Lions FC 5 (Farina 15′, 51′, 58′ pen; Mikkola 24′; Solorzano 90+1)
Redlands United 1 (Santana 81′)
A hat-trick for Jordan Farina capped off a largely comfortable victory against joint bottom side Redlands United at Lions Stadium on Friday evening.
Lions took the lead on the quarter hour mark when Finn Beackhurt’s cross evaded Redlands keeper Duncan Short and Farina was on hand to guide the ball in on the bounce from the edge of the six yard box.
The lead was doubled ten minutes later, again with a move down the right side. This time, Ethan Docherty’s pin point cross was neatly headed home by Max Mikkola.
Farina went close to securing his hat trick in the first half. Just before the half hour mark he was denied by a superb tip over save from Duncan when the Lions striker’s header looked destined for the back of the net, whilst he should have easily found the back of the net towards the end of the half. A good run from Alex Fiechtner saw his cut back pass evade some desperate Redlands defending and find the feet of Farina who somehow blasted over from six yards out when it looked easier to score.
Farina did however make amends shortly after the restart when once again Fiechtner picked out the Lions front man and from the edge of the box drilled his shot beyond Short.
His hat trick was completed just before the hour mark when he stepped up to dispatch a spot kick past Short following a foul on Mikkola by United’s Craig Peck who, having already received a caution, was fortunate to stay on the park.
Lions continued to press forward. Andy Thompson forcing another good save from Short with a long range effort whilst substitute Jean Carlos Solorzoano was guilty of missing an open goal when he managed to leave the ball behind him following another Fiechtner cross towards the back post which had Short stranded.
The Costa Rican did however find the net in added time, heading in at the far post when fellow sub Zach Maltby headed back across goal from a free kick.
Maltby caused havoc deeper in added time when his run and cross was almost turned in to his own goal by United defender James Piercy. Short coming to the rescue with a good save.
United did dent the home side’s clean sheet with a consolation goal from Guilherme Santana who poked the ball past Luke Borean after Lions failed to deal with a rare United attack.
It had taken until after the half hour mark for the visitors to register an attempt on goal and they rarely threatened throughout the contest, often camped inside their own half.
Despite the scoreline, Lions seemed to drop in quality in the second half, albeit from some rough treatment from United, including a cynical foul from Connor Maher on Lions captain Matija Simic which forced him off the field with around 15 minutes left on the clock.
Lions next outing sees them head to Compton Park for the rescheduled FFA Cup RD4 clash away to Logan Metro on Tuesday evening. Their next league outing sees them head to Gold Coast United next Saturday.
Team Line ups:
Borean (gk), Simic, Jarrard, Thompson, Docherty, Duckworth, Farina, Mikkola, Shepherd, Beakhurst, Fiechtner.
Subs: Murphy (rgk), Minett, McGrath, Maltby, Solorzano.
Redlands United FC:
Short (gk), Brent, Behan, Piercy, Langley, Sanatana, Hawash, Emoto, Westerdale, Peck, Bonomi.
Subs: D’Cruz (rgk), Kuboyama, Gibbs, Lukonga, Maher, Dibbs.
Referee: Saed Alipour