BPL: Battle for finals spots heat up

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With Wolves FC taking an almost insurmountable lead at the top of the table, Round 14 of the Brisbane Premier League was all about the battle for the remaining five playoff spots. With only five points separating fourth through to eleventh any slip up could cost a team a vital top six spot.

Peninsular Power vs Souths United
4-2
Peninsular Power continued their transformation from competition pretenders to premiership threat with another dominant performance at home to comprehensively beat Souths United 4-2 at AJ Kelly Field on Saturday.

The win was Power’s fourth in a row after starting the season with six losses and a draw from their first seven games.

The home side dominated the match from the outset, punishing the Souths United defence with a barrage of lofted passes to marksman Matt Hornby who opened the scoring with a powerful header on the 15 minute mark.

Power doubled and then tripled their lead in the 29th minute courtesy of two skillful volleys 30 seconds apart, from wingers James Fairgrieve and Josh Taylor, leaving Souths eyeing defeat before half time.

Souths shocked the home fans early in the second half when midfielder John Handeland hit the back of the net from 35 metres out, however any hopes of a comeback were quashed when Matt Hornby hit the back of the net for the second time in the 79th minute.

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Souths managed a late consolation goal in the final minute however it was too little too late for the away side with Peninsular taking all three points.

Pine Hills vs Capalaba
1-2
An injury time stunner from Capalaba’s Josh Sherwood condemned Pine Hills to their tenth loss of the season in what is turning into the season from hell.

Capalaba entered the match needing a win to stay in touch with the top six and looked to make amends for their disappointing loss to Eastern Suburbs in round 13.

Both sides struggled throughout a dour first half with neither team creating any real chances and went into the break with the scores still locked at nil all.

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Capalaba raced out of the blocks in the second half and took the lead in the 52nd minute courtesy of a clinical finish to Anthony Schiavo.

Pine Hills thought they had done enough to secure a draw in the 86th minute when Jordan Farina scored a late equaliser, however it was Capalaba who had the last laugh when Sherwood scored for the away side in the dying seconds of the match to give Capalaba a lucky escape and three competition points.

Eastern Suburbs vs Wolves FC
0-2
Proving their class as the best team in the competition Wolves FC claimed their twelfth straight win with a 2-0 victory against the fourth placed Eastern Suburbs at a sloppy Heath Park on Saturday.

Following losses to second and third placed sides Olympic FC and Rochedale, Eastern Suburbs were desperate to close the seven point gap and be the first team to take a point from Wolves this season.

Both sides had a number of chances to open the scoring in the first half, however couldn’t find the back of the net due to a combination of great defending and goalkeeping which left the game scoreless at the break.

Although suffering from a sluggish start to the match, the Wolves FC machine clicked into gear in the second half and took the lead on the hour mark through the prolific Steffen Vroom for his eleventh goal of the season.
Wolves then wrapped up the result seven minutes later through a great Trent Clulow goal to give the away side a 2-0 lead and maintain their incredible twelve game winning streak.

Mt Gravatt vs University of Queensland
1-5
A three goal final ten minutes from University Of Queensland condemned Mt Gravatt to a disappointing loss at home in a match where they should’ve easily secured a draw.

Both sides came into the fixture looking to build some consistency after securing narrow 1-0 wins last round.
Mt Gravatt fell behind early when UQ striker Daniel Stewart-McLean hit the back of the net in the 16th minute; however the home side wasn’t behind for long when Igor Sao Jose leveled the scores four minutes later.

Stewart-McLean continued the end to end scoring in the 23rd minute when his second goal of the match saw Uni go ahead 2-1, a lead they would take into half time.

Unlike the first half, the second stanza was a more defensive affair with both sides locking down their opposition’s attack.

However it all came unstuck for Mt Gravatt in the final seven minutes of the match when UQ hit the back of the net three times courtesy of Peter Moore, Ryan Solter and a third for Stewart-McLean to claim the win for the Uni boys and cement their fifth spot on the table.

Taringa Rovers vs North Pine
3-3
Taringa Rovers and North Pine played out an exciting draw in what was an edge of your seat goal fest at Jack Speare Park on Saturday.

Both sides will be unhappy to have only secured a point from a match that had more twists and turns than a Hitchcock novel.

North Pine dominated the first half scoring courtesy of Marc Andrew and forcing two desperation goal line saves from the Taringa defence to go into half time with a one goal lead.

North Pine doubled their lead early in the second half through Josh Ahern and would’ve felt that a 2-0 lead would have been enough for the win.

However Taringa turned the game on its head in the 60th minute when a Paul Sludden goal from a free kick gave the home side the momentum it needed to stage a comeback.

Taringa piled on the pressure looking for an equaliser and found not one but two own goals in quick succession to take a 3-2 lead with only minutes to play.

Although conceding two own goals North Pine maintained their composure and determination, pushing forward to equalize with a Shane Coffey Header taking the scores to 3-3 and ensuring his side a point at full time.

Rochedale Rovers vs Brisbane City
3-1
Rochedale Rovers have bounced back from last week’s loss to Wolves FC to defeat a hard working Brisbane City outfit 3-1 at Underwood Park on Sunday.

Rochedale was looking to solidify their position as the second best team in the completion with a win, while Brisbane city was out to regain some consistency to what has been an up and down season so far.

Brisbane City dominated the first half and creating a number of dangerous opportunities, however it took them until the 43rd minute to break down a hard defending Rochedale side when Julian Inoue tapped in from close range to give the away side a 1-0 advantage with only minutes till half time.

However Rochedale denied the visitors of a much needed half time lead when Tim Smits struck back inside 40 seconds for the home side when with his back to goal turn his marker and placed the ball in the bottom left corner to tie both sides up at the half time interval.

Rochedale looked to make a statement quickly in the second half and took only two minutes to do so when Satoru Okubo headed home from a corner only two minutes after the break to give the home side a 2-1 lead.
Although conceding early in the half Brisbane city continued to dominate possession and had their fair share of chances, yet lacked the clinical finishing required to equalise.

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Rochedale guaranteed the win in the 93rd minute when Rhys Hastings pounced on a sloppy back pass from the Brisbane City defence before slotting the ball passed the keeper to give his side a 3-1 and second position on the ladder.

Olympic FC vs Redlands United
0-1
Olympic FC fell to their second consecutive loss going down 1-0 to an inspired Redlands United at Goodwin Park on Sunday,

Redlands were playing there second game in only three days after they took on the Brisbane Roar in a friendly match on Friday but didn’t display any signs of fatigue.

Olympic were forced to field a vastly different side to usual in response to the suspensions of key defenders Blake Charity and Hyuksu Seo as well as midfielder Ilkay Gurbuz who was suspended for 6 matches after last week receiving his 3rd red card of the season.

Redlands took the game to their opposition early and took the lead on the half hour mark when Rhys Meredith hit the back of the net to make the score 1-0, a score line they would take into half time.

Olympic looked to bounce back in the second half through Aleks Panic who orchestrated a number of near chances for the home side. Although pushing hard for an equalizer Olympic FC couldn’t find the back of the net, with Redlands holding out for a narrow 1-0 victory.

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