Moreton Bay Utd 0
(Sent Off: Arop 21′ MBU)
HT 1-0Lions secured their first home win of the season courtesy of an early own goal from the visitors and Joe Duckworth’s second half strike as they defeated 10 man Moreton Bay Utd on Saturday night at Lions Stadium.
The scene was set for a fiery encounter even before kick-off with Jets coach Pouria Nabi and Lions Assistant Coach Darren Sime exchanging words on the field before a ball had even been kicked and the opening period of this Kappa Silver Boot Final rematch saw the tackles flying in, primarily directed towards the team in orange.
Lions took an early lead on five minutes though when Josh Brindell-South, playing in a less familiar right back position, made a penetrating run forward and picking up Shaun Carlos’s neat pass before whipping in a cross that was met by the head of Jets defender Rhys Gwynn-Jones who could only watch in horror as his attempted clearance looped into the top corner of his own net, beyond the reach of keeper Chris Couesnon.
Things got worse for the visitors midway through the half when striker Chom Arop was shown a straight red for lashing out at Lions Marek Madle following a poor challenge from former Lion Alex Janovsky on Danny Kim that earned the Jets skipper a caution. Arop was fortunate to have escaped earlier sanction for a scything challenge on Nathan Shepherd and a further indiscretion moments later that saw referee Anton Shchetinin only give him a verbal warning.
With attention in the middle of the park for Kim’s welfare and the Lions players discussing the antics of the visitors challenges with referee Shchetinin, Arop jogged over from some 30m away to unnecessarily involve himself in the situation before shoving Madle over which also felled keeper Luke Borean in the process. Referee Shchetinin clearly having not got his point across beforehand lost patience with the lanky Jets striker and directed him to the dressing room for an early shower.
Minutes later, Madle almost doubled the lead but his header from Brindell-South’s cross went narrowly wide.
Lions returned from the break and dominated the second term. Joe Duckworth’s powerful drive from the edge of the box on 52 minutes pulling out a brilliant save from last season’s Football Brisbane Gold Medal Winner Couesnon, tipping the ball over his bar.
Moments later Madle again went close and perhaps should have found the back of the net when well placed in the box, only to see his effort drift wide. Just before the hour mark though, his side did double their lead. This time Couesnon could do nothing to prevent Duckworth who, picking up Keegan Jelacic’s neat pass into the box, turned well and guided the ball beyond him into the bottom far corner following a patient build up from the hosts.
Midway through the half Madle was desperately unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself when his effort from inside the box cannoned off the bar.
By now the visitors were resigned to defeat as they struggled to gain any meaningful possession, The hosts switching play from side to side and content to retain the ball in space.
The final whistle eventually ending Jets miserable evening as Warren Moon’s side enjoyed back to back success for the first time this season.
Next weekend sees Lions with a weekend off and considering the injury toll already at this time of the season, it will come at a welcomed time. Their next encounter coming in a fortnight’s time away to promoted side Eastern Suburbs at Heath Park.
“They (MBU) did what I’d expect a lot of sides will do to us this year, sit deeper and make it harder for us to play. With regards the physicality from them tonight, it’s certainly a tactic in the game and its up to the referee to control that. Its not up to me how to control their players, its for the referee to police that. Overall I’m very pleased with the result.”
“We’ve had to shuffle things around a little. We’ve not been happy with the early start time of the competition and its unrealistic to have players fit and ready to go and we’ve had injuries as a result. Andy Thompson was unable to start the game tonight, Adam Sawyer was unable to start also so we’ve reshuffled Nathan Shepherd into left back tonight and Josh to right back and we had young Keegan starts again. It is what it is and we work with the players we’ve got and we work to win the points and tonight we did.”
On the upcoming bye. “I think we need it. Its come at a good time for us. We’ve picked up two more injuries from tonight’s game, so it’s probably come at a very good time. We can have a break, let the boys recover and come back firing for Easts away.”
Team Line ups:
Borean (gk), Simic, Jarrard, Hatfield, Brindell-South,, Shepherd, Jelacic, Duckworth, Carlos, Kim, Madle.
Subs: Riley (rgk), Walpole, Thompson, Reardon, Sawyer.
Moreton Bay Utd
Couesnon (gk), Bernardi, Campbell, Arop, R. Gwynn-Jones, Harris, Jafari, Janovsky, Kim, Smith, Tabilon.
Subs: X. Gwynn-Jones (rgk), Dickinson, Strogusz, Sidiqi.
Referee: Anton Shchetinin