Words: Michael Flynn | Image: Helen Anderson
Gold Coast City juniors were at home on the weekend in a big round of Sunday fixtures against Moreton Bay United at Mallawa.
Under 16 Boys
Gold Coast City FC – 1 (Trad THELWELL 37’)
Moreton Bay United FC – 2 (Nicholas WEBB 17’ 67’)
A more defensive approach came close to paying dividends for the Under 16’s as they were pipped at the post by a late goal in their fixture.
Nicholas Webb struck both goals for the visitors to earn the points, while Trad Thelwell found the equaliser for City early in the second half – converting his sixth goal of the campaign with a stunning long-range strike.
Speaking post-match, coach Maarten de Kruijf praised his side’s application as he took a different tactical approach.
“We decided to play a more defensive style and keep the lines short on each other. This worked well and we didn't gave many chances away,” he said.
He added, “A few players were sick or injured, but they still decided to play or take a place on the bench to support the team. It was very positive that they all were standing ready for each other.”
Under 15 Boys
Gold Coast City FC – 2 (Reece SULLY 49’, Brendan COOPER 77’)
Moreton Bay United FC - 0
The Under 15’s notched back-to-back wins – and kept a second straight clean sheet – as they struck twice in the second half.
After a scoreless first-half, Reece Sully opened accounts with a composed one-on-one finish for his seventh goal of the season.
Brendan Cooper then iced the result with his tenth of the campaign – hitting a volleyed finish from a pin-point cross.
Coach Nick Taylor said, “The biggest positive was our control of possession and adapting to field conditions.
“We learned that sometimes you need to change the style up and that a ball in the air is sometimes needed.”
Under 14 Boys
Gold Coast City FC – 0
Moreton Bay United FC – 1 (Rhys GRAY 43’)
The Under 14’s battled valiantly but ultimately succumbed to a single goal in their weekend match.
Rhys Gray delivered the decisive strike for Jets against the run of play in the second half.
Technical Director Jason Buchanan said the team’s effort deserved to see them claim at least a point.
“Our boys’ commitment was great and we were unlucky not to pick up at least a draw.”
“We lost a goal when we were just getting on top which was disappointing. It shows that one mistake can cost three points.”
“We pressured them in pursuit of an equaliser but we just ran out of time and luck.”
Under 13 Boys
Gold Coast City FC – 4 (Jack PIRONE, Kai THELWELL)
Moreton Bay United FC – 4 (Kesiena ISAAC, Stephen PARKER)
*goal minutes unconfirmed at time of publication
The Under 13’s showed plenty of heart as they fought back from two goals down before settling for an eight-goal draw – with Jack Pirone and Kai Thelwell both hitting braces.
Jets benefitted from City defensive errors to strike twice early, however, Thelwell pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time by heading home from a corner.
Scores were levelled by Pirone shortly after the restart as he combined with Jack Bugeja and Milan Bundalo for the equaliser.
The surge continued as Thelwell netted his second on the back of a solid run, before Pirone ensured a two-goal advantage with a top corner finish from a free kick.
However, the see-sawing continued as Isaac and Parker each struck their second goals of the match for Jets in the closing stages of the match.
Coach Shane Robinson said of the result, “For the boys to come back from a two goal deficit was really pleasing.”
“This group a few months ago wouldn't have had that in them. They are playing with real belief and confidence in their abilities now.”
He added, “We set out today to nullify the opposition’s strengths of playing direct to their ‘number nine’. I felt we were pretty successful in achieving that.”
Under 12 Boys
Gold Coast City FC – 4 (Fernando NASH 31’ 34’ 55’, Rylee UTLEY 33’)
Moreton Bay United FC – 2 (Jordan RYLEWSKI 8’, Jonah TOWNSEND 52’)
A stunning four minute three-goal burst was the catalyst as the Under 12’s stormed home to win their second straight game.
After conceding early, leading goal scorer Fernando Nash drew the sides level before Rylee Utley pulled City ahead with a composed finish across the goalkeeper.
Nash struck again to double the advantage just seconds later, with Utley this time turning provider with a neat through-ball.
Jets pulled a goal back in the final stages before Nash ensured the win with the final goal of the contest – blending pace and a level-head to convert his hat-trick.
Coach Rahul Shetty said, “We started the match slow conceding inside 8 eight minutes, but the boys showed great character to come back from that.”
“We gave the ball away too many times in the first half by playing unnecessary square passes when we could've played forward.”
“We discuss this at half time and we were much more positive in possession in the second half.”