Mecca Bah Brisbane Strikers Man Of The Match Round 9 : Zach Maltby

Apr 12, 2018 by

Our Mecca Bah Man of the Match for Round 9, Zach Maltby, said some well-timed advice from a senior team mate helped spur him on to a second half performance that helped turn the game for the Brisbane Strikers in last Saturday’s 4-2 win over Brisbane City.

Strikers had trailed 2-0 at the half time break but stormed home after Maltby (pictured) scored their first goal and played a part in the other three as Strikers steamrolled their opponents with four unanswered goals in 30 minutes to take the points.

But while Maltby was delighted to have had such an influence on the result he admitted that by half time he was struggling with having missed a gilt-edged early chance to open the scoring.

“I had a few attempts on goal early that should have found the back of the net but didn’t, and I was going in at half time thinking the scoreline wasn’t reflecting on the game,” said Maltby after training with his team on Thursday night.

It was during the interval that a helpful intervention from experienced fullback Sam Knight helped the young centre forward to refocus.

“I tried not to think about it too much but it was good, coming back on to the pitch after half time, when Sammy Knight came and had a word to me and just sort of said ‘Look, put that in the past, forget about it, move on and go and win us the match’.

“That was a really good confidence booster. To have someone like him have confidence in me was really good.”

The rest, as the saying goes, is history as Maltby did exactly what Knight suggested.

“I worked probably has hard as I have worked all season,” said Maltby of his second half efforts. “I definitely wanted to get the three points from that game to make amends for the first half performance.”

Maltby said that, nine league games and one FFA Cup tie into his first season of senior football, he was relishing the experience.

“I’m loving coming to training every night with all of the boys. It’s got a really good vibe to it”.

According to Maltby, there will be no let-up in his recipe for success so far – good, old-fashioned hard work – if he is selected to play against cellar dwellers Sunshine Coast FC Fire at Kawana this weekend.

Fire have been on the wrong end of a couple of horrendously lopsided scorelines, this season and last, but Maltby said he and his team mates would need to put the formbook out of their minds when they take to the field at Sunshine Coast Stadium at 2.00 pm on Sunday.

“You’ve just got to approach it like every other game,” he said. “Go out there and work as hard as you can. You can’t relax on teams like that because they only need to score one or two early goals and they’ll get their confidence going.”

And Maltby had similar thoughts on today’s draw for Round 5 of the FFA Cup, which dealt Strikers what appears to have been a favourable card – an away tie against the lowest-ranked club remaining in the Brisbane Zone qualifiers, seventh-tier The Lakes.

Maltby said the Strikers’ squad’s focus at training had been on preparing for the Fire game and that little had been said yet about their next Cup opponents.

But no-one was getting carried away with thoughts of an easy night out.

“We didn’t think about it too much, just acknowledged that it is there and it is coming up again,” Maltby said.

“But just like Albany Creek (who Strikers defeated 3-1 on Tuesday), we probably were the heavy favourites in that game as well. And they made us work for the win the whole game and pushed us right to the end.”

Maltby’s Man of the Match prize is a meal for two from sponsors Mecca Bah at their Emporium, Fortitude Valley or Broadbeach restaurants.

The Mecca Bah Man of the Match Award is voted on by supporters at every home game of the Brisbane Strikers. Supporters are reminded that the award is announced in the Strikers Social Club after the game and with every purchase across the counter, supporters receive a ticket to go into a draw for a similar prize.

Photo: Roze Gallo

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