A dramatic injury time winner from Hamish Cassady has guided Northern Fury to a 2-1 win over Western Pride at International Park in Ayr – their first win since April.
Cassady’s first goal of the NPL Queensland 2015 proved decisive for the hosts after Sean Karambasis’ opener was cancelled out by Pride’s Lincoln Rule just before half-time.
The win moves Fury to within striking distance of the top four, and leaves early season league-leaders Pride with just a single win from their past six outings.
A niggling start to the contest saw both sides exchange attacking set-pieces before Fury delivered the opener inside the quarter hour – Karambasis striking his third goal of the campaign in only his fifth appearance of 2015.
Karambasis threaten to double his tally soon after but sent his effort wide of the target before Fury skipper Jacob Crowley shaved the corner of the goal with placed attempt approaching the half-hour.
Pride’s Harrison Sawyer also spurned a pair of chances midway through the half as he failed to find the target twice in quick time.
Fury increasingly dominated possession but couldn’t make it tell on the scoreboard as Jake Perry forced a pair of telling saves before Jonathon Bagley sent an attempt wide
However, the visitors levelled terms just before the break when Lincoln Rule’s long-distance free-kick evaded Fury’s defence and left goalkeeper Daniel Wilesmith unsighted to sneak into the goal.
An attacking restart to the contest saw Crowley continue to pull the strings in midfield for the hosts – creating further chances for Benjamin Stanley and Perry that failed to find the back of the net.
Pride grabbed the upper hand midway through the half but were unable to convert pressure in the attacking third into clear cut chances against a stubborn Fury defensive effort.
Fury then responded with a final flurry that resulted in an injury time free-kick from Corey Waples that was turned home by Cassady to seal the win for the hosts in the final stages of the match.
Speaking post-match, Fury coach Ian Ferguson described the match as an arm-wrestle.
“Our goal was right at the very end and you have to keep going to the final whistle – in the first half we let ourselves down by not doing that,” he said.
Pride coach Karl Dodd said his team had failed to follow the pre-match game plan and were duly punished.
“I had too many players playing as individuals and not as a team tonight,” he said.
Northern Fury FC 2 (Sean KARAMBASIS 12’, Hamish CASSADY 90’)
Western Pride FC 1 (Lincoln RULE 45’)