A Jake Perry hat-trick saw Northern Fury knock Brisbane Strikers off the top of the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland ladder with a 5-2 win at Townsville Sports Reserve on Saturday night.
Perry’s hat-trick was his first in PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland and was complemented by a goal to Corey Waples and a penalty from Joseph Thornton.
The visitors finished the match with ten men after Sam Knight was shown a straight red card midway through the second half.
The result sees Strikers cede top spot to Moreton Bay United on goal difference, while ending a two-match losing streak for Fury to keep the Townsville club’s hopes of a top four finish alive.
Despite a heavy travel schedule following their mid-week Westfield FFA Cup tie in Melbourne, Strikers started the brighter of the sides.
Jheison Macuace failed to make the most of a chance inside the opening five minutes befor Scot Coulson forced a save from a free-kick shortly after.
The visitors delivered the breakthrough just prior to the half hour when Clulow delivered a composed finish after being played-in from a through-ball.
However, Fury replied only five minutes later as Perry opened his account – taking advantage of a save from debutant Strikers goalkeeper Xander Gwynne-Jones
Perry struck again in time added on to ensure Fury a single goal lead at half-time.
The see-sawing nature of the contest continued in the second half before Strikers’ hopes a comeback suffered a blow when Knight was dismissed shortly after the hour following a challenge on Perry.
Thornton converted the subsequent penalty to take his season’s tally to a club best seven goals.
Minutes later Fury all but secured the win as Waples delivered a stunning half-volleyed finish from the edge of the penalty area.
Strikers managed to pull one back via an own goal from Mitchell Maher in the final ten minutes before Perry wrapped up his hat-trick late in regular time.
The goal was Perry’s sixth of the season and sees him become the fifth Fury player to score a PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland hat-trick over the past three seasons.
The win sees Fury move to sixth in the league standings ahead of Sunday’s fixtures and are now five points off the Finals Series places.
Northern Fury FC 5 (Jake PERRY 35’ 45+1’ 89, Joseph THORNTON 69’p, Corey WAPLES 73’)
Brisbane Strikers FC 2(Trent CLULOW 29’, own goal 81’)