Redlands United hosted a full day of football at the Cleveland Showgrounds last Saturday. In the main game Lions FC travelled to the Redlands Coast for the penultimate round of the National Premier League needing a win to clinch the 2019 title with a game in hand.
The Red Devils have been in some great form over the past few weeks winning 6 games in a row including Lions’ challenger for the title, Peninsula Power. However they were down on manpower for the clash being without a number of players for the remainder of the season. This would be a hard ask for the Red Devils but one that they would put everything they had into.
The game started as expected with Lions on all out attack, Redlands defending stoutly and Lions covering the Reds’ dangermen, Shuto Kuboyama and Kado Aoci closely.
It was Lions who opened the scoring in the 15th minute through Henry Hore.
The best of Redlands’ chances to equalize came a mere 6 minutes later when Igor Sao Jose launched a long ball into the Lions goalmouth where the Reds’ dangerman Aoci lept high and beat Lions Goalkeeper Luke Borean to the ball only to see it cleared off the line by the scrambling defense.
Redlands continued to press forward but the Lions defense continued to deny Redlands advances and quickly convert into counter attack. The game was going back and forwards with Redlands Goalkeeper Jack Richards and his new look defensive line kept busy.
The half time score line of 1-0 to Lions gave the Red Devils some hope of getting something from the game.
As the 2nd half commenced it became obvious that Lions were determined to claim the points and the title tonight. However Redlands were just as determined to change the script and pick up an equalizer.
Lions continued to dominate the play but Redlands continued to absorb the pressure and launch forward attacks.
That was until the 78th minute when Hore picked up his 2nd after Goalkeeper Richards made 2 point blank saves but just couldn’t get to the 3rd after the ball couldn’t be cleared away only to see the shot sneak in and off the far post.
The remainder of the game continued in the same vane with Redlands never saying die, but the score remained at 2-0 to Lions.
It was a very exciting entertaining and hard fought game with neither side never willing to give an inch.
In a sporting gesture, after the final whistle Redlands formed a guard of honour as the newly crowned 2019 Premiers left the field.
Next weekend in their final NPL game for season 2019, the Red Devils travel over to Heath Park at East Brisbane to take on Eastern Suburbs in a clash for pride to determine the final placing on the points table.