The Premiership race remains tight - but the holders are out of the running - after a pulsating Round 18 of PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland.
Redlands United FC 1 (Paul O’BRIEN 33’)
Western Pride FC 0
Match Report - http://bit.ly/2a5aKL1
Redlands remain firmly in the finals picture after overcoming a second half send-off to post a resolute 1-0 win over Pride at Cleveland Showgrounds.
A first half goal from Paul O’Brien – his first in PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues – proved decisive for Redlands, who were rarely troubled by their opponents.
Defender Grant Brix was dismissed for a last man challenge early in the second half, however Pride were unable to take advantage of the extra man against a stoic Redlands defence.
The result arrests a three game losing run for Redlands and returns the bayside club to the top four; Pride remain second from last as the defeat extends an eight game winless run dating back to May.
Brisbane Roar FC Youth 0
FNQ FC Heat 1 (Shimon WATANABE 4’)
Match Report – http://bit.ly/2a7ZsWj
An early goal from Shimon Watanabe delivered Heat a crucial 1-0 win over Young Roar at Cleveland Showgrounds.
Watanabe headed home inside the opening five minutes for the visitors before a tense and tactical battle ensued for much of the remaining contest.
Young Roar were denied the chance to claim a share of the points in the closing stages when Harrison Sawyer’s volley was dramatically denied by Heat goalkeeper Kevin Ward.
Heat are just the second team to defeat Young Roar at home this season, with the result ensuring they maintain their hold on top spot for another week.
Brisbane City FC 0
Northern Fury FC 0
Match Report - http://bit.ly/2a86Y3D
City missed the chance to reclaim fourth spot on the league table after being held to a 0-0 draw by Fury at Corporate Travel Management Stadium.
The hosts dominated the chances throughout the contest - including twice hitting the crossbar and seeing a goal disallowed - but ultimately were unable to get the better of their bottom-of-the-table opponents.
The result marks the first clean sheet for Fury this season as the Townsville club continues to search for their first league win of the year.
City now find themselves one point adrift of the top four with four matches remaining in the regular season.
Moreton Bay United FC 0
Olympic FC 2 (Daniel BYRNE 85’ 90+3’)
Match Report - http://bit.ly/2a8b4bK
Jets' Premiership defence is officially over after a late Daniel Byrne brace secured Olympic a 2-0 win at Wolter Park.
Byrne struck twice in the final minutes in a dramatic close to an otherwise even contest that saw both goalkeepers deny chances at both ends of the pitch.
Olympic’s third straight win lifts them to within two points of the top four as they seek a fourth straight PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Finals Series appearance.
The result leaves Jets unable to reel in league-leaders FNQ Heat for the regular season Premiership title and, with six points separating them from the top four, in danger of missing the chance to defend last year's Grand Final win.
SWQ Thunder FC 0
Gold Coast City FC 5 (Rhys SAUNDERS 8’ 84’, Benjamin LITFIN 15’ p.31’, Daniel DRAGICEVIC 70’)
Match Report – http://bit.ly/2a5kMZ1
Benjamin Litfin and Rhys Saunders both struck doubles as a rampant City notched a 5-0 win over Thunder at Clive Berghofer Stadium.
The third-placed City were rarely troubled as they posted a fourth clean sheet to stay in touch with the league leaders – storming to a three goal half-time advantage.
Thunder’s woes were furthered prior to the start of the second half when coach Chris McLeod was dismissed from the technical area following an altercation with match officials.
The result leaves Thunder languishing in tenth place in the standings, with the Toowoomba based club needing to win their four remaining matches – and rely on other results – to snag a maiden finals appearance this season.
Sunshine Coast FC 0
Brisbane Strikers FC 2 (Rhys Meredith 18’, Trent CLULOW 56’)
Match Report – http://bit.ly/2a1Yt7A
A goal in each half has kept Strikers firmly in the Premiership hunt – and dealt a blow to Fire’s post-season ambitions – following 2-0 win at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
After being off the pace early, Fire battled back into the contest but were unable to capitalise on a host of second-half chances.
The result keeps Strikers within a point of league-leaders FNQ Heat with four matches remaining in the home-and-away season – with the two sides due to meet in a fortnight’s time.Fire remain eighth on the table and six points adrift of fourth place as they seek a first finals appearance since 2013.