Surfers wipes out Thunder

IMG_3937Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)

Surfers Paradise have beaten an NPL side for the second time in a row in a tense 5-3 win over SWQ Thunder. A Lyndon Dykes hat-trick for the home side was the catalyst for the victory with goals also to Wade Russell and Burcin Yorulmaz while Thunder’s goals came through Mustafa Jafari, Nykodah Smith and Kimba Kimbombo.

Surfers Paradise got off the best of starts when Thunder defender Xavier Pratt clashed with Brandon Gomez in the box. Referee Adam Kersey had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Up stepped Dykes, returning after missing the previous round win over Gold Coast City, who made no mistake in drilling the spot kick past Luke Borean.

Dykes was unlucky not to make it 2-0 within minutes. Attempting to head home a Jack Boxell cross, his diving effort fell narrowly wide of the upright.

Dykes continued to be the focus up front for his side. On the quarter hour, he skimmed a shot along the ground from outside the box that touched the outside of the post.

Thunder’s first chance of the game came a minute later when Tom Fanning played in Jafari forcing a diving but comfortable save from Faider Roser-Metia.

Surfers would extend their lead shortly after with a delightful backheel Davide Landoni for the advantage of Nikki Felizato who delivered a splendid cross for Russell to head home to back up his goal that sealed Apollo’s win against Gold Coast City in the previous round.

Surfers conceded in the 25th minute after confusion reigned in their defensive unit. That allowed Jafari to take advantage from close range to reduce the deficit back to one.

Despite conceding, Surfers continued to look the better side in attack and after being released by Dykes, Brandon Gomez put a cross in for Felizato who must have thought he had his side’s third after beating Borean but instead hit the upright with the rebound sitting up nicely for the SWQ keeper to collect just before Felizato could get a second bite of the cherry.

From there, Thunder played a deep press into the halftime break in order to pressure the Gold Coasters. Jafari had the only real opportunity in the remaining minutes with a lobbed attempt from 25 yards that went over the bar.

Thunder came out firing after the restart in order to get back on level terms and were able to do that after Tom Fanning’s run down the left. He linked up with Smith who finished high into the net to make it 2-2.

Smith had an opportunity two minutes later after being played in for a free kick but glanced wide.

The momentum began to swing back Surfers way again and they hit the lead again after Dykes scored with a header past a desperate Borean.

Jafari looked the main threat for the Apollo defence. His cross for substitute Majok Piok was well executed to the far post but the ball narrowly slid by in what would have been an opem net finish.

Dykes class shone out in his third goal for the evening. A low skimming shot barrelled across the face into the back stick gave Borean no chance and Apollo’s two goal lead was restored.

Thunder wouldn’t be done just yet though. Fanning drew a sharp save out of Roser-Metia which lead to a corner from which Kimbombo was able to bring it back to a one-goal game again with ten minutes to play.

Any hopes of Thunder forcing extra time were dashed when Burcin Yorulmaz’s goal sealed the win on 90 minutes.

Surfers Paradise will host the winner of Sunday afternoon’s match between the NPL’s Sunshine Coast Fire and Bundaberg’s United Park Eagles on Saturday 11 June.

Surfers Paradise 5 (Lyndon Dykes 5′ (pen), 56′, 67′, Wade Russell 17′, Burcin Yorulmaz 90′) v SWQ Thunder 3 (Mustafa Jafari 25′, Nykodah Smith 48′, Kimba Kimbombo 80′)

Surfers Paradise : Faider Roser-Metia, Bruno Rodriguez, Jean-Philip Lasm, Jack Boxell, Wade Russell, Davide Landoni, Acim Tomic, Nikki Felizato, Brandon Gomez, Lyndon Dykes, Tolga Yorulmaz. Subs: Cian Cuba, Simone Mangiante, Borko Tomic, Shota Nakagawa, Burcin Yorulmaz.

SWQ Thunder: Luke Borean, Rowan Salomon, Keagan Sheridan, Ben Barrowclift, Xavier Pratt, Jackson Hausler, Tom Fanning, Mustafa Jafari, Jacob Bigby, Lachlan Atkinson, Nykodah Smith. Subs: Majok Piok, Kyle Parish, Jackson Franke, Kimba Kimbombo, Anthony  Passante.

Referee: Adam Kersey