Redlands United had to overcome a gutsy and resolute Southside Eagles 2-1 on Saturday evening, at Cleveland’s Compass Grounds, to pick up a valuable 3 points and move to second on the ladder. Redlands United played host to Southside Eagles in their Round 14 fixture in the Football Queensland Premier League 1 (FQPL 1).
As soon as the match commenced Eagles were putting Redlands under pressure but the Red Devils defense kept them at bay. From that point on it seemed as if the game was played mainly in Eagles half with the visitors trying to catch Redlands on quick breakaways.
Redlands were continually pressuring the Eagles goal but their dogged defense were proving hard to break down.
Just on 9 minutes Ryan Hughes managed to get in front of his defender only for his shot to be stopped by the keeper but not cleanly. Guil Santana following up gathered the loose ball and kept the play alive only for the ball to eventually go over the crossbar.
Redlands were dominating the play. That changed on 15 minutes when against the run of play Eagles caught Redlands on a fast break down the right, the cross in front of the box saw Eagles Michael Van Gend slide in, past his defender, and push the ball home to give Eagles an unexpected 1-0 lead.
Redlands were not to be denied for too long and just 5 minutes later the Red Devils had their reward for all their possession. Some of Redlands quick passing football from Ben Njie and Santana released Liam O’Bryan at pace into the box and his first time shot rocketed into the net.
The Red Devils moved the ball around trying to spread the defense with their usual speed and one touch movement, and dominated possession in the 1st half. Eagles were reduced to making a couple of counter attack raids but Redlands Goalkeeper Joel D’Cruz was never really challenged. However for all their possession the Red Devils were unable to add to the scoreboard as Eagles scrambling defense were able to hold out the visitors. The score remained 1 all at the half time break.
The Red Devils started the 2nd half as they had finished the 1st, continually pressuring the Eagles goal. The tempo of the game changed completely on 59 minutes when Eagles were reduced to 10 men following a red card incident. From that moment on the game was played predominantly in Eagles half with the visitors defending stoutly with all 10 men behind the ball defending the score line.
Redlands (and their supporters) were becoming more and more frustrated as the game became a seemingly never ending possession of corners as Eagles defended stoutly.
Redlands were moving the ball around trying to move around the Eagles defense but the visitors were steadfast in their role blocking every attempt on goal by the Red Devils despite the amount of pressure being applied to them.
Just as the clock ticked over towards 90 minutes the Red Devils moved the ball forward and Ryota Sumiyoshi put Santana into the box but instead of shooting he laid the ball back where Sumiyoshi made no mistake slotting it past the despairing keeper giving the Red Devils a deserved lead 2-1.
The goal spurred Eagles into action pushing forward trying to find an equaliser, however the Red Devils defense stayed firm and absorbed everything that Eagles sent forward. After 5 minutes of extra time the referee signaled full time and Redlands deserved winners 2-1.
After the match Redlands Head Coach Graham Harvey was happy with the win and how the team stuck to their task and commented, “A tough game conceding first against these guys who make it very difficult for you to break them down, probably not part of our plan but look, credit to our boys who stuck at it and scored probably in injury time there. So yeah pleased that the subs came on and made a difference. The boys have been really good at training this week, so it's kind of nice to see certainly the 2 goals we scored are actually from stuff that we've worked on at training. Yeah credit to the boys obviously now that at 11 games into the season we've got to make sure that the next 2 weeks are really big games for us playing against Rochedale and Toowoomba so we got to make sure we don't slip up.”
Redlands Man of the Match was our hard working number 2 Dylan Brent.
The Red Devils are back on the road next week, but only a short trip to Underwood Park as they prepare for a top of the table clash with Rochedale Rovers in their Round 15 fixture next Friday evening 24 June at 8.30pm with the Under 23’s at 6.30pm.
Redlands United FC
20. Joel D’Cruz 2. Dylan Brent, 3. Max Ellenger, 6. Sam Langley ( C ), 7. Guil Santana, 8. Gabriel Hawash, 9. Ben Njie, 11. Ryan Hughes, 13. Angus Broderick, 15. Liam O’Bryan,
Subs. 1. Ryan Govan, 14. Deane Alterio, 17. James Bonomi, 19. Ryota Sumiyoshi, 21. Byron McLeod,
Red Devils Liam O’Bryan’s first half goal put the home side on even terms before Ryota Sumiyoshi gave Redlands the win late in the game. Photo Ray Gardner