Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)
New FNQ coach Tim Campbell got his coaching debut at NPL level off to a winning start after his side accounted for a ten-man Olympic 3-1 in warm conditions at Goodwin Park on Sunday afternoon.
First half goals to Jamie Carroll and Josh Pin saw a reply during the second half from Olympic’s Youeil Shol. Crios O’Hare killed off the contest with five minutes remaining.
New captain Carroll got the Heat off to the best of starts as he was able to finish on a move that started with an Olympic turnover that Shaun Owens picked up on, playing it for Pin picking out Carroll who finished a one-on-one first time.
Carroll continued to threaten the Olympic line but was denied by the assistant’s flag minutes later.
Tempers frayed in the twelfth minute when Kosi Yannakopoulos went in for a challenge on Ari Isman. Referee Alex King deliberated with his linesman and between them came up with the decision to issue a straight red leaving Olympic with ten men in the oppressive conditions.
Olympic struggled to get forward as the Heat defence cut out any balls going into the final third. Sam Cronin had a rare opportunity but scuffed his shot wide.
The home side’s best opportunity of the half came when Youeil Shol played on for Danny Byrne who put a dangerous cross into the box that Charlie Beverly ultimately had to clear for a corner.
Pin was rewarded for his persistence as between he and Kieran Sanders they exchanged quick passes that the Olympic defence repelled first time but Pin was on hand in a later phase of play to extend the lead out to 2-0.
It was almost three minutes later when Carroll chipped over Mooney, the ball seemingly in slow motion dribbled just wide of the upright.
Pin too attempted to chip the keeper a minute later but with a similar result to his teammate.
Carroll and Sanders linked up playing in Jamie Gosling. He went on a zigzag run inside the box that resulted in Mooney making the save at feet.
Sanders had a penalty shout waved away with five minutes remaining in the half while Carroll attempted to curl a free kick into the top left corner on the stroke of halftime.
Carroll had two chances five minutes after the restart, one cleared by Matt Mundy near the line, the other kept out by Mooney.
Heat had the chance to put the game to bed when Sanders was brought down in the box by Mooney near by the by-line. Gosling’s resulting penalty attempt was saved though in a moment of redemption.
Straight after Beverley looked to have scored but in a common theme for the Heat, the assistant’s flag went up again.
Mooney put in a great save to deny Sanders low against the upright.
Olympic got back in the match though when Shol made a run that drew in defender Shimon Watanabe and keeper Kevin Ward, perhaps his first significant action of the day and he calmly slotted away.
Heat were straight back into things though when Gosling put a lethal cross in that was only inches away from substitute Crios O’Hare from glancing home a header.
Sanders continued to be influential for his side, playing in O’Hare and then Cam Nucifora in a crowded pack but he was off-balance in his attempt on goal.
Heat still looked good for a killer blow and O’Hare was guilty of selfishness in continuing to persist with Mooney in close range when he should have used Gosling in better position and virtually unmarked.
O’Hare was the villain again when Mqondisi Nkiwane delivered a golden pass. He should have beaten Mooney at the near post but instead shot wide.
It was third time lucky for O’Hare though with Olympic chasing a result they were left short at the back and this time he delivered a composed finish after rounding Mooney.
Olympic 1 (Youeil Shol 64’) v FNQ Heat 3 (Jamie Carroll 5’, Josh Pin 26’, Crios O’Hare 85’)
Red Card: Kosi Yannakopoulos (Olympic) 14’
Olympic: Nick Mooney, Liam O’Bryan, James Cuminao, Bobby Irving, Scott Bow, Matt Mundy, Logan Grillo (Matt Gordon 85’), Danny Byrne, Kosi Yannakopoulos, Sam Cronin (Abel Fesseha 79’), Youeil Shol. Subs not used: Ryan Roderick, Nathan Castiglione, Dakota Sprange.
FNQ Heat: Kevin Ward, Shaun Owens, Shimon Watanabe, Charlie Beverley, Ari Isman, Jamie Gosling, Josh Pin (Cam Nucifora 72’), Jamie Carroll (Crios O’Hare 59’), Kieran Sanders (Mqondise Nkiwane 79’), Darcy McCormack, Bronson Koppen. Subs not used: Matt Filip, Josh Wilson.