Words: Thibault Berthier | Image: Sportspics
Gold Coast City coach Grae Piddick said his side must be more ruthless in their Premiership pursuit following Saturday night's 2-2 draw with Northern Fury.
The result extends City's lead to three points at the top of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland ladder after second-placed Brisbane Strikers and third-placed Brisbane Olympic both lost during the round.
City found the breakthrough shortly after the half-hour when Justyn Mckay played in Jarrod Kyle for an angled finish - marking the third straight match the striker has found the back of the net.
Just five minutes later Fury were awarded a penalty when Oskar Dillon brought down Kyren Walters inside the area.
City gloveman Matt Stein saved Corey Waples' initial effort but was left stranded as Waples tucked away the rebound to send the sides in level at the break.
City regained the lead early in the second half as Dillon rose high above the pack to record his first senior goal for the club.
However, ten minutes from time Fury again equalised when Jarrod Green dispossessed Roman Hofmann on the edge of the area before rounding Stein and finishing to steal a point for the visitors.
Saturday’s draw is the first time that City have failed to take all three points in a match against Fury since 2013.
Speaking post-match, Piddick said he felt the draw was an opportunity missed for his charges as they seek to win their first league title since 2014.
“We’ve actually gained a point on our main rivals but we had a massive opportunity to stretch the gap again and, quite frankly, we blew it. There’s just no excuse for what happened today.”
“In patches we were very good, and their goalkeeper was probably their man of the match, but we created a number of chances but couldn’t finish them off and we paid the price with a couple of silly errors.”
Piddick challenged his players to not let slip their hard earned position atop the table with just four matches remaining in the home-and-away season.
“I think the boys have just got to have a bit of a hard look at themselves and see what they want to achieve this year,” he stated.
“We’ve played really well for large chunks, so that’s set us in good stead and I’m really quite happy about that, but if you want to do well in these competitions you’ve got to do it all the time.”
“You’ve got to be ruthless. So the challenge for the boys is to find that within themselves over the next few weeks because they have got it in them.”
“We’re still in the box seat. The result gives us a little extra room to play with the last few games but we’ve just got to go out there and do the job,” he concluded.
City's attentions will now turn to next weekend's clash with Brisbane Roar Youth, which has been brought forward a week from the original schedule to allow City extra preparation for their upcoming Westfield FFA Cup clash.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland 2017 – Round 18
Saturday, July 15
Duncan Mckenna Field, Palm Beach
Gold Coast City FC – 2 (Jarrod KYLE 35’, Oskar DILLON 55’)
Northern Fury FC – 2 (Corey WAPLES 40’, Jarrod GREEN 79’)
Gold Coast City FC team. 1. Matthew STEIN, 3. Oskar DILLON, 5. Matthew SCHMIDT, 6. Roman HOFMANN, 7. Justyn MCKAY (10. Jacob BOUTOUBIA 60’), 9. Jarrod KYLE (18. Jason CAMPBELL 74’), 11. Nikola MIRKOVIC, 14. Benjamin LYVIDIKOS (2. Riley DILLON 81’), 15. Eoghan MURPHY, 21. Sam SMITH, 22. Jaiden WALKER