Hyundai Queensland State League – Round 6
NQ McDonald’s Razorbacks vs. Sunshine Coast Fire
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Kane Frampton – Staff Reporter
Yet another serious challenge has been dealt with by the Sunshine Coast Fire, as the team came from behind to record a 2-1 win over the NQ McDonald’s Razorbacks in Townsville.
After conceding early in the first half, a quick-fire brace to captain Shaun Blackman was enough for the Fire to hang on for their sixth win of the season.
The Fire are beginning to assert their dominance over the competition in the Hyundai Queensland State League, with Saturday’s victory earning them a six-point lead at the top of the table.
After playing five of their opening six matches at home, this was to be the first proper road-trip for the Sunshine Coast Fire as they faced a long journey to Townville. The team had to leave Kawana for the airport at 3.30am before flying north for a 7.30pm kickoff.
The match kicked off in front of a strong crowd at Townsville’s Brolga Park, with home spectators keen to see the Razorbacks record their first ever victory over the Fire.
The Razorbacks tackled hard from the opening whistle, and did their best to dominate the midfield early. They scored the first goal of the match on 21 minutes, when Anthony Galliozzi unleashed from long range and found the top corner.
As the Fire found themselves playing catch-up, they only had to wait a few minutes for an equaliser. Following a Tyson Holmes free-kick from the left flank, Shaun Blackman made a near post run and flicked a shot past the keeper from close range.
The Fire continued to press for a second goal, and found one on 36 minutes.
Following an assist from Sam Knight, Blackman rounded the keeper with the ball at his feet and shot for goal; the ball went through the legs of the last defender and into the back of the net.
Finding themselves in the familiar position of defending a lead, the second-half kicked off with the Fire desperate to cling on to the narrowest of margins.
The Razorbacks had more of the ball in the second half and threw everything at the Sunshine Coast, pushing players forward in all-out attack. But as was the case in Round 4 against the Brisbane Strikers, the Fire were up to the challenge and played out the match well in front of a hostile crowd.
The final whistle blew for a 2-1 victory to the Sunshine Coast Fire in a bruising encounter. Both Tyson Holmes and Alex Henderson were substituted during the game after injury scares.
Sunshine Coast captain Shaun Blackman was pleased to come away with three points from a difficult away fixture.
“Overall, it was without a doubt one of the best wins of the season, they definitely came at us hard but we worked at it and got through in the end,” Blackman said.
Blackman hailed the team’s defence as a major reason for victory.
“We defended really well, and Antony Hall made some spectacular saves to keep us in front.”
“At one stage in the second half they seemed to be playing four strikers; they were desperate to get a result.”
After going close in recent games, Blackman found the goal twice in the first half.
“It’s nice to get on the scoresheet, but I was lucky to be on the end of some really good assists.”
Next week, the Fire will take on the bottom-placed Bundaberg Spirit, who are yet to record a victory this season. The match will be played at One Mile Oval in Gympie, and kicks off at 4pm on Sunday, May 9.
Final Score – NQ Razorbacks: 1 (Galliozzi, 21)
Sunshine Coast FC: 2 (Blackman, 24, 36)