western Pride now sit two points clear of third on the NPL ladder.
North QLD United | 2 – 4 | Cairns FC
Cairns stamp authority in the North
This fixture was set to be a tight battle between two evenly matched sides, fighting it out for bragging rights in the North Queensland derby. After being 2-0 down at half-time, NQ United fought back into the contest thanks to a Stephen Blackburn goal.
A few close chances nearly provided NQ United with an equalizer. However, another two goals to Cairns FC, courtesy of Tomas Murphy and captain Jamie Carroll, ensured that the orange and white take out the first NQ Derby of 2018.
Brisbane Roar Youth | 0 – 6 | Olympic FC
Logan Metro Sports Complex
Roar unable to hold off Olympic attack
Brisbane Roar Youth FC had no answers for the red and white of Olympic at Logan Metro Sports Complex, as they went down 6-0 on Saturday night. Olympic continue their undefeated season with a strong performance that included a hat-trick from Jez Lofthouse.
While the Roar showed glimmers of attacking potential, this was squashed by an Olympic outfit that was able to control the majority of the game. The Roar will look to tighten the screws in their defensive line, as mistakes close to their goal proved costly on multiple occasions.
Gold Coast United | 4 – 1 | Mackay Magpies Crusaders
Magpies make it four straight defeats
The Magpies were unable to return home with competition points when they faced Gold Coast United on Saturday night. Gold Coast United opened their account on the night with a long-range strike from Matt Green, which was closely followed by another Gold Coast goal, courtesy of Conor Smith.
Mackay found a late consolation goal thanks to Kyle Markham, who again showed glimpses of his quality. Gold Coast United have made it two wins in as many fixtures, and will now turn their attention to second-placed Western Pride when they meet this Saturday night. The two teams are routinely mentioned in A-League expansion bids, so the match will be a good gauge for the playing groups.
Moreton Bay United | 0 – 2 | Lions FC
Moreton bay struggle to defend home soil
Moreton Bay United welcomed Lions FC to Wolter Park on Saturday evening, in their bid to stay above their opponents in the competition standings. Their attempt was unsuccessful, after Lions FC’s Jesse Daley scored a first-half double. That was all that split the two sides, with Moreton Bay unable to find a reply against a determined and well-drilled Lions FC outfit.
Lions increased their possession in the second half, ensuring their clean sheet. The win takes them to third on the NPL ladder, one win behind second placed Western Pride.