Three debutants were on the score sheet for Western Pride as they accounted for SWQ Thunder 5-2 in their season opener at Briggs Road Complex on Saturday night.
Pride secured the points on the back of a brace to Harry Sawyer in his first PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland match, with fellow debutants Joe Duckworth and Gab Hawash adding to a further goal from Chris Scott.
Thunder stunned Pride inside five minutes when Chris Hewson delivered a sharp low finish to beat Pride goalkeeper Bon Scott on the angle to open the scoring.
However the hosts responded prior to the half hour – Duckworth’s corner kick curling into the goal for his first ever PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland goal
Five minutes later Ajdin Fetahagic picked out Sawyer, who slotted his shot home past Michael Pike in the Thunder goal for his first goal in the competition.
Scott doubled the advantage prior to the break lobbing home his finish after catching Pike off his line.
Thunder fought back after the break, pulling a goal back via Mitchell Tanksy after his innocuous shot evaded the attentions of both a defender and the goalkeeper to cross the line.
Pride didn’t pull away until the final five minutes when Sawyer netted his second – turning his defender out wide before delivering a stunning finish from the edge of the area.
Hawash iced the result with a final goal in time added on for the hosts – also his first in PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland.
Pride coach Karl Dodd said he was happy with the performance of a large number of players
“There was a lot of nervous energy, so it was just good to get the result and get that game out of the way,” he said.
Dodd later added, “Together as a group they did well. I’m not big on singling out a player because I like the mantra that it’s a team and we all work as a team.”
Western Pride FC 5 (Joe DUCKWORTH 24’, Harry SAWYER 29’ 85’, Chris SCOTT 37’, Gab HAWASH 90+3’)
SWQ Thunder FC 2 (Chris HEWSON 4’, Mitchell TANKSY 65’)