NPL Round 11 Weekly Wrap
The conclusion of Round 11 marked the halfway point in the inaugural National Premier League Queensland season, with Olympic FC maintaining their seven point lead atop the ladder.
Review all the weekend's action in the weekly wrap.
NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES COMPETITION TABLE
|2||Brisbane Strikers FC||11||8||0||3||38||20||+18||24|
|3||Brisbane City FC||10||7||1||2||38||19||+19||22|
|4||Redlands United FC||11||6||2||3||42||26||+16||20|
|5||Sunshine Coast FC Fire||11||6||1||5||26||15||+11||19|
|6||Moreton Bay United Jets FC||10||5||1||4||17||22||-5||16|
|7||Northern Fury FC||11||4||1||6||26||28||-2||13|
|8||Palm Beach Sharks FC||11||4||1||6||26||29||-3||13|
|9||Western Pride FC||11||3||1||7||15||24||-9||10|
|10||FNQ FC Heat||11||3||1||7||13||34||-21||10|
|12||Queensland Academy of Sport||11||1||2||8||12||31||-19||5|
Palm Beach Sharks 5 (Jonathan CAMILLERI 4’,13’, Chris LUCAS 58’, 71’, Alex PANIC 84’)
CQFC Energy 4 (Chris GEDDES 22’, 30’(p), 40’, 54’)
Crowd: 150 (approx.)
This week’s Match of the Round certainly delivered the highlights with a 10-man Palm Beach Sharks turning a 2-4 deficit into a 5-4 win over CQFC Energy at Mallawa Complex on Saturday night.
A four-goal haul from CQFC striker Chris Geddes was not enough to claim the three points for the visitors with a resurgent Palm Beach outfit finding that extra something despite being a man down for the majority of the match.
Camilleri and Lucas combined for the Sharks’ first two goals, the first of which saw Lucas lay the ball off to Camilleri who had a simple tap in, and the second a more spectacular effort after a CQFC error while playing out from the back, allowed Lucas to pick the pocket of the defender before again setting up Camilleri who finished well from the top of the box.
Geddes claimed his first of the game through a scorching free kick on the edge of the box, which curled past the wall at such a speed that the keeper could do nothing but watch it speed past him into his own net.
The game took a turn for the worse for the Sharks when, in the 30th minute, Captain Jamie Pitt saw red after he was deemed to have played the ball with his arm to deny Jordan Miller a goal – their woes further compounded when Geddes made it 2-2 from the penalty spot.
CQFC looked like they would run away with the match with Geddes taking his tally to four with two superbly finished goals on either side of the half time break taking the score to 4-2 in favour of the visitors.
But Palm Beach were not finished yet, with Lucas scoring twice to bring the game back to level terms, first through a quick counter attack and his second, a spectacular volley on the edge of the box which could be considered more reminiscent of a karate kick.
Lucas capped off a stellar game with yet another assist, this time stealing down the wing before playing an early ball into the box where an unmarked Alex Panic put Palm Beach back in front, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Palm Beach can now boast 3 wins on the trot and will hope they can carry that momentum despite now having a weekend off, while CQFC will be keen to regroup after the loss and will no doubt be eagerly awaiting the arrival of their newly appointed coach, Raymond Wood.
Northern Fury 0
Brisbane Strikers 3 (Michael ANGUS 13’, Josh TAYLOR 35’, 82’)
Crowd: 1900 (approx.)
Brisbane Strikers became the first team to claim the three points in Townsville on Saturday after a 3-0 win was enough to see Northern Fury suffer their first home defeat of the season.
The Strikers absorbed some early pressure from the home team, before taking the lead in the 13th minute when Michael Angus made the best of a Jonti Richter cross from close range.
The goal seemed to quiet the Fury and allowed Strikers to take the upper hand, leading to their second goal of the night in the 35th minute, when Josh Taylor pounced on a fumbled ball by Fury goalkeeper Brad Burrows.
The 2-0 deficit at the break prompted a change in formation for the Fury, who injected an extra midfielder into the game, leaving a 3-man line of defence, a move that almost paid dividends in the opening minutes of the second half, but for a number of crucial saves from Strikers’ ‘keeper Willem Rockett.
The game was put beyond the home sides reach in the 82nd minute when Taylor bagged his brace, this time through a header which came on the end of a Scot Coulson cross.
The Strikers go into the mid-season break sitting in second on the ladder, but could see this change after the coming weekend when third placed Brisbane City play sixth placed Moreton Bay Jets in their Round 5 catch up game.
Meanwhile, Northern Fury will welcome the break after suffering their first back to back losses of the season leaving them in seventh place and 3 points behind the Jets.
