Mcauley hat-trick helps Red Devils to victory
Young gun Connor Mcauley has helped Redlands United run out 6-2 winners against Sunshine Coast FC Fire on Saturday night with a hat-trick.
It was a much-needed win for the Red Devils, who are looking to avoid relegation and now now sit ahead of Magpies Crusaders United, North Queensland United and Sunshine Coast
"It was a must win game and I'll be honest, I expected us to win it, not being over confident but we performed this week on the training ground," Redlands United coach Nick Dibbs said.
"I think we fazed out a little bit and we could've made it a little bit easier for ourselves.
"All in all a fantastic night for the youngster and a fantastic night for the club," he said.
Redlands got the game off to the best possible start as they opened the scoring through a beautiful passage of play which saw Liam O'Bryan run down the sideline before cutting the ball to Jake Sherwood.
Mcauley had only been signed to the club two weeks ago and got his first goal for the club after a long ball found him and he was able to round the goalkeeper.
Sunshine Coast found their first break and made use of it as Taj Hudson scored but Redlands extended their lead a minute later as Mcauley spots the goalkeeper off his line and lobs the ball over him.
Fire ended the first half on a high after Sam Standish scored before they kept up the pressure on the Redlands third as a chance went begging when the ball skimmed off the crossbar. Fire went into the start of the second half with the same intensity but Redlands were able to keep them out.
Dibbs said the side had backed off in this period of play and that the side needs to be more consistent.
"We just need to be consistent," he said.
"Graham [Fyfe] had an excellent game and really affected game, Connor [Mcauley] was superb but the players give everything in the 90 minutes, I can't knock their attitude," Dibbs said.
After a bit of a dip from Redlands, Fyfe brought them out of it after spotting the Sunshine Coast goalkeeper off his line and lobbed him from 25 out.
It was all Redlands from there on out as Mcauley finished off his hat-trick in additional time while debutant Ryan Hughes, who had only came onto the game at the hour mark scored to seal the three points for Redlands.
Redlands United are back at the Cleveland Showgrounds on Friday night as they face Brisbane City.