Alex Smith starred with a hat-trick as FNQ Heat breezed to a 5-0 win over SWQ Thunder at Stratford Soccer Club on Saturday night.
Last season’s Semi Finalists led 2-0 at half time before piling on a further three after the restart to secure their second win of the season.
Heat were looking to make up for lost time in the catch-up clash and had a pair of corners in the first 20 minutes, while at the other end Nykodah Smith forced Kevin Ward into a diving save.
The opener came from a familiar source in the 21st minute as talismanic midfielder Smith stroked Ethan Docherty’s square pass into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Jamie Carroll next fluffed a chance for a second, leading the man who created that opportunity – Charlie Beverley – to do it himself in the 28th minute.
Beverley drifted inside from the left wing and slid his finish past Jayden Formosa to make it 2-0, a scoreline which remained intact at the break.
Formosa continued to keep Thunder in the contest throughout the early stages of the second half with some assistance from the post in denying Smith.
The former Wellington Phoenix player instead turned provider in the 56th minute, slipping through Carroll who buried his finish into the bottom corner.
Smith was rewarded with a simple finish from Shaun Owen’s assist after the hour and that brace became a treble in the dying moments as he beat both a defender and Formosa to make it 5-0.
The final strike was Smith’s sixth of the campaign as the Cairns club rose to fifth, while Thunder remain stationary in second last.
Speaking after the match, Heat coach Martin Docherty believed the performance and result was near perfect.
“If I have any disappointments it’s the fact we didn’t put another three or four in, but 5-0 anyone would be happy with any day,” Docherty said.
Thunder coach Chris Wilkes felt poor preparation cost his young team.
“We were outclassed tonight. Unfortunately it’s probably our worst performance of the season,” Wilkes said.
FNQ FC Heat 5 (Alex SMITH 20’, 67’, 87’ Charlie BEVERLEY 28’ Jamie CARROLL 56’)
South West Queensland Thunder FC 0