Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)
After a lacklustre first half, two goals in five minutes saw Holland Park come away with a 2-1 win in their BLK Silver Boot Group B match against Western Pride.
Sam Roper and Andrew MacAskill did the damage for the newly promoted Brisbane Premier League club with Sean Karambasis scoring a stoppage time consolation for the Pride.
The first forty-five minutes was really nothing more than a training run for both sides in a half that lacked intensity.
The best chance for Holland Park came when Marek Madle tested Pride keeper Duncan Short at the near post inside the first ten minutes while a dead-ball opportunity from Gabby Hawash played in for Corey Lucas who headed wide was the Pride’s most likely opportunity.
If Holland Park’s coach Ben Ryan’s instruction at halftime was for his side to left the intensity, the message was effective.
Dean Briggs had a sharp chance saved by Short before Jack Cabassi whipped in a cross for Madle who couldn’t quite get on target inside the first five minutes after the restart.
That was just the prelude to an improved performance with MacAskill cutting back for Madle but he once again couldn’t open the scoring.
Cue Roper though who sliced through his delivery through the back from outside the box after being provided silver service by Dan Smith from a corner.
Madle continued to provide a continual threat to the Pride defence with two chances in two minutes, the first bringing out the best in Short in saving low to his right while Smith again provided a wicked cross but Madle couldn’t poke it in at the near post from close range.
Jeff Woodward provided the assist for MacAskill’s to poke away for the Hawks second.
Manny Garcia had the chance to put the match beyond doubt with ten minutes remaining with fancy footwork from close range but could only find the top netting.
Western Pride were awarded a penalty in stoppage time which Karambasis placed into the bottom left corner sending Matt Carr the wrong way but the whistle blew shortly after to end proceedings.
The win moves Holland Park to the top of the group ahead of the late match between Redlands and Rochedale.
Holland Park 2 (Sam Roper 60’, Andrew MacAskill 65’) v Western Pride 1 (Sean Karambasis 90+2’ (pen))
Holland Park: Matt Carr (GK), Jack Cabassi, , Kenneth Boyle, Jeff Woodward, Phil Cave, Sam Roper, Pablo Aviles, Dan Smith, Dean Briggs, Andrew MacAskill, Marek Madle, Mark Rasmussen, Schon Hansen, Manny Garcia, William McPherson.
Western Pride: Duncan Short (GK), Alastair Wallis, Joel Haack, Corey Lucas, Doug Brown, Jesse Rigby, Lincoln Rule, Daniel McHenhery, Mitch Bird, Gabby Hawash, Geoff MacIntyre, Jake Minett, Will McFarlane, Sean Karambasis, Cory Leggett, Dylan Williams (GK)