Redlands United 3 (George BARBAROUSES 33’, Graham FYFE 69’, Reuben WAY 74’)
Brisbane City 3 (Antonio MURRAY 26’, Dean LE PETIT 63’, Matt BIGGINS 80’)
Crowd: 300 (approx.)
With only 2 points separating them on the NPL Queensland ladder, the match between Redlands United and Brisbane City was always going to be a close affair and it didn’t disappoint, finishing in a 3-all draw at Cleveland Showgrounds on Saturday night.
The opening period of play saw much of the action take place in the midfield with both sides having equal share of play, though both teams were unable to capitalise on their half chances in the first 20 minutes.
Proving why he is in the lead in the race to the Golden Boot, Antonio Murray opened the goal scoring in spectacular form, lobbing the ball over the ‘keeper from the corner of the 18 yard box, taking his tally to 17 at the half way mark of the season.
Redlands found an almost immediate response through George Barbarouses, who also finished from the top of the penalty area after the ball was cut back from the wing.
City’s second goal came on the back of a series of passes across the face of goal with Dean Le Petit running through to finish it, but once again Redlands were not to be outdone when again they drew level after Graham Fyfe followed up on a loose ball after City ‘keeper Matt Stein made the initial save.
Redlands then turned the tables on City by going 3-2 ahead, courtesy of a goal by Reuben Way but their ascendency was short lived when Matt Biggins, not wanting to be outdone by the previous goals, drilled in a left footed scorcher, finishing the game at a fitting 3-3 stalemate.
The draw allows Brisbane Strikers to sneak above both teams into second on the ladder, but City has the opportunity to reclaim the spot this weekend when they play a catch up match against Moreton Bay Jets, a game which 4th placed Redlands will no doubt keep a close eye on.
QAS 2 (Abrahim YANGO 15’(p), Nick KLAASSEN 87’)
Moreton Bay 2 (Royce BROWNLIE 20’, Moses JOSEPH 32’)
Crowd: 300 (approx.)
The QAS have rescued a point from their Round 11 clash against Moreton Bay Jets with a goal in the last minutes of the game leveling the score 2-2 at Wolter Park on Saturday night.
The QAS took the lead early on after being awarded a penalty which Abrahim Yango deftly put into the back of the net, but their lead was short lived when Royce Brownlie restored parity for the Jets, latching onto a loose ball and slotting it past the QAS ‘keeper.
In the second half, Moreton Bay took the lead, this time through Moses Joseph who found himself bearing down on goal after a sneaky dummy from Brownlie deceived the QAS defence.
With the minutes ticking down, the QAS were finally rewarded for their persistence when Nick Klaassen, in his first game back from injury, finished from distance, driving the ball across the face of goal to beat the ‘keeper.
The point for each team did little to alter the NPL Queensland table with QAS remaining on the bottom, but for the Jets, they have the chance to move closer to the top four next weekend when they play Brisbane City in the Round 5 catch up.
Sunshine Coast FC 4 (Paul ARNISON 22’(p), Sam KNIGHT 39’, James VERDIN 47’, Jeremy LYNCH 58’)
FNQ FC 0
Sunshine Coast FC Fire have put a string of defeats behind them to triumph 4-0 over FNQ FC Heat at Stockland Park on Sunday.
Arnison got the scoring underway in the 22nd minute, converting a penalty after Nico Bechar was brought down after rounding the goalkeeper.
Bechar also had a part to play in the Fire’s second of the match, after Wade Zammit released Bechar behind the Heat’s defence who then drew the ‘keeper from his line before selflessly laying it off to Sam Knight who finished it off.
At the resumption of play, the Fire picked up where they left off, with James Verdin heading home the Fire’s third goal before Jeremy Lynch rounded out the list of goal scorers with a deft finish from a tight angle.
With the four goals coming from four different players, the result is sure to boost the Fire who have bemoaned their form in front of goal in recent weeks, while for the Heat, two losses in a row see them sitting in 10th place at the halfway mark of the season.
Western Pride 0
Olympic FC 1 (Own Goal 35’)
Olympic FC have maintained their seven point lead atop the NPL Queensland ladder and can boast an undefeated record for the first half of the season with a 1-0 defeat of Western Pride at Eric Evans Oval on Sunday.
A young Western Pride outfit will no doubt take heart despite the loss with an own goal all that separated the sides on the day, despite Pride being reduced to ten men late in the match when Jeye Comerford was given his second yellow card of the match.
The goal came in the 35th minute when Olympic’s Matt Heath carried the ball down the wing before squaring it into the centre of goal where the ball deflected off a Pride defender into the back of the net.
Both teams can now enjoy the next weekend off, though many pundit’s are debating whether this is a blessing or a curse, especially in the case of Olympic who, with an undefeated record to maintain, may be loathe to lose their momentum.
Words: Alison Buckley (Football Queensland)