Strikers “In A Good Place” After Slaying Mapgies Crusaders

May 12, 2018 by

Brisbane Strikers football manager, David Large, pronounced himself delighted with how his players overcame a spirited Magpies Crusaders United 5-1 at Sologinkin Oval in Mackay tonight and said they could not be in better shape for what shapes as a massive fortnight of NPL Queensland football on the remaining weekends of May.

Goals from Trent Clulow and Zach Maltby had Strikers 2-0 ahead by the half time break. But when Michael Lyall scored for the home team in the seventy-fourth minute to halve their deficit a difficult closing quarter of an hour looked likely in front of a big home crowd for Strikers.

But instead they went on to make sure of the three points in emphatic fashion, adding goals to Greig Henslee, Clulow again, and Jake McLean to earn their ninth NPL Queensland win in succession.

Speaking after the game, Large said Mapgies Crusaders had been tasty opposition but that his players had proved too classy overall.

“There was a patch there at 2-1 where the crowd got behind them,” Large said. “We had a fifteen-minute spell there, where they just grew legs and we struggled a bit to stay with the intensity”.

But if Strikers had momentarily been made to scramble by a resurgent home team, the work Strikers had done earlier in making the home team chase the ball for most of the game paid off as Magpies-Crusaders ran out of legs over the closing ten minutes.

“Talking to their coach (Carlos Garcia Alejas) after the game, he said that his boys just couldn’t stay with the speed of the ball,” Large said.

“Once that third goal went in, they just completely lost it and it was a procession after that.

“But they’re not a bad side. I can understand why they did Redlands and I can understand why Lions struggled here and why Olympic struggled here. They are not a poor side and I think they are capable. If they keep progressing in the second half of the year, they could do some damage.

“They’re just technically not at our level and, being fair to us, we’ve got some technically good players at this level. We are probably being a little bit unfair to our players at times when we don’t acknowledge how technically gifted they are.”

With the league leaders coming into Round 13, Western Pride, losing at home 1-3 to Brisbane City tonight the lead has changed hands. Olympic FC, who beat North Queensland United 2-1 in North Queensland, have gone back to the top of the table on 32 points, ahead of Pride on 30. Strikers are next on 28, with a game in hand over Olympic.

Meanwhile Lions FC, who also won tonight, are one point behind Strikers, with a game in hand over Strikers and Pride and two in hand over Olympic.

The tussle for supremacy among the top four teams could not be more delicately poised as the competition reaches its half way mark and, with Strikers due to play Pride in Ipswich next weekend before taking on Lions at Perry Park the week after, Large’s players have set themselves up for a massive opportunity to wrest back the title initiative.

And, while sounding a note of caution, Large believes they are ready.
“It’s one game at a time,” he said.

“But I am never going to deny that at this point in time we are playing some really good football with a group of boys that are together.

“They’ve worked hard to get that. We’ve had a lot of changes this year and it’s taken a bit of time but we’re in a really, really good place at the moment.

“I genuinely think we’re ready as a team. Whether that happens or not is up to us now, and it’s up to Owen Baker and myself get the job done and make sure that we’re on top of it and we keep the boys on top of it.”

Photo: Brisbane Strikers had plenty to smile about as they sat down for a well-earned meal at Sologinkin Oval tonight

Match Reports, News

About the author

Marketing Brisbane Strikers