Western Pride FC (1) v Sunshine Coast FC (0)
Sunshine Coast Fire travelled south to Ipswich for their encounter with Western Pride, who had made a strong start to the new season, and it was the home side who got the game underway in what were very hot and trying conditions.
Fire though were quickly into the game, striker Charlie Jeff, making his first appearance for Fire this season following injury, showing good pace to earn a free kick with the game barely a minute old. From the resulting free kick by Lachie Noyes, Luke Vancam was narrowly off target with an opportunistic effort. Further good play in only the third minute, involving Jett Brutnell, Mark Shaw and Ryan Tappouras gave the Fire skipper a first attempt at goal but his shot was also off target.
Pride began to get into the game and with Fire guilty of standing off challenges the hosts looked strong in midfield. Beppe Rocco, starting at left back for Fire showed good strength and determination to prevent Pride breaking through down their right and Pride forced the first corner of the game in the 8th minute, which almost gave them the lead. The deep corner to the back post was met on the volley by an unmarked Pride player but his effort was agonisingly just inches wide of the Fire upright.
Pride were starting to control possession, but Fire were always a threat with the pace of Shaw and Jeff as outlets to keep the home defence alert. After winning a corner on 13 minutes Fire came even closer to scoring, with Pride trying to scramble the ball clear Noyes saw his shot come back off the post, Shaw sending the follow up just wide. After a mid-half drinks break, Fire had another attempt to open the scoring, after Jeff was again fouled by the physical Pride defence, Tappouras seeing his 20 yard free kick just clear the Pride crossbar. Fire continued to press, Harrison Renzulli winning the ball with a strong challenge and starting a move involving Tappouras, Brutnell and Hayden White to force another Fire corner on 26 minutes.
Fire again kept on the front foot, Herbie Allsopp winning the ball in defence before striding into midfield to release Kaidin Dawson down the left. More good play from Tappouras in the 26th minute led to the ball being played behind the Pride defence by Dawson but alas, no Fire player was present to take advantage.
Just on the half hour mark, Fire keeper Bradford Green needed to make a save and was grateful to see a follow up shot drift past the post a minute later. Just as it began to look as though Fire were wilting in the heat and looking towards half time, they produced a scintillating break down the left, a quick interchange between Dawson and Shaw carved open the Pride defence but somehow Dawson’s shot didn’t produce the goal the move deserved. Fire again had a half chance to end the half on top when, from a Noyes free kick, after a very heavy challenge on Renzulli, Vancam wasn’t able to direct his shot on target.
Half Time: Western Pride (0) v Sunshine Coast Fire (0)
Fire got the game back underway, but immediately put pressure on themselves with some misplaced passes and careless play before settling into the game again. Dré Ngaha played a fine ball to release Shaw in the 39th minute, his cross was only half cleared and Tappouras, unmarked on the edge of the Pride area saw his drive blocked. Capitalising on the back of good defensive work from Deepal Maharaj, Fire were sensing opportunities down their right flank. Good combinations from Brutnell White and Shaw, who was once more able to outpace the Pride defence, his cross on this occasion floating wide.
Rocco needed to again be strong in defence as Pride brought the game back to Fire. A corner for the home team in the 43rd minute almost secured the lead but for a magnificent headed goal line clearance from White. In the 48th minute Ngaha became the first Fire player to receive a yellow card after a trip felled a Pride player off the ball, the resulting free kick sailing high and wide over Greens goal. Fire were still being forced to defend and chase the game, Allsopp continuing to show strong defence in keeping trouble at bay. White and Shaw continued to hustle the Pride defence when field position allowed, and despite the heat, Noyes, Brutnell and Tanner Mathers all continued to work tirelessly for their team in the middle of the park.
The conditions were certainly impacting both sides to repeat the higher tempo and more skilful opening two thirds of the game, but Pride were beginning to edge an increasingly scrappy and difficult game. With the minutes ticking away Fire looked to be heading for a well-deserved and hard fought point, when Pride earned a corner with less than three minutes remaining. Fire were guilty of ball watching, leaving the Pride striker with a free header inside the six yard box to secure 3 points for the home side.
Fire may well feel aggrieved at losing the game after a much improved showing, but they should take heart that similar levels of performance in forthcoming games will bring the results they crave.
Full Time: Western Pride (1) v Sunshine Coast Fire (0)
Player of the Match: Herbie Allsopp
Western Pride FC (1) v Sunshine Coast FC (6)
The fifth round saw the first meeting against Western Pride FC for the season at their home ground of Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
Sunshine Coast FC came out strong taking control immediately. A throw in from Ari Sisarich landed at the feet of Maxx Demerutis, who placed a pass through to Jake Rocker and then on to Harry McMillan to score on the 2nd minute.
Sunshine Coast FC continued to place pressure on Western Pride FC’s defence missing a number of opportunities to increase their lead quickly. A tackle by McMillan saw him win possession of the ball to break through Western Pride FC’s defence and score on the 14th minute.
Again the ball was delivered to McMillan for him to take the ball up the right wing and place a shot on goal. Western Pride FC’s keeper deflected the ball into the air for a save however Harrison Whitelaw got his head to it to score on the 18th minute.
Sunshine Coast FC continued to push when Kyle Barnes played the ball to Rocker who delivered it to McMillan for him to score his hat trick on the 25th minute.
Sunshine Coast FC saw out the first half with a reasonable lead.
Half Time: Western Pride (0) v Sunshine Coast Fire (4)
Both teams returned to the pitch with a renewed intensity, Sunshine Coast FC eager for more goals and Western Pride FC holding strong in their defence and looking to take advantage of their opportunities.
Western Pride FC’s opportunity presented itself when Sunshine Coast FC took a corner pressing high looking to score. A counter attack saw Oscar Zubeldia of Western Pride take the ball up the right to place their first goal on the board on the 49th minute.
Western Pride F.C had a renewed intensity driving forward with Sunshine Coast FC’s defence of Sisarich, Demerutis, Joshua Kaperski and Lucas Kljajcin holding strong.
Sunshine Coast FC still hungry to increase their lead saw a succession of 10 passes within the midfield with Matthew Becker placing the ball in the back of the net to score Fire’s first goal for the second half on the 66th minute.
Fire’s final goal of the match came from a pass from Dimitri Pritchard for Becker to score on the 69th minute.
Full Time: Western Pride (1) v Sunshine Coast Fire (6)
Player of the Match: Harry McMillan
Western Pride FC (1) v Sunshine Coast FC (3)
It was hot and humid for the game against Western Pride. The early start game time didn’t seem to affect the Under 15 team travelling early from the Sunshine Coast.
The Fire team came out focused. Halls-Tempest making what seemed to be an easy run through Pride’s players to off load to our fast winger Evens-Gilhem who was the first to put a shot on goal in the 4th minute.
It was in the 9th minute that Fire would score our first goal for the game. Emery with his left foot placed the ball beautifully over the keeper’s head who was off his line to find the back of the net.
Fire dominated the first half with possession which finally payed off in the 30th minute with Evens-Gilhem running the ball into the box and scoring a much-deserved goal.
Western Pride scored in the 33rd minute.
Half Time: Western Pride (1) v Sunshine Coast Fire (2)
The second half was action packed and intense. The ball movement and team play was a pleasure to watch.
Fire could not have asked anymore from players. Their defence proved too strong for Western Pride and their strong attacking payed off again with Boshoff sealing the game in the 79th minute.
Full Time: Western Pride (1) v Sunshine Coast Fire (3)
Player of the Match: Jayden Emery