Redlands United have stolen the top spot on the FQPL1 ladder after continuing good form on a drizzly Saturday evening during a scrappy battle against South West Queensland Thunder at Cleveland's Compass Grounds.
The Red Devils pick up another three competition points and move temporarily to the top of the table, keeping the pressure on Rochedale Rovers.
As soon as the match commenced Redlands were pushing into attack with Thunder playing quick counter attack football with both sides defending tightly and not letting the other side settle on the ball.
The Redlands goal was tested on 13 minutes when a blocked shot rebounded back to Thunder wide on the edge of the box and the resultant shot hit the crossbar with Dylan Brent on hand to head the ball away out of danger whilst under pressure.
Three minutes later Redlands after being under pressure with Thunder pushing high in defense, Gabriel Hawash cleared the ball up field to Guil Santana, just into the Thunder half, he controlled the ball well, noticed the keeper was way off his line defending high and calmly hit his long range shot over the defense and the retreating keeper into an open net to open the scoring for the Red Devils.
The half was a scrappy affair as both sides pressed in defense never giving anyone time on the ball and always under hard tight defense.
However it was Redlands who created the best scoring opportunities of the half.
Ryota Sumiyoshi, Ryo Emoto and Noah Hitchcock all came closest to scoring.
Thunder had their best opportunities of the half in the final few minutes before half time as they managed to get behind the Red Devils defense but were unable to find a way past Joel D'Cruz in goal.
After a blast from Coach Harvey at halftime, the Red Devils came out firing straight from the kickoff with only desperate scrambling Thunder defense keeping them at bay.
Thunder continued to apply their tight pressing game and try to attack at pace, however D'Cruz and Redlands defensive line held firm.
Despite Thunder's tight pressure, the majority of the second half was played either in the middle section of the field or down Thunder's end of the field.
As the match continued on with Thunder trying to push for an equaliser, it was Redlands that looked the more likely team to score.
On 82 minutes Redlands substitute Ben Njie made it two goals in two weeks.
The ball was moved around the right side of the Fire box and finally crossed in by Sumiyoshi to Njie who turned, beat his marker and slotted it nicely into the net to give Redlands a 2-0 lead.
The goal spurred Thunder on for the remaining 8 or so minutes as they pushed harder and harder but now it was Redlands turn to defend stoutly grinding away and keeping Thunder at bay.
The final score was a grinding 2-0 win for Redlands.
After the match Redlands Head Coach Graham Harvey said the team had moved back to the top of the ladder just a week after losing the spot in a top of the table clash with Rochedale.
"It's a good win, it puts us top of the league now so it turns the pressure back onto Rochedale," he said.
"Thunder were a side that was challenging for the top 4 but this result knocks them out of it.
"I think it was a grind tonight, I don't think we played our best stuff, we were better in the second half but look all credit to the boys for the win and another clean sheet at home.
"That's 5 clean sheets at home and only conceding three goals."
Man of the Match was Redlands' captain, Sam Langley.
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