A brace from Brisbane City’s Antonio Murray helped his side to a 4-2 win over Western Pride at Briggs Road Complex on Saturday.
Murray’s haul was complemented by first-half goals to Nicholas Buckley and Ryan Roderick, while Pride substitute Majok Piok delivered a double of his own for the hosts in reply.
The result delivers City a league double over Pride in 2015 and moves the sides level on points, with Pride edging City for tenth place on goal difference with two matches remaining for both sides.
City took the lead only four minutes into the contest when Murray snuck behind the Pride defence and delivered a lobbed finish over Pride goalkeeper Dylan Williams.
The visitors continued to threaten as Pazung Thang came close with a deflected effort and Roderick called upon Williams to save from a free-kick.
City extended their advantage on the half hour when Buckley delivered a pin-point effort from long-range for his second goal of the season and first since March.
Mitchell Bird fashioned the best of Pride’s opportunities in the first half but sent his shot over the crossbar from just inside the penalty area.
After the restart, Murray added his second to effectively wrap up the result prior to the hour – the goal his 14th of the season.
However, it sparked a resurgence from Pride – Harrison Sawyer hitting the woodwork twice and Bird testing City gloveman Matt Stein from long range.
Piok then delivered his first senior goals in PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland in a stunning two minute blitz to bring Pride back into the contest.
The substitute netted his first courtesy of a deflected strike from just outside the box, before pouncing again with a header shortly following the restart after catching Stein off his line.
Piok came close to levelling terms for the hosts before City again delivered a two goal buffer courtesy of Roderick, who beat Williams one-on-one.
Pride pushed until the last but the visitors remained resolute to see out the match.
Speaking post-match, City’s Murray said while he was happy to one again get on the scoresheet the result was more important in the long run.
“I was quite pleased with the first one – a little chip over the keeper – but as long as the team wins that’s the important thing,” Murray said.
Pride coach Graham Harvey described his side’s performance, as well as his own preparation, as “naïve”.
“I thought we were pretty poor tonight if I’m being honest – I’d probably say it’s the worst the boys have played since I’ve been at the club,” Harvey said.
Western Pride FC 2 (Majok PIOK 69’ 71’)
Brisbane City FC 4 (Antonio MURRAY 4’ 55’, Nicholas BUCKLEY 30’, Ryan RODERICK 86’)