Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)
Brisbane Strikers are on the verge of securing a semi-finals berth at the BLK Silver Boot after a 3-0 win against Logan Lightning in their Tuesday night Group A match.
Goals in the first half to Fraser Hills complimented by Jesse Wiemers and Shaun Carlos ensured victory for the NPL Grand Finalists against their catchment club.
There were promising signs for the Strikers early on as Wiemers delivered a cross in for Rhys Meredith, then playing on for Carlos but he skied over the bar
A goal-mouth scramble down the other end almost resulted in Logan claiming an opener.
The opening Strikers goal came as a result of some deft midfield play with Hills collecting near the halfway line then playing off for Carlos who quickly touched on to Hills continuing on his run before calmly beating Logan keeper Doug Blaikie in a one-on-one opportunity.
Hills then looked to play provider as he delivered a cross for a waiting Trent Clulow inside the six-yard box only for the defence to clear.
Both teams struggled to find traction in the final third until Matt Lyell came up with a skimming cross for Josh Sherwood at the back post that the Strikers defence responded to in time.
Strikers rounded out the final five minutes of the half with two half-chances that Meredith and Chris Maher were unable to put on target.
Strikers came up with their second from a dead-ball opportunity when Chris Maher was brought down at the edge of the box on a trajectory toward goal. Jesse Wiemers curled the resulting free kick around the wall and inside the far post.
Logan persisted in getting something out of the match in the final ten minutes placing pressure on the Strikers defensive line but those aspirations were snuffed out when Carlos converted a short corner with three minutes remaining.
Lightning were denied a consolation goal on the stroke of full-time by the crossbar.
The result gives the Strikers their second consecutive victory in Group A meaning that a draw in next week’s match against Mitchelton would be good enough to secure a berth in the tournament’s semi-finals.
Brisbane Strikers 3 (Fraser Hills 14’, Jesse Wiemers 62’, Shaun Carlos 87’) v Logan Lightning 0
Brisbane Strikers: Michael Weier (GK), Jesse Wiemers, Greig Henslee, Matt Green, Sam Knight, Chris Maher, Fraser Hills, Shaun Carlos, Trent Clulow, Rhys Meredith, Shelford Dais, Jake Marshall, Jake McLean, Michael Angus, Alistair Davis, Seb Usai (GK)
Logan Lightning: Doug Blaike (GK), Sam Peacock, Jake Sherwood, Fernando Bedoya, Matt Lyell, Anthony Rudken, Jamie Saul, Richard Greer, Greg Gourley, Phil Randall, Josh Sherwood, Daley Kemel, Alex Warrilow, Petar Kostovski, Jed Brown, Nick Moore (GK)