PS4 NPL Queensland Round 18 Review

SWQ Thunder has claimed the major scalp of the premiership chasing Brisbane Strikers, courtesy of a 1-0 win on Saturday night.

Thunder upset Strikers

A Majok Piok strike early in the second half proved to be the difference between the two sides in chilly conditions at Clive Berghofer Stadium.

Piok and Thomas Fanning led the charge for the home side who were able to reverse the previous 3-0 defeat to Strikers earlier in the year with a spirited victory.

Strikers loss could have serious implications on their top of the table pursuit of Gold Coast City with only four rounds remaining in the season and now three points separating the two clubs, with Brisbane Olympic close in tow.

Thunder will play their fourth home game in succession when they host Olympic next weekend with Strikers making the long away trip to Townsville to face Northern Fury. 

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Jets bolster finals hopes

Moreton Bay United have given their top-four aspirations a huge boost with a 2-1 victory over Redlands United on Friday night.

The Jets temporarily move into the top four following the victory while the Reds are still floundering in 11th position.

The visitors couldn’t have asked for a better start with Alex Janovsky capitalising on a mistake from the home side to opening the scoring with 120 seconds.

It wasn’t long before they were in a more comfortable position as Lee Donggyu pinched the crumbs from a James Edgar save to double the Jets lead.

That two-goal buffer last no more than four minutes however before Graham Fyfe’s free-kick found the head of Carlton Westerdale who nodded home.

The Reds struggled for clear-cut opportunities as the match wore on with the Jets having the better of the rare goal-scoring chances.

Despite three goals inside the opening 20 minutes, neither side were able to find the respective nets during the remainding 70, with the Jets holding on for an important win.

Both sides now play games that will have a bearing on the makeup of the top four as the Reds host FNQ FC Heat while the Jets travel south to face Brisbane City.

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City's four sends them fourth

Brisbane City have jumped back into the top four with a resounding 4-1 victory against Olympic FC.

Olympic FC missed a golden opportunity to climb into the top two with a brace from Sam Sibatuara handing City a much-needed three points.

Sibatuara got the hosts off to the perfect start when he benefited from a poor attempt to clear by the Olympic defence to open the scoring after just seven minutes.

Mitch Hore sent the home faithful into raptures six minutes later, heading home Nathan Bird's cross at the back post.

After 22 minutes, City were in dreamland after a Kai Smith cross was deemed to be handled in the area from which Bird slotted home the ensuing penalty.

Olympic weren't without their chances however and they brought the deficit back to two goals shortly after the break when Danny Byrne rocketed a shot into the back of the net.

The visitors chances of rescuing a point lessened as full-time drew closer before Sibatuara put the contest to bed on the cusp of injury time.

City now face fellow top-four aspirants Moreton Bay United while Olympic travel to Toowoomba to face the Thunder.

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Pride continue winning run

Western Pride has continued their fine run of form with a fourth consecutive win, defeating ladder rivals FNQ Heat 3-0 in a crucial fixture for both sides on Saturday night.

Harrison Sawyer and Dylan Wenzel-Halls notched the first away goals at Endeavour Park for 2017 as Pride marched to another key three points.

Wenzel-Halls toiled hard all match up front and was rewarded with his 8th goal of the season whilst also winning the penalty that was successfully converted by the prolific Sawyer.

In the last six rounds Pride have only dropped three points and have tallied an impressive 23 goals and now are only narrowly outside of the top four.

Pride, Heat, City and Moreton Bay all sit within three points of each other on the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland table as they fight for the fourth and final spot of finals football.

Heat will hope for a rebound performance when they travel to Redlands for their Round 19 clash whilst Pride will look to continue their momentum away at Sunshine Coast.

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Young Roar relentless at home

The Young Roar have overcome an early deficit and red-card to dominate Sunshine Coast at home.

AJ Kelly Park was the location of this home fixture for the Brisbane Roar FC Youth, and after six straight losses, the hosts were keen to build confidence against the Sunshine Coast Fire, who sit last on the PS4 NPL Queensland Ladder.

Although getting ahead early, through the strike by Jez Lofthouse, Fire were unable to hold onto their lead, and by the 24th minute, the hosts were beginning to dictate the pace of the game.

Adam Sawyer (Young Roar) received a straight Red-Card in the 35th minute of the game, this granted Fire a re-entry to the game, however, the Young Roar kept their heads, scoring once more and going into the break with 10-men and a 3-1 lead.

By the end of the match Lofthouse, the strongest player for the visitors, picked up a second goal, but his performance was shadowed by an attacking and clinical Young Roar outfit. 

The home side noting seven different scorers, will be a point of confidence for the remainder of the year. Emilio Martinez, who was the best player in a very good side, was a highlight to watch in this one.

The Young Roar will no doubt use tonight’s victory as a foundation, as they prepare for next week’s battle with league-leaders Gold Coast City. Sunshine Coast FC return home next match as they host 7th placed Western Pride. 

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Gold Coast & Fury share points

Gold Coast City and Northern Fury battled out a 2-2 draw on Saturday night in rain soaked conditions at Mallawa Complex.

Despite the draw, Gold Coast have still managed to increase their buffer at the top of the table by a solitary point with chasers Strikers and Olympic both tasting defeat in Round 18.

It was an inspired performance between the sticks from Fury goalkeeper Joseph Simons that denied City all three points with a number of stunning saves to deny the home side’s attempts at goal.

The in-form Jarrod Kyle once again opened the account for City before a foul in the box handed Fury the opportunity to level the scores, Matthew Stein was able to save the initial effort from the spot only for the rebound to fall for Corey Waples to place home.

Oskar Dillon redeemed giving away the penalty in the first half by heading home a second for his side but another defensive lapse was punished by the Fury men as Jarrod Green pounced on a backline error to once again level the scores on the night.

Ladder leaders City host Brisbane Roar Youth in Round 19 whilst Fury will face another premiership contender next weekend when they come up against Strikers on home turf. 

CLICK HERE for the full match report.