By Rafe Griffin (@griffofootball)
Picture: Gold Coast City’s Blake Thompson leaps high against a Logan Lightning opponent to win a header.
The NPL’s Gold Coast City have started their new life with a 3-1 victory over Brisbane Premier League club Logan Lightning on Saturday afternoon.
After the blistering heat in Brisbane earlier in the week, cooler conditions prevailed for the match with light showers falling during the first half on a Cornubia Park pitch looking in top nick after an off-season recovery.
Both sides battled to get the ball into their forward third during the first ten minutes but it was Gold Coast City who had the best chance to break the stalemate as an unmarked Jarrod Kyle was released by a teammate but he would run foul of the assistant referee’s flag.
Minutes later, it was Kyle who threatened again. Returning after making his last appearance for the club on 30 May, he tested Logan ‘keeper Doug Blaikie from close range only for the former Taringa custodian to pull off a sharp reflex save.
At the other end, Phil Randall almost struck first blood on a counter attack, finding side netting from an acute angle. Duplicating Kyle’s efforts, Randall came up with another chance on goal shortly after. After being one of the unluckiest players in terms of injury in recent years, it was a delight to see him back on the park once more.
Midway through the half, Josh Sherwood who has made the move south to Logan from Capalaba in the off-season, was brought down outside the box. Richard Greer lobbed the ball high over the wall from the resulting free kick but the height of Shane Viitakangas was able to deny the audacious attempt from dipping in under the crossbar.
Picture: New Logan recruit Josh Sherwood.
From there, Gold Coast City found their rhythm and took charge of the remainder of the half. After another counter-attack, former Australian Schoolboys representative Lyndon Dykes who spent much of last year at Redlands was able to play provider for Kyle and he tucked the ball away at the near post to open the scoring on thirty-six minutes.
Five minutes later, Dykes would score a goal of his own to allow his side to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
The second half saw both coaches experiment with players in different positions and make a multitude of interchanges under the trial match conditions.
One of those players to come on for the visitors was former Brisbane Strikers under 18 player, Reuben Douglas. On his return after suffering a serious long-term injury, he provided his side’s third goal of the match within ten minutes of the restart.
Lightning would get on the board mid-way through the half with Anthony Rudken delivering a delightful cross for Stephen Arnold to convert.
Logan continue their pre-season preparations with a match against the NPL’s Moreton Bay Jets next Saturday afternoon.
Earlier, Logan won the women’s match against Gold Coast City 2-0.
In another pre-season men’s result, Western Pride defeated Peninsula Power 4-3 in Ipswich.
Logan Lightning 1 (Stephen Arnold 66’) v Gold Coast City 3 (Jarrod Kyle 36’, Lyndon Dykes 41’, Reuben Douglas 52’)
Logan Lightning: Douglas Blaikie (GK), Pepi Kostovski, Cameron Saint, Nick Efstathis, Daley Kemel, Anthony Rudken, Greg Gourley, Richard Greer, Matt Lyell, Josh Sherwood, Phil Randall, Jake Sherwood, Sam Peacock, Stephen Arnold, Jamie Saul, Jbrill Athumani, Matt Chandler (GK)
Gold Coast City: Shane Viitakangas (GK), Matt Jones, Drew Jeskey, Eoghan Murphy, Blake Thompson, Roman Hoffman, Ben Litfin, Curtis Stollery, Rees Duncan, Jarrod Kyle, Rhys Saunders, Lyndon Dykes, Tyler Wagstaff, Reuben Douglas, Milan Egic (GK), Josh Riis.