Lions FC 3 (Maltby 16′, 30′; Farina 81’)
Sunshine Coast Wanderers 0
New recruit Zack Maltby’s first half brace and fellow debutant Jordan Farina’s late strike secured the Foundation Cup for Lions FC as the head towards the opening game of the NPL QLD season next weekend.
Maltby got the better of his opponent when latching onto Farina’s neat pass and guiding the ball low past Wanderers keeper Griffin Bambach.
The Lions number 9, a summer signing from Brisbane Strikers, then doubled his and Lions tally on the half hour mark. Nathan Reardon’s headed flick on from a corner saw a goal mouth scramble which Maltby capitalised on by prodding the ball past Bambach.
The only real chance of the half for the visitors came the way of a wayward kick out from Lions custodian Luke Borean that fell into the path of Wanderer’s Harry Arnison who’s first time strike from just inside his own half which looked to be heading towards goal only to fade away wide.
The second term was a closer contest with both sides going close to scoring. Riley Campbell dragging a shot just wide for the away side whilst at the other end Henry Hore twice called Bambach into action with sharp saves.
Midway through the half Borean made a superb save to his left to deny Jyi Oakes following a free kick on the edge of the box and moments later he proved his pedigree as one of the best keepers in the state when guessing the right way to save Wanderer’s captain Jeremy Stewart’s spot kick after the same player had been felled in the box.
That proved pivotal for the hosts who then seemed to lift again and 10 minutes later they sealed the result when Danny Kim’s pin point through ball unleashed Farina who slipped the ball past the onrushing Bambach.
It was a solid contest which for the most part the hosts bossed. Henry Hore was perhaps fortunate to see the game out having already picked up a caution in the first half for a lunging tackle and repeating that ill deed in the second half. Referee David Weibe maybe unsighted.
The result gives Lions the perfect start to 2020 as they head towards their opening NPL title defence fixture next weekend at home to Moreton Bay Utd.
“The new boys have slotted in nicely and it’s not by accident. When we’re bringing new players in, not only do they have to have the qualities on the pitch but off the pitch as well. Zack and Jordan have been fantastic and glad they got their goals tonight. It wasn’t just how they put them away but their work ethic as well.”
“As far as the squad and expectations, we had a culture day here a couple of weeks ago where the players set down their own goals and expectations. It’s up to me to reinforce and remind of them of those expectations but we certainly want to do the best we can as a squad.”
Lions FC: Borean (gk), Jarrard, Thompson, Reardon, H. Hore, Duckworth, Brindell-South, Kim, Farina, Maltby, Carlos.
Subs: Oestreich (rgk), Shepherd, Thompson, McDonald, McGrath.
Sunshine Coast Wanderers: Bambach (gk), Stewart, Morse, Batista, Hawkins, Parkinson, Arnison, Campbell, Oakes, Moore, Taylor.
Subs: Reed (rgk), Duncan, Gibbs, Koto, Williams.
Referee: David Wiebe