QSL: FNQ Bulls survive QAS comeback

-

A late scare was the best the Queensland Academy of Sport could inflict on Far North Queensland on Sunday, with the high-flying visitors prevailing 3-2 at Meakin Park.

A belated string of chances eventually materialised into a second for the hosts to ensure a tense final few moments, but it was not enough to deny a pair of second-half goals from maintaining the Bulls’ form, which has been as immaculate as the spring afternoon which greeted them in Brisbane.

The Academy fielded an even more inexperienced eleven than usual with attacking pair Josh Riis and Patrick Theodore joining canny midfielder Ben Liftin on the sideline, and it was perhaps the latter’s absence which contributed most to the side’s sloppy, disjointed start to the match.

Ever-present winger Brandon Borrello, who has already scored twice for Brisbane Roar in pre-season trials this season, started in a familiarly dangerous fashion however, forcing Bulls ‘keeper Jack Richards low to his right with a venomous free-kick.

The visitors had seemed to have inherited their hosts’ disorder by the time of that chance – their passes finding touch more often than teammate – but they could still have gone ahead had Joe Rusch better controlled a lobbed set piece, underscoring FNQ’s apparent lack of penalty area urgency.

The QAS’ monopoly on possession seemed destined to pay off as they had two close-range efforts cleared off the line, though it was the Bulls who grabbed the opener against the run of play.

As has become an unwanted trademark of the Academy’s season, an opposition attacker, Jamie Carroll, was allowed to reach the byline far too easily, before the QAS were rightfully punished as Carroll’s cutback was deflected off defender Tremayne Sadler, across ‘keeper Andres Pascoe and into the opposite corner. The preventable goal came eight minutes before half-time and remained the only score at the break, giving the Bulls an expected, yet unwarranted, first-half lead.

buy amoxicillin online amoxicillin online generic

Yet, as easily as they had let FNQ take the advantage, the QAS cancelled it out just three minutes after the restart. An exchange of passes around defence and midfield was shifted up a gear by imposing central-defender Lachlan Jackson, who strode unchallenged in possession to at least twenty-five yards from goal, where he unleashed a low left-footed strike across his body and towards the bottom corner. The bouncing ball appeared to lack the pace to beat Richards but the unlikelihood of the shot caught the ‘keeper by surprise and crept in regardless of a despairing hand.

The Academy’s energy should have resulted in a second when Borrello was fed through a static defence by Sam Cronin, though the lively attacker lifted his finish over the advancing Richards and onto the roof of the net.

buy metformin online metformin online generic

Keeping with tradition, FNQ made the hosts pay for that wastefulness just after the hour.

buy amoxil online amoxil online generic

Winger Matt Murphy regained possession deep in their attacking corner and swung in a searching cross which was swept back across Pascoe by Carroll, unmarked at the back post, for a 2-1 lead.

The youngsters were understandably deflated and were dealt a further blow by the clinical Bulls when another right-wing raid ended with Rusch heading Alex Plowman’s perfectly measured cross back across Pascoe, just about wrapping up an important victory.

The Academy were fortunate not to fall further behind as their young midfield struggled to track the forward forays of their counterparts.

Two chances via winger Samuel Sibatuara again went begging for the home side, but they were kept in the match when the Bulls’ midfield suffered a lapse of their own in allowing substitute fullback Cameron Crestani to find space in the penalty area and finish coolly across Richards.

The drama was then remarkably heightened in stoppage time when Crestani had the chance to become the ultimate hero. Hit on the stride by a sweeping switch to the right wing, Crestani approached the box with confidence but shot agonisingly high over the crossbar, leaving FNQ coach Peter Tokesi breathing an emphatic sigh of relief – along with a few choice words for his dozing charges as the remaining seconds ticked over.

The late burst will have simultaneously encouraged and frustrated QAS boss Josh McCloughan as his youthful team couldn’t stop Far North Queensland from edging a step closer to second spot safety.

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required