Palm Beach SC returned to winning form with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Redlands United at Mallawa Complex on Saturday.
Roman Hoffman struck for the defending PlayStation® 4 NPL Queensland Champions midway through the first half, extending Redlands’ winless start to the season to five matches.
With the match mired in midfield for extended periods, clear cut goal-scoring opportunities proved hard to come by for both sides.
Redlands spurned an early chance when Igor Sao Jose sent his free-kick over the crossbar inside the opening ten minutes.
Sharks sought to expose their opponents in wide areas, however the Red Devils defenders consistently thwarted their efforts.
The breakthrough came just prior to the half hour when Hoffman headed home the decisive goal at the far post from a lobbed pass.
The visitors looked to fight back with attempts from Russell Woodruffe, Joel Stone and Graham Fyfe, but the trio failed to trouble Sharks goalkeeper Shane Viitakangas playing his first match of the campaign in the absence of Ryan Meskell.
The second half proved even more miserly as wide men Josh Riis and Nik Mirkovic forced their way into some promising positions for Sharks, but had trouble landing the final pass.
The hosts also threatened from set-pieces as Tim Jackson and Eoghan Murphy both headed wide of the target as the half wore on, while Hoffman twice shot wide of the target from edge of the area as he looked add another to his haul.
Opportunities proved even scarcer for the visitors though as the Sharks defence sought to hang on to their advantage, closing out the match for their first clean sheet of the season.
Speaking post-match, Sharks coach Grae Piddick said he was pleased with the defensive display in the absence of Kristian Rees, who was suspended after being red-carded in last week’s loss to Western Pride.
“We spoke about (Kristian’s) influence in organising and the expectations on the young centre backs to do that job for him. Particularly second-half and under a bit of pressure at times they did quite well and that really points well to the future as well,” Piddick said.
Palm Beach SC 1 (Roman HOFFMAN 24’)
Redlands United FC 0