Lions FC 3 (Mikkola 3′ pen, 4′; Farina 59′)
Gold Coast Utd 1 (Smeltz 63′)
Two goals inside the opening four minutes proved decisive as Lions took all three points against Grae Piddick’s Gold Coast Utd side with a 3-1 success at Lions Stadium.
The game sprung into life in less than two minutes on the clock. Zach Maltby was released down the right and made a robust run into the penalty box before getting bundled over by United’s Josh McLuckie who picked up an injury in the process and would be replaced soon after. Max Mikkola finding the back of the net from the resulting spot kick despite slipping over as he struck the ball.
Lions doubled their lead less than a minute later. A superb through ball from Shaun Carlos once again set Maltby on his way, this time he teed the ball across the six yard box for Mikkola to Cruyff finish the move at the near post and get his second of the game.
Things settled into a rhythm following the blockbuster opening with further chances less frequent.
Alex Fiechtner with a couple of chances. The first coming midway through the half when he saw his effort blocked by United keeper Aaron Romein and his next coming shortly before the half time break when released one on one with Romein, but his attempted lob when wide of the post.
The hosts added to their advantage just before the hour mark. Maltby winning a free kick just to the right of Gold Coast’s penalty area. Mikkola delivered the ball in which was initially parried by Romein but the ball fell at the feet of Jordan Farina who bundled it in from close range.
The visitors did reduce the deficit soon after. Former A-League and NZ International striker Shane Smeltz sliding the ball past Luke Borean on 63 minutes following a neat move down the left side from United.
Fiecthner was again denied by Romein on 70 minutes when played in one on one with the United keeper. Romein saving well initially and then the Lions striker snatching the follow up across the face of goal.
Things got worse for United when in added time they were reduced to ten men. Blake Thompson shown a second yellow card for deliberately handling Ethan Docherty’s shot in the box. Joe Duckworth stepping for the penalty duties with Mikkola having been substituted earlier and sending Romein the wrong way only to see his shot slam into the post.
It proved to be inconsequential however as Darren Sime’s side claimed all three points to maintain there grip on third spot and keep pressure up on second placed side Brisbane Roar Youth.
Next up for Lions is a tough away trip to Goodwin Park to face Olympic FC next Sunday, who are themselves fighting for a top four berth and is a clash that will likely be fiercely contested.
Team Line ups:
Borean (gk), Thompson, Minnett, Duckworth, Fiechtner, Docherty, Beakhurst, Carlos, Mikkola, Maltby, Farina.
Subs: Murphy (rgk), Shepherd, Solorzano, McGrath, Baty, Khemis.
Gold Coast Utd:
Romein (gk), Tabillon, Campbell, Smith, Fagence, McLukie, Smeltz, Thomson-King, Thompson, Endean.
Subs: Bambach (rgk), Hughes, Dearn, Koloski, Wahab, Rutty.