Moreton Bay United retained top spot and quashed Western Pride’s hopes of a top four finish with a come-from behind 3-1 win at Briggs Road Complex on Saturday.
Jets surged to victory courtesy of goals to Charles Mendy, Royce Brownlie and Alex Henderson after Pride opened the scoring via an own goal.
The result ends a three-match winless streak for Jets and while also officially ending Pride’s push for a maiden PlayStation ® 4 NPL Queensland Finals Series appearance.
Both sides exchanged chances early in a fiery contest that saw Pride without regular goalkeeper Bon Scott and midfield maestro Lincoln Rule.
Brownlie and Scott Stewart tested Pride debutant gloveman Dylan Williams from range, while the hosts saw two headed attempts denied by Jets shot-stopper Luke Borean.
Pride opened the scoring just after the quarter hour when Harrison Sawyer’s mid-range attempt was deflected across the line and was ultimately credited as an own goal.
Brownlie and Stewart spurned chances to equalise for Jets midway through the half, before Sawyer failed to extend the host’s advantage one-on-one with Borean.
Ultimately, Mendy delivered the equaliser for the visitors four minute before the break – the pacey attacker adding to his two goals against Pride earlier this season by delivering a clinical headed finish.
The second half commenced as a back-and-forth affair before Brownlie netted his 13th goal of the 2015 campaign to edge Jets ahead.
The striker kept himself in contention for the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Golden Boot after taking advantage of space inside the box.
The goal ushered in a second half surge from the Jets, who doubled the advantage after the hour when Henderson turned home a goal-line deflection.
Jets continued to pile on the pressure as Brownlie came close to wrapping up the points when his long range strike skimmed the top of the crossbar.
Pride offered some attacking resistance late in the contest, however Gabriel Hawash and Majok Piok both failed to find the mark with long range efforts.
Speaking post-match, Jets coach Adam Piddick conceded it was next to impossible not to focus on a potential Premiership as the home-and-away season draws to a close.
“It’s massive for the club and we’d be lying to say the players don’t think about it but we try to keep our focus on playing the game and just worry about the next one,” Piddick said.
Pride coach Graham Harvey said with finals football now out of reach attention will now turn squarely to building for next year.
“Now’s my opportunity to start and get some more of my ideas and my philosophy across to the boys which have been slow to bring in because I didn’t want to change too much,” Harvey explained.
Western Pride FC 1 (own goal 18′)
Moreton Bay United FC 3 (Charles MENDY 41’, Royce BROWNLIE 58’, Alex HENDERSON 66’)