Redlands Continue Winning Ways in FQPL

Following on from Tuesday night’s victory over Sunshine Coast Fire, Redlands United continued their home form in a scrappy hard fought battle with SWQ Thunder on a drizzly wet Saturday evening at Cleveland’s Compass Grounds. The Reds pick up another valuable 3 competition points and move temporarily to the top of the table keeping the pressure on Rochedale Rovers.

As soon as the match commenced Redlands were pushing into attack with Thunder playing quick counter attack football with both sides defending tightly and not letting the other side settle on the ball.

The Redlands goal was tested on 13 minutes when a blocked shot rebounded back to Thunder wide on the edge of the box and the resultant shot hit the crossbar with Dylan Brent on hand to head the ball away out of danger whilst under pressure.

Three minutes later Redlands after being under pressure with Thunder pushing high in defense, Gabriel Hawash cleared the ball up field to Guil Santana, just into the Thunder half, he controlled the ball well, noticed the keeper was way off his line defending high and calmly hit his long range shot over the defense and the retreating keeper into an open net to open the scoring for the Red Devils.

The half was a scrappy affair as both sides pressed in defense never giving anyone time on the ball and always under hard tight defense. However it was Redlands who created the best scoring opportunities of the half. Ryota Sumiyoshi, Ryo Emoto and Noah Hitchcock all came closest to scoring.

Thunder had their best opportunities of the half in the final few minutes before half time as they managed to get behind the Red Devils defense but were unable to find a way past Joel D’Cruz in goal

After a blast from Coach Harvey at halftime, the Red Devils came out firing straight from the kickoff with only desperate scrambling Thunder defense keeping them at bay.

Thunder continued to apply their tight pressing game and try to attack at pace, however D’Cruz and Redlands defensive line held firm. Despite Thunder’s tight pressure, the majority of the 2nd half was played either in the middle section of the field or down Thunder’s end of the field.

As the match continued on with Thunder trying to push for an equalizer, it was Redlands that looked the more likely team to score. On 82 minutes Redlands substitute Ben Njie made it 2 goals in 2 weeks. The ball was moved around the right side of the Fire box and finally crossed in by Sumiyoshi to Njie who turned, beat his marker and slotted it nicely into the net to give Redlands a 2-0 lead.

The goal spurred Thunder on for the remaining 8 or so minutes as they pushed harder and harder but now it was Redlands turn to defend stoutly grinding away and keeping Thunder at bay. Final score, a grinding 2-0 win for Redlands.

After the match Redlands Head Coach Graham Harvey commented “It's a good win, it puts us top of the league now so it turns the pressure back onto Rochedale. Thunder were a side that was challenging for the top 4 but this result knocks them out of it. I think it was a grind tonight, I don't think we played our best stuff, we were better in the 2nd half but look all credit to the boys for the win and another clean sheet at home. That’s 5 clean sheets at home and only conceding 3 goals at home.”

Redlands Man of the Match was our captain, Sam Langley.

The Red Devils are back at Compass Grounds in Cleveland next Saturday as they play host to Caboolture Sports FC in their Round 17 fixture at 7pm with the Under 23’s at 4.45pm.

Redlands United FC

20. Joel D’Cruz 2. Dylan Brent, 3. Max Ellenger, 5. Mitch Bird, 6. Sam Langley ( C ), 7. Guil Santana,

8. Gabriel Hawash, 10. Ryo Emoto, 12. Noah Hitchcock, 15. Liam O’Bryan, 19. Ryota Sumiyoshi

Subs. 1. Ryan Govan, 9. Ben Njie, 14. Deane Alterio, 16. Lee-Navu Faunt, 17. James Bonomi

Red Devils Ben Njie scored his 2nd goal within the week for Redlands United to seal the win over SWQ Thunder. Photo Ray Gardner