Following Friday Night’s last minute loss to Rochedale, Redlands United had to re-group and backup Tuesday evening against Sunshine Coast Fire, at Cleveland’s Compass Grounds, to pick up a valuable 3 competition points and keep the pressure on leaders Rochedale Rovers. Redlands played host to Sunshine Coast Fire in their re-scheduled Round 11 fixture in the Football Queensland Premier League 1 (FQPL 1).
As soon as the match commenced Redlands dominated the play. The majority of the 1st half was played within Fire’s half of the pitch with Redlands continually putting the Fire goal under pressure.
The Fire goalkeeper produced some great saves and their scrambling defense managed to deny many of the home sides scoring opportunities.
On 18 minutes the continual pressure resulted in a Redlands corner where Liam O’Bryan placed the ball perfectly for Noah Hitchcock to leap above the pack of defenders and nod the ball home to give the Red Devils the early lead.
Just 7 minutes later the 2 players combined again from another corner with the same result, Hitchcock leaping above the pack and burying the ball into the net extending Redlands lead to 2-0.
Redlands goalkeeper Joel D’Cruz was only called into action on a couple of occasions as Fire were restricted by Redlands to long range balls trying to catch the defense out. On the one occasion Fire were able to get behind Redlands defense and be one on one with D’Cruz, the Red Devils custodian was up for the challenge and in making the save and clearance, managed to set the Red Devils into another attack.
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, but despite the wealth of possession and creating a number of scoring opportunities throughout the half, the home side was unable to further add to the score line.
Fire came out with a bit more determination and fight in them for the 2nd half as they started pressing hard onto Redlands.
Fire managed more possession in the 2nd half bit still were unable to apply much pressure on the Redlands goal. Fire’s main opportunities came from free kicks whilst also managing to restrict the scoring opportunities for the Red Devils.
On 86 minutes with Redlands holding a firm grip on the game, Ryota Sumiyoshi played an accurate through ball to Deanne Alterio, who although under heavy pressure, guided the ball into the path of Ben Njie who drove into the box and slipped the ball past the despairing keeper and defenders, to make the final score line 3-0 to the Red Devils.
After the match Redlands Head Coach Graham Harvey commented “Good to get back to winning ways. I think we still have a lot more improvement in us”.
Redlands Man of the Match was our tough defender and scorer of 2 of our goals, Noah Hitchcock.
In a hectic period for the Red Devils they are back at Compass Grounds in Cleveland on Saturday as they play host to SWQ Thunder from Toowoomba in their Round 16 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, 17. James Bonomi, 16. Lee-Navc Faunt
Red Devils Noah Hitchcock scored 2 first half goals both from corners to put the home side in a strong position to take the valuable win. Photo Ray Gardner