Sunshine Coast FC spoiled the party for Northern Fury’s first home match of the season, running out 5-1 winners at Townsville Sports Reserve on Saturday night.
Fury pulled within a goal in the second half after Reyze Kelly and Brady Cronk gave the visitors a two goal advantage prior to half-time, however three late goals to Jacob Fulluck and Louis Shephard put paid to any hopes of a comeback for the hosts.
Kelly gave Fire the perfect start inside the opening ten minutes – the former Fury player scoring against his old club on the counter-attack after the hosts committed numbers forward at a corner kick.
Just after the half hour Cronk doubled the advantage, benefitting from a fumble from Fury shotstopper Joe Simons to slot his shot.
Kelly left the contest shortly after with a dead leg, however the momentum still remained with Fire as player-coach Paul Arnison struck the crossbar after forcing the Fury defence into an error playing out from the back.
Fire continued to see the better of the play after the restart, however Fury were proving harder to break down in the early part of the second stanza.
The hosts’ resilience bore fruit midway through the half – Jonathon Bagley drawing Fury to within a goal after heading home Caleb Hobson’s cross.
The celebrations had barely subsided, however, when Fulluck struck his first of the night after tapping home a parried save from Simons on 73 minutes.
Sean Karambasis sought to bring Fury back yet again only to see his effort cleared off the line by the Fire defence with a quarter hour remaining.
The visitors then ran away with the result in the final ten minutes as Fulluck struck his second of the match and fellow substitute Louis Shephard iced the result.
The heavy defeat was made worse for Fury due to a second half injury to key defender Ari Isman.
Speaking after the match, Fury coach Ian Ferguson was clearly disappointed with his side’s inconsistency, which sees them with two wins and three losses from the opening five rounds.
“We got what we deserved – (we were) second to everything, five or six players under par. It’s not good enough and Sunshine Coast deserved to win,” Ferguson said.
Fire player-coach Paul Arnison said he was pleased to see his side take their chances after two straight PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland defeats.
“We played some good stuff and took our chances at the right times, but fair play to Fury in the second half they put us under a lot of pressure for the first 20 minutes,” Arnison said.
Northern Fury FC 1 (Jonothan BAGLEY 71′)
Sunshine Coast FC 5 (Reyze KELLY 8’, Brady CRONK 36’, Jacob FULLUCK 73’ 81’, Louis SHEPHARD 86’)