Hard fighting Redlands go down to reigning Champs
Redlands United have gone down to National Premier League Queensland ladder leaders and 2017 NPL Champions Western Pride 5-0 on Friday night at the Cleveland Showgrounds.
It was a hard fought battle between the two sides and the score does not reflect just how well Redlands performed under the constant pressure of the best attacking teams in the league.
However, one thing is for sure is Golden Boot leader Dylan Wenzel-Halls will have nightmares about Redlands goalkeeper Andrew Ralph after his best performance between the post.
"Ralphy did extremely well, he got tested and it could've been an awful lot more if it wasn't for him," Redlands United coach Nick Dibbs said.
"At the end of the day it has to go through 10 players, he can't be held accountable but he's done really well," he said.
From the get go Pride were putting the Redlands back four under pressure but they sat back and absorbed the pressure, cutting out, blocking or saving each attempt in the opening 28 minutes before they caught Redlands on the counter attack with Andrew Pengelly tapping the ball into the goal.
Redlands weren't without their chances though but Pride's defence were able to stop any build up in the box forcing them to take shots from outside the box.
The second half continued to see Pride pressure the Redlands defence and were rewarded with four goals throughout.
Tempers flared towards the end of the match as defender Scott Bow received his second yellow card of the match and got his marching orders.
Unfortunately, the card will cause another issue at the back for Redlands after it was confirmed Lloyd Harrington has a tear in his meniscus and Mikey Dalton has had to return to the United Kingdom for personal reasons.
"We got to move forward and I will be looking to bring in a few players in the next week or so," Dibbs said.
"I'm sure we will turn it around.
"All in all I feel for the lads, they had their breath taken out of them last week and it was a big ask to come up against the team at their highest form.
"I think mentally we have to get right first and they have to get their heads clear and address the second part of the season as a fresh start," he said.
The NPL takes a break for a week before Redlands United take a trip to Lions Stadium to face Lions FC on May 12.