Strikers Score Nine In Cup Qualifier For Ten Straight

May 05, 2018 by

Brisbane Strikers football manager, David Large, said the professionalism and speed of his players had been the key ingredients for success in their 9-1 demolition of The Lakes FC at Kinsellas Park as Strikers booked their place in the next round of FFA Cup qualifiers.

Large had watched his team take a 4-0 lead into the half time break and then go on with the job in the second half as the defending NPL premiers proved far too strong for their plucky seventh-tier opponents, who never at any stage resorted to damage control tactics or containment football despite the burgeoning scoreline confronting them.

“It was one of those games where you’re not really sure where it’s going to go,” said Large after the game in summing up the task of playing away against a team about which his players had little knowledge.

“But we asked the players for a professional job and I think that the boys did that. In all fairness to The Lakes, they weren’t a poor side. In patches they played some good football. They probably got caught by the speed of the game, but at the end of the day I don’t think they should be too disappointed even though the score blew out.”

The pace of the game certainly was fast as both teams tried to use the wide, open spaces and even playing surface at Kinsellas Park to play expansive football. For almost twenty minutes The Lakes matched it with Strikers, riding their luck a little as they pushed up and kept a high defensive line while Strikers looked to release the pacy Rhys Meredith and Trent Clulow and fullbacks Sam Knight and Jack Stevens with early balls out from their defensive third.

But The Lakes paid dearly for not dealing with another rampaging run from Knight in the nineteenth minute as the fullback sprinted for the byline. Knight’s first attempt to cross the ball was deflected back into his path, allowing him to regather, evade an attempted tackle and work the ball on to his left foot. Knight then unleashed a finishing shot that beat The Lakes goalkeeper Daniel Hyde, positioned at his near post, to ripple the top corner of his net inside the far post and it was 1-0 to the visitors.

And when, seven minutes later, Clulow beat Hyde with a low left-footed drive from twenty yards after dribbing inside from the right, the die for the cup tie was cast.

In the thirty-fourth minute Strikers midfielder Michael Lee played a free kick twenty-five yards out short to his right, catching the home team’s defenders napping. The ball was then played back into the six yard box where Strikers skipper Michael Angus had ventured into territory the defensive midfielder rarely sees. His first-time finish past Hyde made the score 3-0 to Strikers and when Clulow went on a mazy run right through the middle of the pitch before blasting in an unstoppable shot from twenty-five yards before half time the job of securing passage to the next round of FFA Cup qualifiers was just about done.

With Jake McLean replacing Lee and Hiroki Omori replacing Michael McGowan for Strikers at half time there was to be no let-up in the visiting team’s hunger for goals.

Indeed, it was the two substitutes who combined for Strikers’ fifth goal as Omori was released by a diagonal ball for a run towards the home team’s byline before delivering a bouncing cross that McLean steered past Hyde on the volley to put Strikers 5-0 ahead in the fifty-third minute.

Three minutes later The Lakes were again exposed on the flanks – this time by Knight down Strikers’ right touchline as Strikers’ tactics of playing their fullbacks high and releasing them on the transition paid more dividends. This time there was a touch of good fortune for the visitors as Knight’s cross was deflected by a defender beyond the reach of Hyde, leaving Clulow to gather and tap into an empty net for his hat trick.

An own goal by Lakes defender Joshua Wilson, who tried desperately to deflect another Omori grasscutter cross away from his own goal but got it all wrong in the sixty-fifth minute, produced more despair for the home team, before Rhys Meredith made it 8-0 to Strikers when he raced on to a through ball on the half way line to close in on goal and slot the ball past the exposed Hyde.

Then The Lakes enjoyed a fruitful spell. First, Joshua Blackburn ghosted in on the left hand side of Strikers’ penalty area to draw a sharp save from Strikers goalkeeper Nathan Archbold with a stinging shot, before another enterprising passing move from the home team in the eighty-fifth minute ended with Archbold conceding a penalty when he brought down an attacker.

Up stepped Lakes midfielder Mitchell Buhmann, perhaps one of their most willing contributors, to at last bring some joy to a sizeable home crowd and gain some reward for the home side’s refusal to give up, as he despatched the spot kick high to Archbold’s right to spoil another clean sheet for Strikers.

The home supporters’ joy was extremely short-lived, however, because from the re-start Strikers again worked the ball down their left flank for Palmer to cross towards the home team’s six-yard box, where Meredith arrived first to tap in his second goal and end the scoring at 9-1 to Strikers.

Meredith’s return to scoring form late in the match was a bonus for Strikers, who had been keen to ensure the prolific marksman gained as much match time as possible after recently overcoming a hamstring strain.

“We’ve needed Rhys to get ninety minutes as a coaching group and I’m sure that Rhys would say the same thing,” said Large.

“He needed to put a performance in and he worked hard and got goals so I think, on the night, he’ll be happy with that.”

The win was Strikers’ tenth in succession in both league and cup competitions.

FFA Cup Qualifier, Brisbane Zone, Round 5: The Lakes FC 1 (Mitchell Buhmann 85, pen) v Brisbane Strikers 9 (Knight 20; Clulow 27, 38, 55; McLean 52, o.g. 65, Meredith 3, 87).

The Lakes FC: Daniel Hyde (gk), Chris Gribble, Robert Buhmann, Brent McNeil, Brandon Krol, Adam Sparks, Ryan Batistic, Scott McNeill, Joshua Fearn, Chris Roulston, Mitchell Buhmann. Subs: James Dorian, Joshua Wilson. Coach:

Brisbane Strikers: Nathan Archbold (gk), Michael Angus, Michael McGowan, Greig Henslee, Sam Knight, Michael Lee, Rhys Meredith, Brock Messenger, Ryan Palmer, Jack Stevens, Trent Clulow. Subs: Hiroki Omori, Jake McLean, Zach Maltby.

Photo (Mitch Pitman): Rhys Meredith scores his second, and his team’s ninth, goal with The Lakes goalkeeper Daniel Hyde and defender Brent McNeil trying in vain to keep him out.

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