Brisbane Strikers are once more top of the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland standings after a 2-0 win over SWQ Thunder at Clive Berghofer Stadium on Saturday.
Two goals in the opening ten minutes to Apai Ukuno and Fraser Hills secured the win for Strikers – extending a run of form that has seen the club lose only once since June.
Strikers now move three points clear of Premiership rivals Moreton Bay United, however the Jets still hold a game in hand on the capital city club.
Ukuno opened accounts only three minutes into the contest – beating Thunder goalkeeper Jayden Formosa one-on-one for his third goal of the 2015 campaign.
Strikers continued to threaten – forcing Formosa to tip a save onto the post – before doubling their advantage as Hills headed home on ten minutes.
The visitors fashioned further chances but couldn’t add to their two goal advantage, while Thunder spurned a scattering of opportunities and were unable to test Strikers goalkeeper Fraser Chalmers in the first half.
Thunder proved stronger in the second stanza but ultimately couldn’t break down Strikers’ defences, while the visitors failed to recapture their earlier potency.
Strikers did fashion a series of half-chances but were unable to find the target.
Nykodah Smith saw the best opportunity to pull a goal back in the final ten minutes for the hosts after breaking on the right, but his shot failed to find the target.
However, Thunder remained resilient with Keagan Sheridan denying a Strikers’ header on the goal line in the final stages.
The result continues Thunder’s record of never scoring a goal against Strikers in senior football in their four meetings over the past two seasons.
Speaking post-match, Strikers assistant coach Ken Armstrong suggested his side have their sights now fixed on the upcoming Finals Series.
“It’s been a good season for us so far and we intend to be playing on the last day of the season,” Armstrong said.
Thunder striker Smith said a slow start cost his team but there were positives to take out of the game.
“At half time we got a revving by the boss and we suddenly turned things around and kept them scoreless in the second half,” Smith said.
SWQ Thunder FC 0
Brisbane Strikers 2 (Apai UKUNO 3’, Fraser HILLS 10’)