UQFC Women did what was required to see off an under-strength Souths United Women 4-0 at University of Queensland Field 5 on Sunday night.
The visitors began the match with only 10 starting players but proved difficult to break down with dogged defending denying UQFC more opportunities.
Three goals in the final 30 minutes keeps UQFC in with an outside chance of finishing inside the top three, while depriving Souths of any points.
Linley Archard might have opened the scoring inside 10 minutes but hit her shot against the upright.
UQFC did get the opener as expected in the 18th minute with Lucinda Pullar following up on a long range shot against the crossbar and sliding in the rebound.
Souths responded by frustrating the hosts with numbers behind the ball, restricting the finals hopefuls to long range efforts and 1-0 half time lead.
Goalkeeper Megan Byriel and her defenders combined to keep the difference to a goal for a further 15 minutes until Linley Archard finally broke through for UQFC’s second.
Archard profited from a close range scramble to nudge the ball home for a 2-0 advantage.
Reduced to nine players by injury, Souths fell further behind when Georgia Chapman scored from Amy Ingram’s cross.
Chapman then won a penalty in the area to hand Greta Bodey a golden chance to keep the pressure on in the Golden Boot race, but the 20-year-old’s spot kick was turned around the post by the stoic Byriel.
However, there was still time for UQFC to add a fourth as teenager Pullar capped her brace in the closing minutes.
Speaking after the match, UQFC coach Wayne Gibbon predicted a slightly altered approach for Thursday’s catch-up fixture against the same opposition.
“I think today is part of the learning process for the players. We will try to see if we can work out how to be more effective against teams sitting so deep against us,” Gibbon said.
Souths coach Byron Hellmuth pointed to his team’s defence as providing hope for the future.
“Absolutely brilliant defensive effort once again by the ladies, which did allow us to do some attacking today,” Hellmuth said.
UQFC Women 4 (Lucinda PULLAR 18’, 86’ Linley ARCHARD 61’ Georgia CHAPMAN 78’)
Souths United FC Women 0