Words: Michael Flynn | Image: Greg Meek
Gold Coast City’s youth teams lined up for a pair of hard-fought encounters with Western Pride at Duncan McKenna Field on Saturday afternoon.
Gold Coast City FC – 1 (Max FITGERALD 71’)
Western Pride FC – 1 (Oliver BOND 50’)
A poacher’s goal from Max Fitzgerald secured the Under 20’s the first point against Pride this year as the side’s finished level on a goal apiece.
The draw extended the side’s unbeaten run to three matches and demonstrated the side’s continuing improvement after falling to Pride on three prior occasions this season.
Following a scoreless first-half, Pride took the lead early in the second stanza via Oliver Bond, before substitute Fitzgerald latched on to a loose ball in the box to earn a share of the points.
Coach Brett Budwee praised his team’s efforts and said they were unfortunate not to win the match.
“We had 64% possession and eight shots on target but a couple of point-blank saves from their keeper kept them in it,” he explained.
“We played with a ‘false nine’ which disrupted their backline and allowed us to dominate the midfield both with and without the ball.”
“Pride have been a bit of a bogey team for us this year so to dominate them for most of the game was very positive,” he concluded.
Gold Coast City FC – 1 (Andrew MACKINTOSH 82’)
Western Pride FC – 2 (Jacob ADVANEY 11’, Jackson BRAY 60’)
A fast-finishing Under 18’s fell to just their fourth defeat of the season as they succumbed to 2-1 to Pride in a match that determined the winners’ of the age group Premiership title.
Pride took an early lead through Jacob Advaney inside the opening quarter hour before Jackson Bray doubled the advantage on the hour mark.
City’s perseverance earned reward late in the contest when Andrew Mackintosh pulled a goal back, however, despite late chances an equaliser ultimately proved elusive.
The goal was Mackintosh’s nineteenth of the season for the Under 18’s – seeing him enter the final round of the season as the league’s most prolific marksman.
With just one match remaining in the season, the result means City are all-but-guaranteed finishing the campaign in second place.
Manager David Lister said, “It was a very intense game of football from the start and the boys were committed right to the end.”
“The team defended well against a hard-pressing opponent, however, it wasn’t our most consistent game of the season and some of our execution wasn’t as it had been through the rest of the season.”