Under 13 Boys – Brisbane Strikers (2) v Sunshine Coast FC (1)
Round 4 saw Sunshine Coast FC travel to Perry Park for their first away game for the season. Their last meeting with Brisbane Strikers was in Round 20 of the 2016 season where the game was evenly matched with a draw of 2-2.
Fire started the game ready to be challenged by Strikers who had come off two losses. Sunshine Coast FC looked to control the game from the first whistle, confidently passing the ball around. However, a lapse in concentration saw Brisbane Strikers take advantage and drive the ball towards goal scoring with a clean shot over Sunshine Coast FC keeper Ben Nassiep’s head. Fire 1-0 down on the 4th minute.
Restarting after Brisbane Strikers goal, Sunshine Coast FC attacked immediately, passing the ball through the midfield combination of Flynn Faulkner, Dimitri Westwood and Maxx Demerutis, through to Kane Gibbs who struck the ball towards goal. The ball rebounded off the Brisbane Strikers FC keeper back in the direction of Gibbs who followed it in to equalise the scoreboard within the 4th minute, 1-1.
With the scores equal, both teams placed pressure on each other with Sunshine Coast FC focusing on moving the ball around the pitch, using both Kyan Bryant on the left and Jake Rocker on the right to push towards the goals.
Brisbane Strikers defended their goals nullifying Sunshine Coast FC’s goal scoring opportunities. In turn they took advantage of any mistakes or loss of possession to counter attack down the wing in an attempt to score another.
The second half began with Sunshine Coast FC determined to control the game, maintain possession and score goals. They continued to play with confidence pushing the ball around and driving towards goal with a number of unsuccessful shots by Gibbs, Bryant, Rocker, Demerutis, Faulkner, Dimitri Westwood and Samuel Klein.
The half seemed to play out similar to the first, with Brisbane Strikers FC taking advantage of any mistakes Sunshine Coast FC made, using their pace to counter attack to head towards goals.
Sunshine Coast FC defended the counter attacks with numbers and aggression stopping the Brisbane Strikers FC goal scoring opportunities. However, they found success in their counter attack on the 58th minute with a break down the wing and a shot on goal above keeper Nassiep’s head to take the lead, Strikers 2-1.
Sunshine Coast FC didn’t give up, continuing the drive forwards, placing shots on goal and moving the ball around in an attempt to score. The final whistle blew with Sunshine Coast FC going down in their first loss since Round 2 of the 2016 season.
Player of the Match: Kyan Bryant
Under 14 Boys – Brisbane Strikers (0) v Sunshine Coast FC (3)
Although Strikers started slightly the stronger team, it only took a few minutes for Fire to create their first chance against the run of play. Jake Debbage played a perfectly weighted pass through to Alex Patterson who had his 1v1 opportunity saved by the keeper.
Strikers did however create two early opportunities shooting just over the cross bar.
Fire slowly gained ascendancy by the 10 minute. The midfield was starting to gain control of the game. Debbage again found space down the wing and played a tempting pass across the face of goal that Patterson just couldn’t reach.
Emery and Patterson were beginning to find space around the 18 yard box where they are both incredibly dangerous.
In the 18th minute Connor Hyder showed his class with a brilliant pass to Patterson that allowed him a shot on goal. Hyder has been a consistent performer this season and this game proved no different. His quick feet and game awareness have been a welcome addition to the 2017 squad.
The 23rd minute saw the introduction of Nick Harvey. Harvey took no time in becoming a menace to his opponent. His first effort on goal came shortly after his introduction and just skimmed the cross bar.
In the 26th minute Fire were finally rewarded with a goal. Corne Boshoff skipped past his defender and slipped a great pass to Emery. Emery drove the ball into the far corner to make it 1-0.
Strikers attempted to fight back, however the Fire defence led by Captain Todd Camm never looked troubled. Camm is always calm on the ball and can quickly win back possession and start another Fire attack.
With one minute till the half time break, Strikers had their first real opportunity on goal. A through ball found the Strikers #9 rounding the keeper and passing into an open net. With an amazing cover defence effort, Connor Evans came from nowhere to clear the ball off the line; a game-changing moment that allowed Fire to go to the break 1-0 up.
It only took a minute into the second half for Fire to create a goal scoring opportunity. Rashal Charan found space down the right wing and crossed to Harvey. Harvey turned his defender on the edge of the 18yard box and blasted with his left into the top corner. A great start to the half to make it 2-0.
Charan started the half brilliantly creating several more chances with his overlapping runs. In the 4th minute he found Aughterson inside the box as he shot directly at the keeper. Charan combined beautifully with Boshoff as they dominated the right side of the field. Aaron Smith also created the perfect link as Fire constantly turned the Strikers back line.
The second half introduction of Bailey Halls-Tempest sured up the Fire defence as he and Camm have created the perfect centre back pairing. Both players are incredibly calm under pressure and always find their mark when playing out from the back.
In the 20th minute Fire increased their lead. Emery won the ball and drove his pass to Aughterson who easily beat his man. Aughterson accelerated into the box and finished with a low drive to the far corner.
Fire quickly created more chances. Emery played a long ball to Boshoff whose attempt was cleared off the line.
Strikers only created a small number of chances in the second half. Fire keeper Lachlan Norwood dealt with all of them perfectly. In the 24th minute he pulled off his only difficult save of the game as his sharp reflexes dealt with a 1v1 opportunity.
Debbage again was having a fine game, even after being moved to left back. In the 27th Minute he played an accurate long pass to Emery, who played to Boshoff. Charan again supported his winger and was able to shoot just wide.
The game finished 3-0 with Fire having 24 shots on goal to Strikers’ 8. A great team effort with all players doing their part in hot condition.
Player of the Match: Jayden Emery – a fantastic game by a very talented player. Dominated the midfield and created numerous goal scoring opportunities.