Back In The Groove: Strikers Put Five Past Roar Youth

May 14, 2017 by

Brisbane Strikers coach Sean Lane credited his players with being the architects of their own form reversal as they outclassed Brisbane Roar FC Youth in giving them a 5-0 drubbing at AJ Kelly Park last night.

Just as Strikers midfielder Michael Lee had predicted before the game, Strikers rebounded from the disappointment of their sub-par performance last weekend’s Westfield FFA Cup loss to Rochedale Rovers with a totally dominant performance. In doing so they notched their fifth successive PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland win against a Roar Youth team who troubled Strikers goalkeeper Zac Speedy only once in ninety minutes.

First half goals to Greg Cheshire, Jake McLean and Jeremy Stewart (pictured) had the three points more less secure by half time before Greig Henslee and Shaun Carlos also netted in the second half as Strikers shared the goals around while almost completely barring the way to their own penalty area.

“I didn’t have to do much this week. I think the boys were so disappointed with their performance last week they almost set the agenda themselves this week,” Lane said after the game.

“One of the goals that we set ourselves at the start of the year was to have a decent run in the FFA Cup, so now we’ve got the league and top four to focus on and that’s the mood in the dressing room. That’s the focus now and I think that performance (tonight) showed that.”

Lane gave a starting debut to Ethan Docherty, playing him at the base of his midfield, and also welcomed back skipper Michael Angus who had missed Strikers’ previous two games with a back injury. They came into the team at the expense of Ryan Palmer and Fintan Lane and were the only changes to the starting eleven that took the field against Rovers last week.

On a top- quality playing surface, made slick by light rain, two teams who like to play with the ball on the deck were soon into their passing stride. But when Strikers hit the front in the seventh minute they took control of the game.

Roar’s left sided midfielder Kye Bolton was dispossessed inside his own half when swooped upon by both Jake McLean and Sam Knight. When McLean won the ball and passed inside to Angus, and Angus helped it on to Jeremy Stewart, the tall Strikers forward was inside Roar’s penalty area with the ball at his feet. Stewart’s blistering shot was tipped on to the underside of the crossbar by Roar goalkeeper Tomislav Bilic, but Cheshire won the jump to the bouncing ball to head it into an empty net.

McLean, playing after struggling all week against a bout of tonsillitis, doubled Strikers’ lead nine minutes later when he finished off a probing spell of possession with a dipping shot from thirty yards that left Bilic rooted to the spot as it ruffled the back of his net.

Roar tried to respond with some attacks of their own but were firmly rebuffed in the twentieth minute when a rapid two-pass Strikers counter-attack finished with Stewart closing in on Bilic before effortlessly slipping the ball past him to put Strikers 3-0 ahead.

As the one-way traffic towards Roar’s goal continued Cheshire narrowly missed with a near-post opportunity from Knight’s low cross, while Bilic made a smart one-handed save at his near post to deny Stewart and another with his legs to keep out the same player as Roar struggled to staunch their wounds.

Meanwhile Speedy was also forced into an excellent two-handed save high to his left to prevent Roar’s Nathan Yoon’s shot from Bolton’s cutback finishing in the top right corner of his net.

Strikers substituted McLean with Carlos at the half time break and soon afterwards kept the scoreboard ticking over after they took a corner kick on their left touchline. The ball was delivered low towards the near post where Lee appeared to apply a flick-on that deceived Roar’s defenders as it flew across their goalmouth towards Henslee, who was unmarked at the back post as he volleyed the ball into the net.

The scoring was completed in style by an exquisite direct free kick from roughly twenty-three yards by Carlos, who curled the dead ball around or through Roar’s defensive wall and into the bottom left corner of Bilic’s net with the Roar custodian unable to get a touch to it at full stretch.

The win took Strikers temporarily to second position on the league table, three points behind Gold Coast City who also won last night, and three ahead of Brisbane Olympic who play Northern Fury today.

Lane said Strikers, who also hit the front early against Rovers last weekend, had made a much better fist of going on with the job against Roar.

“Game management has been something that we’ve tried to focus on,” Lane said. “We’ve scored goals and then conceded quite quickly afterwards in a couple of games and it just makes it so much more difficult.

“That whole game management side of things was a real area of focus this week.”

Lane agreed that having Angus back in his starting line-up helped with that aspect of his team’s performance.

“That experience – it’s hard to quantify what it brings us,” said Lane. “It makes a big difference, not just because he’s a good player but because he talks, and he’s smart.”

Lane also professed himself happy with the contribution made by Docherty in his first start for his new club.

“I’m really pleased. He’s been really good in training and he’d earned his chance,” said Lane. “He certainly didn’t do himself any harm with his performance today.”

Brisbane Roar FC Youth 0 v Brisbane Strikers FC 5 (Cheshire 7, McLean 16, Stewart 20, Henslee 49, Carlos 81)

Brisbane Roar FC Youth: Tomislav Bilic (gk), Adam Sawyer (c), Finn Beakhurst, Aaon Reardon, Lloyd Cabilan, Daniel Driver, Kye Bolton, Rahmat Akbari, Nathan Yoon, Omar Sidiqi, Emlyn Wellsmore. Subs: Edrick Yalakunze, Lewis Gibson, Cristian Aloisi. Coach: James Robinson

Brisbane Strikers FC: Zac Speedy (gk), Jake Marshall, Greig Henslee, Ethan Docherty, Michael Lee, Michael Angus (c), Jake McLean, Jeremy Stewart, Sam Knight, Greg Cheshire, Hiroki Omori. Subs: Shaun Carlos, Luke Marsh, Fintan Lane. Coach: Sean Lane.

Referee: Rachel Mitchinson

Photo: Albert Perez

Match Reports, News

About the author

Media Liaison, Brisbane Strikers Mob: 0432 085 222