Five things… NPL Queensland – Round 13

‘Five things’ is back after the mid-season break although we may not get to five this week. Given we’ve now entered the second half of the season, time to take a look at how the rest of the season may pan out.

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN

At the moment, there are two clear divisions. The top four; Moreton Bay, Brisbane Strikers, Olympic and Brisbane Roar appear to be the ones in contention for the Premiership race. Just four points separate the top three and despite the Roar sitting nine points off first, they have two games in hand on the top-of the table Jets.

That’s the Premiers race and a reminder that while the Roar can be proclaimed Premiers, they are ineligible for the finals series so if they finish top four, the fifth place side will play finals football.

Perfect segue into how that fourth finals spot is developing. At the moment, there’s only one team out of the hunt, that being SWQ Thunder. You can throw a blanket over fifth to eleventh places, six points being the spread between those seven clubs.

The race keeps seesawing, Western Pride and Sunshine Coast have hit a speed bump in recent weeks, that has allowed the teams that defeated them over the weekend, Northern Fury and FNQ Heat to make up some ground. Redlands and Brisbane City’s recent form has them in good stead despite both clubs losing on the weekend, albeit to the top two sides.

The one outfit not yet mentioned is last year’s Premiers and Champions, Palm Beach. They’re not doing it pretty at the moment but it’s effective, hampered by not having an out-an-out goal scorer, their fortunes will be determined by whether they can continue to keep a miserly defence. They also appear to be set to have a say in who will be Premiers, taking points off Olympic in their most recent match.

It all makes for an intriguing conclusion to the season, particularly with a swathe of catch-up matches yet to be scheduled.

REDLANDS AT WOLTER PARK

What is it with Redlands when they make the trek to Moreton Bay? Twice now they have been the subject of some interesting refereeing decisions. In their 2013 match at the venue, a group of New Zealand officials denied them a retake of a penalty after there was encroachment into the box. Instead an indirect free kick was ruled but that didn’t harm the Red Devils, still winning 4-1.

On Saturday night, Redlands had an early corner when the lights went out twenty seconds into the match. Thankfully, they came back on minutes later but instead of restarting where the game left off, it was started afresh again. Redlands can feel hard done being denied the opportunity for an early attacking opportunity but over the course of the match, the Jets deserved their victory.

Redlands quite obviously struggled with the narrower confines, Nico Bechar in particular looked hobbled in not having the space usually available to him at the sparse Cleveland Showgrounds.

Live coverage this weekend:

Saturday 8:30pm – Western Pride v Brisbane Strikers – Football Queensland Live Stream

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