It was a round filled with unpredictability, as the NPL continually provides surprises as the table slowly starts to take form. Round seven seemingly had it all, check out how your team fared in our weekly wrap!
By Tom Beverley
Lions FC | 13 – 0 | Sunshine Coast FC
Lions douse The Fire
It was another tough day at the office for Sunshine Coast, this time played off the park by a punishing Lions outfit. The Fire have now conceded 33 goals in just three matches, and a total of 43 so far this season at an average of over six a match. It was a relentless showing by Lions who were clinical in front of goal, starting in the opening two minutes when Chris Maher bagged his first of what would be four for the day. Jean Carlos Solorzano found the back of the net on debut 20 minutes later and from then, Lions ran through the Sunshine Coast defence. Chris Maher bagged a second with Josh Brindell-South and Jesse Daley also joining the scoresheet before halftime, with the Lions 5 – 0 ahead at the break.
In the second half, Carter Glockner picked up a hat-trick, Chris Maher found two more with Mitch Hore, Andy Thompson and Nathan Reardon all picking up one each. Sunshine Coast were never in the match, and had no answer for the Lions’ ruthless attack.
Brisbane Strikers | 4 – 1 | Brisbane Roar Youth
Roar Youth struck down at Perry Park
Brisbane Strikers have found some form moving into season, now unbeaten in three matches having not lost a match since round two (rounds four and six fixtures postponed). The home side had the pick of the chances in the first half but were unable to find the back of the net. The Roar Youth also unable to capitalise on their few chances in front of goal as scores were all square at half-time.
A second half blitz for the home side secured all three points. Michael Lee struck first just after the break to hand Brisbane Strikers the lead. Within the next half an hour the home side found themselves 4 – 0 up with goals to Trent Clulow, Michael Angus and Michael McGowan. Nathan Yoon picked up a consolation prize for the visitors just prior to full-time, futile however as an excellent second half for the Strikers secured a much needed victory. The Roar Youth have another difficult task ahead with a clash against league leaders Olympic FC.
Brisbane City | 2 – 1 | Redlands United
Corporate Travel Management Stadium
City hold on for three points
There was early drama in this clash between Brisbane City and Redlands United. City found the back of the net early for a third successive week through Tristan Hugo, however the goal was disallowed for a foul on the Redlands goalkeeper. Ten minutes later, Hugo was substituted having received an injury in an earlier challenge and was unable to continue. The home side netted a second time through Andre Bonotto but again, the goal was disallowed, this time for handball. Finally, City struck on the cusp of halftime through Sheji Shizuno to put themselves ahead at the break.
City doubled the lead soon after halftime courtesy of Sam Sibatuara. Jayden Prasad gave the visitors some hope in the final ten minutes pulling one back, however it wasn’t enough to get something from the match. City are now unbeaten in three, and host Sunshine Coast in round eight.
Western Pride | 5 – 0 | Moreton Bay United
Briggs Road Sports Complex
Grand Final Rematch!
This fixture was a rematch of the 2017 National Premier League grand final and again Western Pride emerge the victors, convincingly beating Moreton Bay. The Pride look more dangerous every week, currently home to three of the league’s top seven attackers with all three netting again over the weekend. The home side wasted no time having found the back of the net inside the first minute through Andy Pengelly, then Joe Duckworth doubled the lead for the hosts 20 minutes later. Disaster truly struck for the visitors in the 35th minute, as Moreton Bay’s star striker Chom Arop was given a straight red for a challenge on Pride’s Andy Pengelly.
The second half was all Pride. Dylan Wenzel-Halls picked up a brace, the first of which was a poachers effort, profiting off a poor back pass from United’s defence. The second he slotted home just five minutes later. The hosts bagged a fifth in the 88th minute to rub salt in the wounds, but matters got even worse for the visitors when Sekou Jomanday received a second yellow in the final moments of the match. It’s a tough task ahead for Moreton Bay, moving into a clash with the in-form Lions without star striker Chom Arop who’ll miss the match through suspension.
North Queensland United | 0 – 1 | Gold Coast United
Gold Coast edge out NQU in Townsville
Gold Coast United picked up their second win for the season, proving distance is no hurdle as they fly home from North Queensland for a second time with all three points packed securely away. The first half was all the visitors, who maintained constant pressure on their opposition goal, however they were unable to find the back of the net in the first half.
The separation came in the 56th minute through Gold Coast’s Nicholas Panetta firing home for the visitors. The home side had their share of opportunities to get back into the match but were unable to level things up. It was an important victory for Gold Coast who now have a little bit of breathing space between themselves and the bottom two.
Magpies Crusaders | 3 – 4 | SWQ Thunder
Thunder come from behind in seven goal thriller
The Magpies Crusaders have perhaps let one slip over the weekend, blowing a two goal lead to a determined South-West Queensland outfit. Magpies Crusaders captain Michael Lyall again stepped up for the home side bagging a first half brace, taking his season tally to six overall. The first in the 25th minute, and the second right before half time, as he converted a free kick from outside the box.
The Thunder pulled one back early in the second half, however Magpies bagged a third through Jayden Connor and it seemed as though the home side were destined for their second victory of the season. SWQ had other ideas, snatching a second to keep their hopes alive. As the match moved into the final 10 minutes, Magpies Crusaders still held a very slight advantage. SWQ bagged a third late in the half to level things up.
Then, heartbreak for the home side, as SWQ took the lead in the final moments of the match to steal all three points. Like Gold Coast, the victory has given SWQ a small space to breath between them and the relegation zone where Magpies Crusaders remain.
Olympic FC | 2 – 2 | Cairns FC
Olympic held to second successive draw
It was a reunion of sorts for the likes of Kieran Sanders and Jack Glover, who faced up against former teammates from the now defunct Far North Queensland Heat. Nonetheless it was an emphatic way to see out the round with a high energy, end to end clash between Olympic and Cairns. Both sides came out with intent, but it was Cairns who struck first through Chris O’Hare in the 33rd minute. Much to the shock of the home supporters, Cairns had the lead going into half-time.
The match never lost its intensity in the second half. Olympic struck twice in quick succession to take the lead after 69 minutes. Shelford Dais bagged the first, getting two bites as his first was saved by Cairns goalkeeper Josh Wilson. Adam Edgar got his head on the end of an inch perfect corner only a minute or so later. Cairns bounced back through Tom Murphy to square things up, and take a rare point from the table leaders.