Young Roar celebrating a goal from earlier in the season (Chris Simpson)
A very skilful Roar NTC squad showed their class to run out comfortable 4-1 winners last night.
A cold night at Crestmead for this re-scheduled fixture which started brightly, both sides intent on playing on the deck. United pressed high early creating some turnovers but Roar’s youngsters showed composure beyond their years to snuff out any half chances created.
Maintaining that pressure is a big ask against a well drilled side blessed with so many technically gifted players with pace and vision. On the quarter hour mark the shackles were broken, Indiah-Paige Riley opened the scoring when she tapped home a parried shot at the back post. That lead was doubled twenty minutes later when Sham Freir found space in behind and finished calmly past Cassie Zaffina in the United goal. The Roar 2-0 to the good at the turn.
An early set piece in the second half played deep fell to Leah Davidson who smashed her left foot shot into the underside of the crossbar and dropped over the line for Roar’s third goal. Davidson bagged her brace with a quarter hour remaining, heading home from another set piece.
To their credit United hung tough and were rewarded when Mackenzie Akins weaved some magic on the edge of the box to find enough space to unleash a cracking well placed shot to score. Akins again showed that she is capable of troubling any opposition. At the back skipper Neesa Doyle was again impressive defensively. Overall it was a good showing from United who competed, worked hard and brought the best out of the Roar.
United’s Coach Michael Cook praised both sides post match, acknowledging the quality on show especially from the opposition.
“We’ve been outclassed in a lot of areas for sure. Brisbane Roar are a very slick outfit.
“I stand by what I said after the first time we played them, I think they’re the best footballing team in the competition and I’ll be interested to see what they do in the finals.”
“Having said that, there were times we were simply too far away from their players and showed them to much respect. If you give this team time and space on the ball they’ll be able to play through you. They’ve been very, very good.”
A highlight for United was a cameo off the bench late from Chloe Burns, her first senior minutes. According to Cook she has a bright future.
“I’m excited for Chloe, she’s a big prospect for the Club. She’s been training quite regularly with the squad and deserves her opportunity.
“Hopefully it’s the first of many times we see her play for the Senior team.”
A short turn around for both Clubs with the Roar facing SWQ Thunder and United heading to Cornubia to play Logan on Saturday.
Michael Cook is excited about the remainder of the season.
“I think we have two winnable games to finish off the season.
“Logan, whilst they are physically aggressive and very quick we’ve got the class to take the three points off them.
“And the Wanderers to finish off. I’m definitely looking for six points out of the last two games to finish up in sixth place.”
Roar’s win last night lifts them to third on the ladder – a remarkable performance from such a young playing group and testimony not only to the individual ability across the park but to how superbly organized and well coached this group is. An absolute pleasure to watch!
Women’s National Premier Leagues, Rd 20
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Logan Metro Sports Complex, Crestmead
Gold Coast United 1 (Akins 81’)
Roar NTC 4 (Riley 15’, S Freir 35’, Davidson 50’ 76’)