Mecca Bah Winner Predicts Tough Test As Strikers Look To Turn Tables On Cairns

Jul 20, 2018 by

Our Mecca Bah Man of the Match for Round 21, Greg Cheshire, says the bitter memories of losing 5-3 at home to Cairns FC three weeks ago will fuel the Brisbane Strikers’ desire to turn the tables in Saturday’s NPL Queensland Round 6 catch-up fixture against the same club at Barlow Park.

Cheshire said that result, and the way it unfolded with a second-half scoring avalanche from Cairns, would have a motivational impact on Strikers this weekend.

“Being so fresh in the mind, it’s left a sour taste in our mouths,” Cheshire said when interviewed on Wednesday.

“We’ve spoken about that already. We addressed it on Tuesday, and hopefully again tomorrow night we’ll address what went wrong in that game and how we can rectify it going forward.”

The history of games between the two clubs suggests nothing less than a testing encounter. Although Cheshire has only been with Strikers for two seasons, he is keenly aware of just how difficult Strikers have found it to beat the far north Queenslanders.

“There’s been a history between Cairns and Strikers,” Cheshire said, before referencing a 2016 fixture at Perry Park that turned the premiership race in Strikers’ favour after a hard-earned 2-1 win.

“That goes back a few seasons ago, when they went close to winning the NPL (as FNQFC Heat). I think they always play their best games against us, every year. I know that when I came in last year we had two hard battles with them. We lost to them up there and then drew with them at Perry Park.

“So we can never take them lightly. They always play us to the best of their ability.”

Cheshire said Strikers would need to be careful the damage wrought by two Cairns players in particular at Perry Park three weeks ago is not repeated if Strikers are to take three points away from Cairns.

“Josh Taylor scored three against us last time. We’ve got to watch those runs that he makes in behind. He is dangerous and Jamie Carroll, on the other side, is obviously also dangerous going forward.”

Cheshire earned his Mecca Bah Man of the Match Award in last week’s 5-1 win by Strikers over Redland Bay, when he scored twice in the first half to help set his team up for the win. The award was all the sweeter for the player because he was having only his second game for Strikers’ senior team since recovering from knee surgery.

Cheshire had been vying with Jeremy Stewart for top goal scorer status in last season’s dual NPL Queensland premiership-winning team when he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear in a training ground mishap in August. The injury ruled him out of the national NPL Finals Series and the first five months of this season, before he was cleared to commence playing again a month ago.

A couple of appearances for Strikers’ Under-20s team reintroduced Cheshire to competitive football before he was called up to the senior team twenty minutes into their Round 20 loss to Brisbane Roar FC Youth. Then came last Saturday’s return to the starting eleven and Cheshire’s influential contribution.

Cheshire admitted he had not expected to be back to scoring form so soon.

“On a personal level I’ve been slightly surprised,” he said.

“It’s been good that I’ve been able to hit the ground running, so to speak. I got a few goals early in the 20s game when I first came back, so I think that was good for my confidence, and I took that into the Redlands game last week.

“To get one seven minutes in eased a bit of pressure that I put on myself, so I think that will be positive going forward, hopefully.

“Coming back, I wanted to get back to the level I was at last year. Obviously, that’s a personal challenge because you have to have that patience as well – to know that it might not come straight away. I’m still battling with that, because I know that it’s still a long road ahead and it’s probably not going to happen week in, week out for me initially.

“But that’s just part of the process of getting back, and hopefully I’m on my way”.

NPL Queensland Round 6 (catch-up fixture): Cairns FC v Brisbane Strikers FC, Saturday, 21 July, Barlow Park, Cairns. Kick-off 6.30 pm

Photo: Roze Gallo

Match Previews, News

About the author

Marketing Brisbane Strikers