SWQ Thunder 1 (Kimbombo 25′)
HT 0-1A second half Jacob Alexander hat trick and a superb Nathan Reardon volley gave Lions FC a 4-1 come from behind victory over SWQ Thunder who had deservedly led at the break through Kimba Kimbombo’s header on 21 minutes.The first term easily belonged to the visitors from the ‘up the range’ as Lions looked disjointed and out of sorts in much the same way as coach Warren Moon who was sitting in the stand struggling with illness.
Kimbombo almost made Lions pay for some poor marking when played in one on one with keeper Luke Borean inside the first five minutes, but the Lions stopper pulled off a fine save to deny the lively Thunder front man.
It took Lions just over a quarter of an hour to muster their first effort on goal when Chris Maher tested Thunder keeper Jacob Sayle from distance who tipped over his effort.
Moments later and the Lions defence switched off again when a cross from the left was met with a diving header from an unmarked Kimbombo which flashed past Borean to give the visitors the lead.
Further chances were scarce until late in the half with Lions best opportunity coming and going following Reardon’s shot that Sayle could only parry away with Glockner lurking, but the ball wouldn’t sit for the Lions striker and Sayle scrambled to gather the ball at his feet.
Thunder did suffer the blow of losing Kimbombo late in the half following a robust challenge from Alexander minutes earlier.
Whatever the pep talk was at half time, it worked, as Lions came out firing on all cylinders from the outset.
Chris Maher almost struck inside two minutes of the restart when Thunder allowed the ball to bounce and fall free in the box with Maher racing in and getting a foot to it, but Sayle managed to get some part of his body in the way to block the effort.
It wasn’t long after though and Lions did find the equaliser. Reardon breaking down the right side and delivering a deep cross in for Alexander to head home.
Andy Thompson tested Sayle with a long range effort soon after that the Thunder gloveman punched away before Lions took the lead a couple of minutes later, with Alexander grabbing his second following a good build up that saw Mitch Hore deliver in another dangerous cross which Alexander buried from close range.
The Lions winger grabbed his hat trick shortly after the hour mark with Maher laying the ball off for Thompson who’s ball into the box picked out Alexander as he floated in from the far side to fire past Sayle and extend the host’s lead.
He nearly got a fourth a couple of minutes later when again allowed to drift into the box, but his shot was dragged just wide of the upright.
The result was put beyond doubt with just over twenty minutes remaining with what was the goal of the game.
Carter Glockner’s deep cross was met on the volley by Reardon, the ball whistling past a stranded Sayle as Lions made it 4-1.
Lions debutante Jheison Macauce made his first appearance for the club soon after the 70 minute mark, wearing the number 10, he nearly marked his debut with a goal with a 25 yard strike that flew just over the bar with just over five minutes remaining.
It was one way traffic for much of the second term as Lions rounded out the win that keeps them in the top three on the NPL ladder.
Next round see another home fixture with Gold Coast United the visitors to Lions Stadium in a double header that also features the NPLW girls in action against Brisbane Roar NTC.
Kick-off times are 5pm and 7pm.
“I think we had 5 or 6 players that didn’t perform in the first half and when you have that many players making poor choices, it’s always going to impact on your performance. To their credit through, they turned it around for the second half and after we picked out a couple of things we need to work on.”
“Once we got that first goal we were always going to press for more and the boys relaxed and got more into the game.”
Borean (gk), Thompson, Alexander, Simic, Jarrard, Reardon, Hore, Kim, Brindell-South, Maher, Glockner.
Subs: Cuminao (rgk), Solorzano, Carlos, Cosgrove, Macauce.
Sayle (gk), Brusaca, Hall, Bigby, Philip, Kimbombo, Franke, Hatfield, Burgess, Grant, Percy.
Subs: Burgess, Mason, Howard, Banza.