Thunder need extra time again

Nykodah Smith delivered an extra-time winner to guide SWQ Thunder past West Wanderers 1-0 in Westfield FFA Cup qualifying on Wednesday night.

The match was destined for penalties until Smith’s driven strike from the top of the 18-yard box sealed Thunder’s first competitive win of 2015.

The result sees Thunder as the last team remaining from the South West Queensland Zone after five rounds of Westfield FFA Cup Qualifying fixtures. 

Kicking off in icey conditions, Thunder dominated their Toowoomba Premier League opposition through-out but were repeatedly denied by Wanderers goalkeeper Matt Edgerton through-out the match.

Chances repeatedly presented for Smith, Harry Scott and Tom Fanning in regular time but the trio were unable to find a way past the Wanderers gloveman.

Thunder’s superior conditioning began to tell in extra-time but Wanderers continued to hold firm under intense pressure until Smith struck his third competitive goal of 2015 seven minutes from the end of extra time.

The win sees Thunder qualify to face Gold Coast Zone qualifiers and fellow NPL Queensland club Palm Beach SC in the next round.

Speaking post-match, Thunder coach Chris Wilkes said he was delighted that his side maintained their positivity against an opponent seemingly determined to defend.

“I’d hate to see the possession stats and the shots but at the end of day you just need some composure to put the ball away. We played a bit of footy but the other team nearly prevailed.”

Wilkes continued the comparison in approach by adding, “When you play in the NPL you got to play football and if you don’t you’re a black sheep in the group.”

SWQ Thunder FC  1 (Nykodah SMITH 113’)
West Wanderers FC  0