Lions FC 7 (Duckworth 18′, 32′ 87′; H. Hore 21′, 60′; M. Hore 34′; Madle 48′)
Magpies Crusaders 0
A Joe Duckworth hat trick capped off a comfortable evening for Lions FC as they dominated from start to finish in a 7-0 success over Magpies Crusaders on Saturday night, with the hosts going top of the NPL ladder following title rivals Peninsula Power’s defeat at home to Redlands Utd earlier in the evening.
The hosts started fiercely, almost taking the lead in the opening minute when Henry Hore forced an early save from Crusaders keeper Mitch Wright.
Lions almost paid for some loose defending moments later though when the experienced Michael Lyall made Luke Borean work to keep out his effort on 6 minutes and the hosts had to thank the assistant referee’s flag being raised soon after when the visitors did have the ball in the back of the net, but an offside in the build up saw it ruled out.
Lions continued to press however and after seeing a couple of chances go by, they took the lead just before the 20 minute mark, drilling the ball low past Wright after receiving it on the edge of the box and cutting on to his left foot to fire in.
Three minutes later Lions doubled their lead. Josh Brindell-South with a surging run into the box before picking out Jheison Macuace who teed the ball to Henry Hore who slotted home.
The hosts by this point were in total control and just after the half hour, Duckworth got his second to put his side up 3-0. A foul on Henry Hore just outside the box presented the perfect opportunity for the Lions number 10 who curled the ball around the wall and inside the post.
Three became four just 3 minutes later when Mitch Hore put his name on the score sheet after great work from sibling Henry who made a powerful run towards the back line before cutting it back for Mitch to finish from close range.
The introduction of striker Marek Madle after the break yielded immediate results when he got to the ball first from Brindell-South’s cross across the six yard box as Lions hit the second half running to put the contest out of reach of Crusaders.
Madle almost found the net again moments later when put through but with Wright advancing off his line, Madle could only get a foot to it and lob the ball wide of the mark.
On the hour mark Henry Hore got his second of the night and Lions sixth. Neat build up play from the hosts seeing them swamp forward in numbers and with the ball finding him in the box, he made no mistake from 10 yards out.
With time running, it was another free kick late on that saw Duckworth earn himself the match ball. In a similar position to his first half strike, this time curling his shot into the bottom left corner with a struggling Wright unable to keep it out.
Eventually Crusaders tough day at the office came to an end as Lions kept another clean sheet and enhanced their goal difference as they leap frogged Peninsula Power at the top of the table for the first time this season. A game in hand also gives the Richlands side a distinct advantage as they now have the title within reach and their’s to lose.
Next weekend they return to Lions Stadium to face Western Pride.
“I thought it was a bright game first 15 minutes where we then got the goal and from there we seemed to take control. We probably took advantage of the fact they were a but heavy legged from the flight down and I believe they had a few delays on their route to Brisbane but we made them pay and we got to half time 4-0 up and obviously the game was over by that point.”
“Even with the lead we had to go on and make sure we went on with the job and I thought we were very professional for the full 90 minutes.
Team Line ups:
Borean (gk), Jarrard, M. Hore, H. Hore, Duckworth, Macuace, Reardon, Brindell-South, Thompson, Kim, Carlos.
Subs: Riley (rgk), Madle, Sawyer, Clark, Toscano.
Magpies Crusaders FC
Wright (gk), Krissian, Walters, Brookes, Lyall, Haspels, Connor, Dunn, Burgess, Kennell.
Subs: Starrett, Coombes, Lewong.
Referee: Alex King