Strikers v Jets: Past Clashes Point The Way To A Thriller

Feb 16, 2018 by

Brisbane Strikers host Moreton Bay United Jets in Round 3 of the 2018 NPL Queensland competition at Perry Park on Saturday evening, with Strikers having lost both of their opening fixtures while Jets have won both of theirs.

The league table sees Strikers in thirteenth position, looking up a steep hill at Jets who currently occupy top spot. While three points will be the objective for Strikers if they are to start climbing the table, they will also be looking to avoid becoming the first Strikers team since their 1995/96 NSL forebears to notch three successive defeats to start the season.

Strikers midfielder Michael Lee is already on record with Football Click saying that his team’s senior players will be looking to lift the level of their performance and lead by example against Jets (https://www.footballclick.com.au/nplqld/brisbane-strikers/old-heads-lead-strikers-turnaround/).

So the stage is set for the next chapter in an enthralling rivalry between the two clubs that has seen some epic struggles amid a history in which the winning team, more often than not, has inflicted maximum hurt to the losers.

For those who have not been part of that history, or would appreciate a reminder, here is a quick summary of highlights from the past that serves only to whet the appetite for what lies ahead tomorrow:

26 August 2017: NPL Queensland Semi-Final – Brisbane Strikers 1 v Moreton Bay United 3

Strikers went into last year’s semi-final as newly-crowned 2017 Premiers and the first team in the competition’s history to win back-to-back premierships. Their hopes of reaching the grand final for a shot at the ‘double’ were high against a Jets team that finished ten points behind them in fourth position.

But Jets were having none of it. Goals from Matthew Byrne and Declan Smith had them 2-0 up by only the tenth minute and when Smith added a third in the fifty-eighth Strikers’ grand final hopes evaporated. A stoppage time own-goal to Byrne gave the scoreline a little more respectability for a bitterly disappointed Strikers team who never got going.

The result started a losing sequence in NPL football that now stretches to three for Strikers.

3 June 2017: NPL Queensland Round 13: Moreton Bay United 0 v Brisbane Strikers 1

A titanic struggle between two finals-chasing teams at United’s Wolter Park stronghold was settled by a sixty-eighth minute moment of magic from Lee, who spotted United goalkeeper Joshua Laguna off his line and chipped him from 22 yards to give Strikers all three points.

19 March 2016: NPL Queensland Round 4: Moreton Bay United 1 v Brisbane Strikers 3

The Brisbane Strikers travelled to the home of the 2015 Premiers and Champions desperately needing a win after a slow start to the season – cue the inevitable comparisons to 2018!

They left the ground after the game as the first team to defeat Jets on their home patch since 2014. Rhys Meredith’s breakaway goal in the nineteenth minute set them on their way before Sebastian Kalos scored into his own net to put Strikers 2-0 up by half time. A player with a similar surname – Shaun Carlos – added his maiden league goal for Strikers midway through the second half to seal the deal for the visitors.

13 September 2015: NPL Queensland Grand Final: Moreton Bay United 2 v Brisbane Strikers 1

The 2015 Grand Final saw Jets hosting after they took the premiership on goal difference from Strikers following the controversial cancellation of last-round fixtures involving both clubs. Feelings were running high between the teams as they took the field. United grabbed an early lead through a header from a former Brisbane Striker in centre half Alex Henderson. A typically hard-fought game looked as if it was heading for extra time after Strikers midfielder Fraser Hills equalized by tucking home from close range Scot Coulson’s low cross with six minutes remaining.

But another former Brisbane Striker, Jordan Farina, was to plunge a dagger into the visitors’ hearts when, in the eighty-eighth minute, he struck a pinpoint free kick into the bottom corner of Strikers’ goal for the winner.

Strikers finished the season with nothing while Jets took out the double and it didn’t make things any easier for Strikers supporters to see two of ‘their own’ doing the damage.

20 May 2015: FFA Cup Qualifier, Round 6: Brisbane Strikers 2 v Moreton Bay United 1

The penultimate Brisbane Zone qualification round for the 2015 FFA Cup saw Strikers advance in a highly entertaining encounter on a night when Strikers centre half Cameron Draper scored both of his team’s goals. Jets went into the contest unbeaten in the season so far in the season, but were soon on the back foot and went behind on the scoreboard in the thirteenth minute when Draper climbed high at the back post to head home Greg King’s free kick.

Jets equalized in similar fashion nine minutes later when talismanic forward Royce Brownlie’s glancing header converted Jordan Farina’s free kick. Draper got the winner as an epic battle went into the tense closing minutes, volleying Scot Coulson’s teasing cross into Luke Borean’s goal from close range in the eighty-forth minute.

Draper then turned Strikers savior at the other end, making a superb sliding intercept just as Brownlie was about to pull the trigger for another equalizer in the dying moments of a Cup thriller.

 

17 February 2017, NPL Queensland Round 3? Be at Perry Park by 6.00 pm on Saturday to find out.

Curtain raisers involving the clubs’ Under 13s and Under-14s at 2.15 pm and 3.45 pm will warm supporters up for the big one!

Photo (Steven Gibson): An ecstatic Cameron Draper turns away from goal after netting the winner against Moreton Bay United in the 2015 FFA Cup qualifier.

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