Brisbane Strikers are now top of the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland standings following a 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar Youth at Perry Park on Saturday night.
First half goals to Cameron Draper and Trent Clulow secured Strikers a two-goal advantage at half-time before Thomas Miller pulled a goal back for the hosts in the second half.
The win is Strikers second over Young Roar this season and puts paid to Young Roar’s seven match unbeaten run in PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland.
A physical start to the contest saw the teams exchange early chances – Sam Knight heading over the crossbar for Strikers before Connor O’Neill forced a save from former Roar goalkeeper Fraser Chalmers in his Strikers debut.
The breakthrough came just after the quarter hour when Draper headed home at the back post from Scot Coulson’s corner to record his second goal of the campaign.
Young Roar spurned the chance to draw level midway through the half when skipper Cameron Crestani scooped his shot over the crossbar shortly before Clulow hit the crossbar from outside the penalty box.
However, Clulow popped up again only minutes later to double Strikers’ advantage with his seventh score of the season – turning home Fraser Hills’ cross from inside the six yard box.
Clear cut opportunities proved elusive for both sides until just before hour when Miller pounced on teammate Stephen O’Neill’s blocked shot – his first senior PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland goal.
Young Roar finished the contest strongly but proved unable to again beat the determined Chalmers.
The Striker custodian denied Daniel Leck with ten minutes remaining before Dane Ingham spurned a last minute chance to split the points by failing to find the target at close range.
Speaking post-match, Strikers coach Kevin A’herne-Evans credited his side’s strong early start as key to the result and said his side were building towards the Finals Series
“If there’s anything that we’ve proven this year is that we have a really good ability to win tough games,” he said.
Young Roar coach John Sime said his side turned things around in the second half but their first half performance ultimately cost points.
“We knew how they were going to play and they were going to press us high and in the first half we just didn’t cope with it,” he said.
Brisbane Roar FC Youth 1 (Thomas MILLER 57’)
Brisbane Strikers FC 2 (Cameron DRAPER 17’, Trent CLULOW 29’)