NPL Round 13 Weekly Wrap
The NPL has again thrown up a weekend of quality football and intriguing results.
Review all the weekend's action in the weekly wrap.
NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUES QUEENSLAND COMPETITION TABLE
|2||Brisbane City FC||12||9||1||2||44||21||+23||28|
|3||Brisbane Strikers FC||12||8||0||4||38||23||+15||24|
|4||Redlands United FC||13||8||2||3||49||28||+21||26|
|5||Sunshine Coast FC Fire||13||7||1||5||35||17||+18||22|
|6||Moreton Bay United Jets FC||13||7||1||5||21||25||-4||22|
|7||Northern Fury FC||13||4||3||6||29||31||-2||15|
|8||Palm Beach Sharks FC||12||4||1||7||26||30||-4||13|
|9||Western Pride FC||12||4||1||7||17||25||-8||13|
|10||FNQ FC Heat||13||3||2||8||16||39||-23||11|
|12||Queensland Academy of Sport||13||1||2||10||13||35||-22||5|
Olympic FC 2 (Tim SMITS 28’, Jai INGHAM 62’)
Queensland Academy of Sport 0
Crowd: 600 (approx.)
League leaders Olympic FC returned to winning ways on Friday night defeating Queensland Academy of Sport 2-0 in chilly conditions at Goodwin Park.
Striker Tim Smits scored the first half opener for the hosts before pacey winger Jai Ingham netted the second and deciding goal just after the hour.
Smits pounced on 28 minutes when young QAS goalkeeper Fraser Chalmers failed to hold a floated free kick, the former Brisbane Roar marksman tapping in from close range for his first goal in more than a month for the league leaders.
Ingham doubled the lead, and ultimately sealed the result, when he floated off his wing and into a central position, rifling home his shot from 20 yards for his sixth goal of the campaign.
It’s the second time Olympic have held QAS scoreless this season and the side’s second clean sheet in their past three outings, dispelling doubts concerning the surety of their defence.
The result sees Olympic maintain their stranglehold on top spot in the league, extending their advantage to six points following the postponement of cross-town rivals Brisbane City’s match up with Brisbane Strikers.
Northern Fury 2 (Matthew RICHARDS 27’, Alex READ 75’)
CQFC Energy 2 (Chris GEDDES 23’ 60’)
Crowd: 800 (approx.)
Lower table battlers CQFC Energy fell short of an unlikely win Townsville on Saturday night, twice letting slip the lead against Northern Fury to draw 2-2 at Brolga Park.
Chris Geddes proved the star for the visitors, scoring both sides of half time only to see his brace evened out by goals to Matthew Richards and Alex Read.
Geddes has scored 17 times now this season for Energy, and the prolific Scot fittingly opened the game when he finished a cross at close range on 23 minutes.
Richards replied four minutes later when he slotted home Mick Eisenhut’s cross with a right footed strike from 10 yards.
Geddes put Energy ahead again on the hour with a sensational strike, burning the back of the net from 25 yards out past outstretched Fury goalkeeper Brad Burrows.
Parity was restored though when Read darted on to Robin Edwards’ pass and finished deftly.
The draw is CQFC’s first of the season and earns the Rockhampton-based club only their seventh point of the campaign. They remain in 11th place on the NPL table while Fury also stay steady in seventh position.
FNQ FC Heat 2 (Cameron NUCIFORA 38’, Tom MURPHY 50’)
Redlands United 4 (Graham FYFE 24’(p) 58’ 80’, George BARBAROUSES 85’)
Crowd: 1200 (approx.)
A set-piece hat-trick from attacking midfielder Graham Fyfe has guided Redlands United to a come-from-behind 4-2 win against FNQ FC Heat at Borzi Park on Saturday night.
A 1200 strong crowd witnessed the first NPL fixture in Mareeba, however the impressive turn out wasn’t enough to get the home side across the line against the in form Devils.
Redlands survived a scare when Heat took the lead early in the second half, but the visitors finished strongly to record their second straight win and move to third on the NPL table.
Fyfe’s opener came from the penalty spot before Heat mdifielder Cameron Nucifora ensured the sides went in to half time level when he converted Jamie Carroll’s cross at the back post – the promising 17 year old’s first goal of the campaign.
Tom Murphy gave the hosts a deserved lead shortly after the restart when he pounced on a rebound after Carroll and Nucifora once again combined.
Redlands were spurred into action and Fyfe levelled terms once more only eight minutes later, converting a well-taken free kick into the far corner from the right side of goal.
Fyfe wrapped up his hat-trick from another free kick with ten minutes to play, striking the ball into the bottom left hand corner from the edge of the area for his eleventh goal of the season.
George Barbarouses then settled the result in Redlands favour five minutes later when he beat two defenders on the counter attack then finished surely past Heat goalkeeper Anthony Zecchinati.
Moreton Bay United Jets 2 (Royce BROWNLIE 39’ 90’+1)
Sunshine Coast FC Fire 0
Crowd: 700 (approx.)
Moreton Bay United captain Royce Brownlie has inspired his side to an impressive 2-0 win over mid-table rivals Sunshine Coast Fire on Saturday night at Wolter Park to move the Jets into finals contention.
Brownlie twice earned then converted from set pieces, calmly slotting his first from the penalty spot prior to the half before sealing the points with an emphatic free kick in injury time.
Jets came close to opening accounts inside ten minutes when Michael Zappone saw his shot bounce back off the post.
The hosts controlled the game and deservedly took the lead when Brownlie was brought down near the byline for the opener prior to half time.
Fire showed more impetus in the second half as chances fell to both teams – Paul Arnison coming close from free kicks either side of the goal while James Verdin spurned his finish after a well worked move on 79 minutes.
A frantic final ten minutes fired up the vocal Wolter Park crowd before Brownlie was felled on the edge of the area – the former Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix player firing home the subsequent free kick to the delight of his team mates.
The Jets have now defeated Fire twice this season and pull even with their northern neighbours on 22 competition points just outside the NPL top four, adding spice to the burgeoning rivalry between the two clubs.
Western Pride v Palm Beach Sharks - POSTPONED
The Friday night fixture between Western Pride and Palm Beach Sharks was postponed due to inclement weather. It will be rescheduled for a date to be advised.
Brisbane Strikers v Brisbane City – POSTPONED
The Saturday night fixture between Brisbane Strikers and Brisbane City was postponed due to a fault with the Perry Park floodlights. It will be rescheduled for a date to be advised.
Words: Michael Flynn (Football Queensland)