Lions FC 4 (Hatfield 33′, 52′; Shepherd 36′ pen; Jarrard 90+4′)
Brisbane Strikers 0
Chris Hatfield goals either side of the break helped Lions FC to a 4-0 success over Brisbane Strikers in this rescheduled and reversed clash that was originally rained off over the weekend at Perry Park.
A Nathan Shepherd penalty and late header from Tommy Jarrard rounded out the scoring with Lions controlling large swathes of the game throughout.
In a first half largely devoid of many clear cut opportunities from either side, the hosts struck shortly after the half hour mark when Marek Madle worked his way into the box and forced a block out of Striker’s keeper Bon Scott but Hatfield was on hand to guide the rebound into the back of the net.
Madle was in the thick of the action again minutes later when Referee Tony Sarai adjudged Striker’s defender Gabriel Hawash of catching the Lions front man as he looked to pounce onto a loose ball. Nathan Shepherd stepping up to dispatch the ball beyond Scott.
Lions should have made it 3-0 going into half time when a pin point cross from Josh Brindell-South was met by the head of Shaun Carlos but his effort flashed wide of the post.
After the break, Lions continued to dominate and Hatfield was rewarded in the 53rd minute when he worked his way to the goal line, cut back inside and curled his strike beyond the desperate reach of Scott and inside the far post.
A minute later, Brindell-South flashed an effort across the face of goal, narrowly wide of the upright.
The second term saw Strikers work a handful of opportunities and Andy Pengelly will perhaps be pondering how he wasn’t awarded a free kick when seemingly bundled over by Jarrard. Referee Sarai waving away the visitors appeals.
The closest the visitors went to scoring came with 10 minutes remaining. Pengelly forcing Luke Borean into a good save before Fraser Hills follow up effort was blocked by the Lions defence.
The Lions supporters were treated to the return of Jheison Macuace who entered the fray as a second half sub for the impressive Hatfield for his first start in 2019 since making a recent return to the club.
With time almost up, the hosts put the icing on the cake deep in added time when Jarrard rose highest to head home Adam Sawyer’s corner. The full time whistle sounding immediately from the restart to see Lions extend their streak to five straight victories as well as five straight clean sheets.
Action returns to Lions Stadium this weekend when Lions face Brisbane Roar Youth.
“Firstly I’d like to thank Brisbane Strikers and Football QLD for making this happen tonight. It was great that both clubs worked together with Football QLD and got this game to go ahead.”
On the game:
“It was ok. There were times we were very good and there were times it was very scrappy and it was disappointing how sometimes we played on the ball. That said it’s a fifth clean sheet in a row so I can’t be unhappy and we’re still building and I know where we can get to with this side, we’re not there yet so that’s promising and there’s positives from tonight.”
On the return of Jheison Macuace:
“We’ve always had one spot available. We are hoping to get Mitch Hore back some time through the season but there was the one spot left to fill and Jheison has come in. We didn’t know if we’d get him back this season but we did. He needs to build up his fitness slowly. We gave him 15-20 minutes tonight and were pretty happy with what he did.”
Team Line ups:
Borean (gk), Simic, Jarrard, Sawyer, Brindell-South, Shepherd, Thompson, Carlos, Kim, Madle, Hatfield.
Subs: Riley (rgk), Reardon, Macuace, Walpole, Jelacic.
Scott (gk), Maher, Halliday, Palmer, Pengelly, Maltby, Scaroni, Gordon, Omori, Entrop, Hawash.
Subs: Mesaric (rgk), Hills, Matcham, McDermott, Wilson.
Referee: Tony Sarai