Rochedale’s Late Winner Tips Redlands in the Top of the Table Clash in FQPL

Redlands United made the short trip over to Underwood Park on Friday evening for a Top of the Table clash against Rochedale Rovers in Round 15 of the Football Queensland Premier League 1 (FQPL1).

As the game commenced both teams were cautious and feeling each other out. On 7 minutes Redlands struck.

A good release by Goalkeeper Joel D’Cruz found new recruit Mitch Bird on the halfway where he released Ryo Emoto down the right who took it into the box and laid it back into the path of Bird who was supporting the play and made no mistake to give the Red Devils the lead.

Redlands could have extended the lead just 5 minutes later when Guil Santana played Bird in behind the defense and as he was about to shoot a defender managed to partially block the shot allowing the keeper to easily gather the ball.

Rochedale were straight back into attack but D’Cruz cut the attack short. The game was going from end to end as you would expect from 2 sides looking to secure top place on the table.

With 18 minutes gone Rochedale equalised when from a quick break down the right, a cross was driven across the box where Alex Warrilow’s strong header sailed straight into the top corner of the net.

The remainder of the half was a tight affair with the final 10 to 15 minutes of the half mainly played in Rochedale’s half of the pitch. Redlands were unable to make the territorial advantage count on the scoreboard.

Redlands pressing game resulted in some good opportunities late in the half for Mitch Bird and Sam Langley but Rochedale Keeper Matt Lugo produced a top level save to deny Bird and Langley’s drive from distance just caressed the top of the bar.

At half time the score remained locked at a goal apiece.

The 2nd half commenced with both sides locked in a tight battle. Each side were pushing on but both defenses were able to shut down the attacks.

On 71 minutes D’Cruz was forced to make a critical save when Rochedale managed to get in behind the defense and found themselves one on one with the keeper, but D’Cruz was up for the occasion with a brilliant save.

Both sides were battling to the end as the mist moved in over Underwood Park.

As the game moved into extra time Cooper Mc Cormack picked up a loose ball inside his own half and released it to Warrilow who drilled the ball from 25 meters out into the bottom corner of the net giving D’Cruz no chance and give Rochedale the late winner.

After another couple of minutes of extra time with Redlands pushing hard on Rochedale’s goal, the referee called an end to the game with Rochedale coming out winners 2-1.

Player of the match was our hard working Japanese maestro Ryo Emoto.

A busy few days lay ahead for the Red Devils. Tuesday night we are at home in our re-scheduled Rd 11 FQPL1 fixture against Sunshine Coast Fire at 8pm. We return to Compass Grounds in Cleveland for our Rd 16 fixture against SWQ Thunder from Toowoomba with a 7pm kick off and the Under 23's at 4.45pm.

20. Joel D’Cruz, 2. Dylan Brent, 5. Mitch Bird , 6. Sam Langley ( C ), 7. Guil Santana, 8. Gabriel Hawash, 10. Ryo Emoto, 12. Noah Hitchcock, 13. Angus Broderick, 15. Liam O’Bryan, 19. Ryota Sumiyoshi,

Subs. 3. Max Ellenger, 9. Ben Njie, 14. Deanne Alterio, 17 James Bonomi, 24. Prasiddha Paudyal

Red Devil’s James Bonomi getting the ball into the box. Photo Ray Gardner