Words: Michael Flynn | Image: Sportspics
Coach Grae Piddick says his squad’s depth was there for all to see on Saturday night as Gold Coast City demolished Brisbane Roar Youth 4-0 at Duncan Mckenna Field.
City were rarely threatened as they secured a league double over the Young Roar despite resting several first team regulars for the clash.
League Golden Boot leader Sam Smith did the bulk of the damage for City in front of goal – netting a double to take his season’s tally to 20 goals.
Defender Eoghan Murphy opened accounts with a headed finish inside six minutes of kick-off before Smith doubled the lead with a tap-in from Jarrod Kyle’s squared pass just minutes later.
Jacob Boutoubia secured a three goal half-time advantage with his first senior goal for the club prior to the half-hour – driving home a parried save from Young Roar goalkeeper Macklin Freke.
Smith then wrapped up the result early in the second stanza with a composed header at close range.
The win extends City’s advantage over Brisbane Strikers to six points atop the league standings, with Strikers not set to contest their Round 19 clash until next weekend.
Speaking post-match, Piddick said he had no doubt his side's quality would prevail despite opting to give several squad players valuable match time.
“It was important after we dropped points last week to bounce back. The boys did a very good job,” he said.
“Justyn (McKay) and Nik (Mirkovic) were unavailable tonight, so that’s two first choice midfielders that were out.”
“But Jason Campbell came in and handled himself well, Jacob Boutoubia is getting better and fitter every week and has a lot more improvement in him, and Ethan Grimley got on the park for the first time in months due to injury.”
“It’s very pleasing these boys are coming into the frame at this time of the season.”
Piddick also praised the contribution of Smith, who is just the second player in the club’s history to notch 20 league goals in a season.
“We know Sam’s going to score goals if we create opportunities for him.”
“It’s credit to him because he is not playing in his favoured position and that’s just based on the players we have.”
“But he does a great job and we’re lucky to have him and Jarrod Kyle, who are two very good goal scorers.”
However, with Strikers still ahead in the goal difference column, Piddick dismissed suggestions a few extra goals from his side would have been welcomed.
“I always would like to score a few more. But we’re working on the theory that we don’t want it to come down to goal difference.”
“If we win our next few games then we won’t have to worry about the goal difference.”
City’s attention will now turn to their Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 clash with Western Knights in a little over a week, before returning to league action against third-placed Brisbane Olympic in a fortnight’s time.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensalnd 2017 – Round 19
Saturday, July 22
Duncan Mckenna Field, Palm Beach
Gold Coast City FC – 4 (Eoghan MURPHY 6’, Sam SMITH 9’ 57’, Jacob BOUTOUBIA 23’)
Brisbane Roar FC Youth – 0
Gold Coast City FC: 1. Matt STEIN, 2. Riley DILLON, 3. Oskar DILLON (4. Martin VAZQUEZ 76’), 5. Matthew SCHMIDT, 6. Roman HOFMANN, 9. Jarrod KYLE (14. Benjamin LYVIDIKOS 45’), 10. Jacob BOUTOUBIA (19. Ethan GRIMLEY 65’), 15. Eoghan MURPHY, 18. Jason CAMPBELL, 21. Sam SMITH, 22. Jaiden WALKER
Unused subs: 12. Joshua MUSSELL, 20. Joshua LANGDON