High-Energy Strikers Slam Five Past Redlands

Jul 14, 2018 by

Brisbane Strikers centre half Greig Henslee said the right game plan and renewed energy levels were the key ingredients behind a storming 5-1 win by Strikers over Redlands United at Perry Park tonight.

Henslee, who played his one hundredth game for his club, stood in as captain for suspended regular skipper Michael Angus, who played his two-hundredth last week. And the evergreen defender was understandably pleased after leading his team to a comprehensive victory that was never in doubt after Strikers took a 3-0 lead into the half time break.

“I felt we were pretty comfortable tonight,” said Henslee after the match. “I felt there was a real energy about us. (Coach) Owen Baker stressed in training throughout the week that he wanted high energy and forward runs, forward passes and lots of high pressure on the ball when they had it.

“And I thought we played to the team plan and took our chances when they came along and it was a pretty comfortable victory in the end.”

Greg Cheshire, Seb Scaroni and Ryan Palmer were promoted into the starting eleven by Baker and all played their parts in a high-tempo display by the home side that proved all too much for a Redlands team who failed to cope with the home team’s onslaught.

But it was regular Strikers midfielder Jake McLean proves the creative architect behind the win, laying on the passes for Greg Cheshire to open the scoring in the sixth minute with a powerful drive that beat Redlands goalkeeper Andrew Ralph from close range, and then for fellow midfielder Ryan Palmer to do likewise in the twenty-fifth minute.

Between the two goals, Redlands missed a gilt-edged opportunity to equalize when top scorer Shuto Kuboyama headed an inch-perfect cross from winger Connor McAuley over the Strikers’ crossbar in the eighth minute.

Strikers fullback Hiroki Omori also cleared off his own goal line after a Redlands player prodded the ball goalward hrough a crowded Strikers goalmouth following a corner kick in the thirty-first minute.

After Strikers survived those anxious moments Palmer’s goal probably snuffed out any thoughts Redlands might have had of going into the half time break on level terms. But if it didn’t, Cheshire’s second goal, scored in the thirty-fourth minute when he tapped home a Sam Knight cross at the back post, certainly did.

Redlands began the second half on the front foot, pressing Strikers back into their own half, and were rewarded just before the hour when Steel handballed inside his own penalty area to provide Redlands’ lanky centre forward Uche Heruome with the opportunity to score from the penalty spot. Heruome didn’t waste it, despatching the spot kick high into the back of goalkeeper Tomislav Mesaric’s net, with the young goalkeeper guessing wrongly and diving to his left as the ball went straight down the middle.

But Redlands’ chances of making the rest of the match a real contest evaporated only three minutes later when they failed to clear a Strikers corner kick and Omori found himself with the ball at his feet ten yards out from goal and on an angle. The classy Japanese fullback took full advantage, lashing a full-blooded drive past the outstretched gloves of Ralph and into the far corner of his net to make the score 4-1 to Strikers.

With Heruome cutting an increasingly isolated figure up front for Redlands and unable to shake off the attentions of Strikers centre half Michael McGowan whenever Redlands tried to use him as an outlet, the visitors were pinned inside their own half for ever longer periods as Strikers continued to pass and move with fluency.

Strikers’ most spectacular goal was saved for last when Trent Clulow, having tormented Redlands’ defenders for most of the preceding seventy-five minutes, launched an unstoppable right-footed shot from thirty yards that finished in the bottom left corner of Ralph’s net to put his team four goals ahead.

Strikers substitutes Josh Matcham, Joel Anich and Michael Lee, brought on for Cheshire, Knight and and Clulow, made sure the home side’s energy levels did not drop over the concluding quarter of an hour but there were to be no further additions to a scoreline that accurately reflected Strikers’ dominance on the night.

With fourth-placed Western Pride also winning tonight, 4-1 over SWQ Thunder, the three points gained by Strikers did not lift them any closer to the top four unless Olympic FC lose to Brisbane Roar Youth tomorrow. However, the result left Redlands only two points out of the drop zone after North Queensland United upset Cairns FC 3-1 in Cairns.

Henslee said Strikers would keep fighting for a top four spot for as long as it remained achievable. He acknowledged that other results would need to go Strikers way to achieve that, but also said there were other factors his team mates needed to keep uppermost in their minds as they prepare for a difficult assignment in Cairns next Saturday and over the remaining rounds of the season.

“We’re talking about pride and respect, not just for the club but for ourselves,” he said.

“I think, if we are honest with ourselves, everyone in a Brisbane Strikers shirt this season has under-performed to a certain degree – whether it be on the ball or whether it be energy-wise on the pitch.

“The only way we can turn that around is to finish the season as strong as we can so that, if we don’t make the four, at least the club has something to build on for next season.

“I think it’s very important that as players we do that.”

NPL Queensland Round 21, Perry Park, 14 July, 2018: Brisbane Strikers 5 (Cheshire 7, 34; Palmer 25; Omori 62; Clulow 76) v Redlands United 1 (Heruome 59, pen)

Brisbane Strikers: Tomislav Mesaric (gk), Greig Henslee, Michael McGowan, Jake McLean, Greg Cheshire, Braedon Steel, Sam Knight, Ryan Palmer, Hiroki Omori, Trent Clulow, Sebastian Scaroni. Subs: Joshua Matcham, Joel Anich, Michael Lee. Coach: Owen Baker

Redlands United: Andrew Ralph (gk), Chad Swieca, Robert Irving, Scott Sargent, Uche Heruome, Craig Peck, Liam O’Bryan, Connor McAuley, William Hobbs, Hayden Ibrahim, Shuto Kuboyama. Subs: Jackson Hart-Phillips, Samuel Langley, Angus Broderick. Coach: Nick Dibbs.

Referee: Tony Sarai

Photo (Roze Gallo): Redlands goalkeeper Andrew Ralph sprawls in vain as Greg Cheshire’s finish eludes him for Strikers’ third goal.

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