A far more even contest across the board this week in the NPL, with just one fixture separated by more than one goal.
Weather played its part in the Far North with the postponement of Cairns FC and Brisbane Strikers, however there is still six matches worth of action packed football to catch up with.
By Tom Beverley
SWQ Thunder | 0 – 1 | North Queensland United
Clive Berghofer Stadium
North Queensland Steal the Thunder in Toowoomba
It was the long awaited return to Clive Berghofer Stadium for fans of SWQ Thunder FC who were finally able to witness their team at home for the first time in 2018. Off the back of a 5 – 0 loss last week, the home side were determined to bounce back. The visitors had other ideas however and were desperate for points having not picked up any since round two.
It was a fiercely contested fixture, with an unexpected layer of Toowoomba fog only further adding to the dramatic appeal to the match. In in the end it was a single goal in the 73rd minute that separated the two teams. Blistering pace from Matthew Richards who managed to get in behind the home side’s defence before cutting back to Jarrod Green who calmly slotted home for the away side, who checked in three points to their luggage for their flight home.
Lions FC | 0 – 1 | Western Pride
Pride crowned King of the Western Corridor
It was fourth verses fifth as Western Pride travelled to Lions Stadium fresh off their record-breaking performance in round five. The battle between the big cats was more even, as both teams fought tooth and nail for three points to find out who would rule the western corridor. Lions had the better chances of the first half with the majority of possession however were unable to capitalise. Western Pride put the ball in the back of the net just before half-time to give the home fans a fright, but to their relief it was ruled off-side.
The goal came in the 73rd minute through Joseph Duckworth who bagged his fifth of the campaign. The Pride are now unbeaten since round two and will look forward to what is going to be another difficult task in round seven, with a clash at home against Moreton Bay United.
Moreton Bay United | 3 – 2 | Magpies Crusaders
Jets survive The Crusade
Moreton Bay were forced to come from behind twice over the weekend as they were pushed to the limit against the Magpies Crusaders. The home side came out flying in the opening 10 minutes, but were unable to beat Magpies shot stopper Mitchell Wright who pulled off an incredible double save. The visitors then pounced on a poor clearance and Michael Lyall put them ahead against the run of play. Then, 10 minutes later, a wild 60 seconds saw Moreton Bay equalise through Lachlan Strogusz and then Michael Lyall bagging his second to put the Magpies Crusaders back in front.
Moreton Bay equalised again in the 42nd minute through Brenton Fox, and the half came to an end with the teams locked. The Jets finally took the lead in the 65th minute through their star striker Chom Arop and ultimately went on to claim the three points.
Brisbane City | 2 – 2 | Brisbane Roar Youth
Corporate Travel Management Stadium
A Point a Piece
Brisbane City opened their account early for the second straight week, this time through Preston Hugo with a screamer from 25 yards. Brisbane Roar Youth bounced back 14 minutes later when Mirza Muratovic confidently converted from a one-on-one opportunity. The Roar Youth took the lead soon after when Bryce Bafford’s shot took a deflection into the net.
City levelled shortly after half-time through Seiji Shizuno to level things up. Despite some incredibly close calls for both sides, the scores remained 2 – 2. City now unbeaten in two and are beginning their climb up into the top half of the table. The shared points mean Brisbane Roar are leapfrogged by Moreton Bay and slip to third on the table.
Gold Coast United | 2 – 2 | Olympic FC
United hold Olympic to Draw
Olympic FC’s perfect run in the NPL is over, however still remain undefeated after being held to a draw on the Gold Coast. Gold Coast were unfortunate to not have taken all three points, having lost a two goal lead in the second half.
The scoring opened after 50 minutes of play, when a Conor Smith free-kick from just outside the box into the top corner. Nicholas Panetta then doubled the lead just 13 minutes later and suddenly it was Gold Coast’s match to lose. It went downhill for the visitors in the 72nd minute, going down to 10 men after Matt Green was shown a straight red on his NPL debut.
A converted penalty in the 81st minute by Adam Edgar saw Olympic right back into the contest, and determined to keep their unbeaten run alive. A number of chances came for Olympic in the final ten minutes, eventually Edgar had his brace when he equalised in 89th minute to snatch a point for Olympic.
Sunshine Coast FC | 1 – 5 | Redlands United
Sunshine Coast Stadium
Redlands put five on The Fire
It was another tough day at the office for Sunshine Coast who conceded another five at home. The Fire have now conceded 30 goals in just five games but will take heart from an improved performance against one of the league’s top strikers, in Shuto Kuboyama.
Redlands piled on all five goals in the first half, and had plenty of chances in the second however were unable to capitalise further. Kuboyama bagged his ninth goal of the campaign after a horror pass out of defence by the Sunshine Coast. The Japanese striker then wrapped up his tenth, while Alexander Warrilow bagged a brace and Jayden Prasad also joining in on the scoresheet.
Sunshine Coast grabbed a consolation goal towards the end of the match through Matt Gray but ultimately The Fire succumbed to their fifth defeat in six matches.
Cairns FC | POSTPONED | Brisbane Strikers
To be rescheduled
Wild weather in Cairns this past week saw Barlow Park take on too much water and unable to play host to the Brisbane Strikers. Unfortunately for the Strikers it is the second in three matches that has been postponed.
In round seven, Cairns make the trip down to take on the league leaders at Goodwin Park, whilst the Strikers prepare for a clash against third place Brisbane Roar Youth.