Brisbane Roar hosted an unorthodox double header at Ballymore Stadium on Friday, first playing out 1-1 draw with Central Coast Mariners before a 3-0 win over National Premier Leagues Queensland club Brisbane City.
Roar coach Mike Mulvey made the most of the unique opportunity to give maximum game time to the majority of his squad and despite being without regulars Matt Smith, Shane Stefanutto, Matt McKay and Thomas Broich, still fielded a strong side in the early match.
The Mariners enjoyed the stronger start to the match with the first real opportunity in front of goal falling to Isaka Cernak, who flashed his 20th minute shot just wide of Jamie Young’s post.
At the other end, Dimi Petratos and Mensur Kurtishi combined allowing the Albanian striker to strike only to be blocked by a quick-thinking Mariners defender.
Phil Moss’ side were dealt a blow just after the half hour mark with Korean import Kim Seung-Yong limping off but it was his replacement, former Roar player Nick Fitzgerald, who netted the match’s opening goal just before half-time and opting not to celebrate against his old club.
Brisbane’s movement was more fluid in the second half and when substitute Henrique was fed an impressive through ball from Luke Brattan, the little Brazilian made no mistakes – smashing his shot past Liam Reddy to make it 1-1.
In the second game of the double header, the Roar fielded a host of youth league players led by experienced Michael Theo in goal against Brisbane City, who finished seventh in this year’s NPL Queensland competition.
Jai Ingham opened the scoring in the 12th minute, sneaking a goal into the near post after he was teed up by George Lambadaridis, before Connor O’Neill doubled their lead from close range 10 minutes after the half-time break.
Ingham had his second of the night, finishing off the action with a long-range effort late in the game as Brisbane City wasted a number of good opportunities in front of goal for a consolation goal.
Brisbane Roar will prepare for its Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 match against Adelaide United on Tuesday, 23 September at Coopers Stadium ahead of the start of the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 campaign against the same opponents, at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, 12 October.comments