Sunshine Coast Fire v Marist FC – International Friendly
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Six weeks after taking out the Youth and Senior QSL Championships, the Sunshine Coast Fire were back on the pitch last night against a Marist FC youth team, a club from the Solomon Islands.
The Solomon Islands team will be playing several matches against local clubs during their short trip to Australia, and first up for them was a clash with the Fire. It was the Sunshine Coast’s first competitive match since the season ended over a month ago.
In the friendly at Stockland Park, the Fire finished with an 8-1 victory in a useful hit-out that gave the boys a chance to blow away a few end of season cobwebs.
The Fire fielded a mixed senior/youth team, with Sam Knight, Tyson Holmes, Alex Henderson and James Stinson joined by a host of Under-19 players. Holmes got the scoring underway in the third minute with a tidy finish from close in, and James Verdin doubled the lead soon after when he volleyed with his first touch after a Sam Knight cross.
The eager Marist side were finding enough of the ball, but struggling to transition into attack. For the Sunshine Coast, there were few signs of rust as the boys took control of the game.
Holmes made the score 3-0 when a gust of wind forced his cross off course, wrong-footing the keeper and finding the back of the net. He had a hat-trick soon after, firing home from the edge of the area for a 4-0 lead.
Sam Nickolls pulled off a strong save just before half time, as the Fire headed to the break four goals to the good. After the interval, a clean header gave the Marist teenagers their first goal, before the Fire turned on the pressure and looked for more goals. James Stinson scored a freak goal on 70 minutes, as an acrobatic bicycle kick caught the inside of the post and crossed the goal-line.
Cohen Bell crossed well for Sam Knight soon after, who made the score 6-1. James Verdin then scored his second of the match on 75 minutes, before Tyson Holmes finished the scoring with a late goal to end the contest at 8-1.
Several players on trial for the Fire were given a chance to impress in the second half, as the team continues to prepare for the 2011 HQSL season. An announcement is expected soon on the teams competing in the QSL next year, with two new clubs tipped to enter the fray.
Marist will get another look at the quality of local football teams when they travel to Gympie next week for a friendly.