Saturday evening away in Mackay the Red Devils sealed promotion back up into the National Premier League (NPL) with a 4 goal victory. Redlands United FC were in Mackay to play their Round 21 FQPL1 match against Magpies Crusaders United FC.
Playing their usual confident attacking style of football coupled with a solid defense, the Red Devils ran out 4-0 winners away from home.
After game Football Queensland announced that wins to Redlands and Rochedale Rovers meant that the 2 sides could not be knocked out of the top 2 positions and both sides have gained promotion to the NPL for season 2023. The premiership is still to be decided between the sides with only a point separating them on the table with 2 rounds to play.
The Magpies keeper was the busier of the 2 custodians in the 1st half with Redlands defense confidently shutting down the Magpies attacking raids. Redlands on the other hand continued to pressure the home side’s goal creating a number of scoring opportunities.
On 25 minutes Redlands scored the only goal of the half when a typical flowing attacking raid had the Magpies’ defense scrambling. Guil Santana’s driven shot was deflected away from the moving keeper to open the scoring. The Magpies’ keeper produced some great saves during the 1st half to keep his side only trailing by the sole goal at the half time break.
As the 2nd half commenced the Red Devils quickly extended their lead. Redlands applied pressure right from the kick off and after only a couple of minutes when the home side struggled to clear the ball Redlands applied more pressure and the ball fell to Santana out wide right in the box and he made no mistake to give the Red Devils a 2 goal lead.
Five minutes later, good flowing play down the field allowed Ryota Sumiyoshi to take the ball to the goal line and put in a pin point cross to Ryo Emoto in the middle of the box. With one touch he rounded his defender and slotted the ball home to make it 3 goals for the visitors.
With 71 minutes gone Santana had his 2nd goal and Redlands 4th when Ryan Hughes went past a few defenders and lobbed the ball into the box where Ben Njie headed the ball down to Santana who drilled his shot home.
Redlands continued to pressure Magpies for the remainder of the half but despite creating more scoring opportunities were unable to add further to the final score line with Redlands running out victors 4 goals to nil.
After the game Redlands Head Coach Graham Harvey was pleased with his side’s performance and commented, “Really pleased with that performance. Away from home with the travel it's always nice to get three points and a clean sheet. Massive congratulations to the boys, John, Griff, Sav and the board of the club who have backed us this season. Two more games to go!!”
Redlands Man of the Match was our hardworking defender Dylan Brent.
Next weekend Redlands are back at Cleveland for their final home fixture of the regular season before the finals. Saturday we play host to the in-form Western Pride for the Round 21 clash at 6pm in a crucial encounter for both sides.
Redlands United FC
1. Ryan Govan, 2. Dylan Brent, 3. Max Ellenger, 6. Sam Langley ( C ), 7. Guil Santana, 9. Ben Njie,
10. Ryo Emoto, 12. Noah Hitchcock, 13. Angus Broderick, 17. James Bonomi, 19. Ryota Sumiyoshi
Subs. 20. Joel D’Cruz, 5. Mitch Bird, 11. Ryan Hughes, 14. Deanne Alterio, 24. Daniel Varma
Red Devils Man of the Match Dylan Brent moves the ball back into attack. Photo Ray Gardner