SWQ Thunder v Sunshine Coast Fire

Sunshine Coast FC fought from two goals down to overcome a spirited SWQ Thunder 3-2 at Clive Berghofer Stadium on Saturday.

Fire’s Kenya Takahashi delivered a brace – including the decisive goal midway through the second half – to add to a first-half strike from Jacob Fulluck.

Goals to Nykodah Smith and Anthony Grant surged Thunder to a two goal lead in the opening stanza, but the Toowoomba-based club proved unable to maintain their advantage as they slumped to a 16th straight defeat.

The hosts started the contest brightly and opened the scoring only six minutes in when Smith latched onto a throughball from Lachlan Atkinson – rounding Fire goalkeeper Kevin Downes to slot his second goal in as many weeks.

Fire immediately pushed for an equaliser, however Matthew Carrick missed a header with the goal at his mercy before Fulluck saw a powerful attempt saved by Thunder goalkeeper Jayden Formosa.

Thunder pounced again shortly after the half-hour when Grant delivered his first goal since March, turning home a pass across goal from Smith.

However, Fire’s reply was immediate as Takahashi opened his account courtesy of a cross from Cameron Nairn.

Only five minutes later and Fire restored parity as Nairn again delivered the assist to enable Fulluck to notch his tenth goal of the 2015 campaign.

The teams went into half-time level, however the momentum remained firmly with the visitors after the restart.

Fire created a number of chances before Takahashi delivered the winner prior to the hour – his fourth goal of the season taking a sharp deflection off Thunder’s Harry Scott to wrong-foot Formosa.

Both sides fashioned chances in the final thirty minutes but were unable to further add to the scoreline.

Speaking post-match, Fire coach Paul Arnison said his young team showed character to overcome the deficit and record a second straight win.

“I could sense the boys were up for it. The last couple of weeks we’ve been improving week-in, week-out,” Arnison said.

Thunder coach Chris Wilkes praised his team’s performance and was philosophical about seeing his first three points as coach slip from his grasp.

“You can’t fault their effort but unfortunately effort doesn’t get you anything in this league,” Wilkes said.

SWQ Thunder FC  2 (Nykodah SMITH 6’, Anthony GRANT 32’)
Sunshine Coast FC  3 (Kenya TAKAHASHI 33’ 56’, Jacob FULLUCK 38’)