Western Pride became the second team to record consecutive wins in 2015, defeating Northern Fury 1-0 at Briggs Road Complex on Saturday night.
Harrison Sawyer’s first half goal proved decisive for the hosts in a tightly fought contest of few clear cut opportunities for either side.
Opportunities proved particularly sparse in the opening exchanges before Pride started to take the initiative, however it was Fury that came closest in the opening half hour when Jacob Crowley’s free-kick deflected wide of the target.
Pride broke the deadlock on 32 minutes through Sawyer though, the young attacker running on to a well-placed through ball before delivering a solid finish from the edge of the area to beat Fury goalkeeper Joe Simons.
Soon after Fury survived another scare, ultimately clearing the danger after a Pride free-kick resulted in a goal mouth scramble.
As the half drew to a close Fury spurned a pair of chances to equalise – Michael Eisenhut was through on goal but unable to evade onrushing Pride goalkeeper Bon Scott, while Crowley evaded the attentions of three defenders in time addded on before steering his just shot wide of the target.
After the restart Sawyer again proved dangerous but failed to find the target following pressure from the looming Simons after breaking through Fury’s defences.
Immediately after the hour the visitors saw a possible equaliser disallowed when Jake Perry was flagged for offside after pouncing on a fumbled save from Scott.
Lacklustre finishing continued to plague both sides as Pride’s Pete Drager and Fury’s Perry both failed to find the target in quick succession.
Fury finished the stronger but ultimately proved unable to fashion an equaliser – a goal mouth scramble in time added on summing up their night as the final whistle was blown seconds before the ball crossed the line.
The result lifts Pride to top of the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland standings ahead of fellow first round winners Sunshine Coast FC’s clash with FNQ Heat on Sunday.
Speaking post-match, Pride coach Karl Dodd said he was happy with the result and the performance of his players under late pressure from Fury.
“It was a bit of a backs-to-the-wall kind of effort towards the end there. They were really going for it and throwing the kitchen sink at us, but the boys held on,” he said.
Fury coach Ian Ferguson expressed disappointment with the result and with elements of his side’s performance.
“When we create chances we have to be desperate to put them away and I just didn’t see that tonight,” he said.
Western Pride FC 1 (Harrison SAWYER 32’)
Northern Fury FC 0