Words: Thibault Berthier | Image: Sportspics
Gold Coast City striker Sam Smith said his side’s winning mentality shone through in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Western Pride.
Goals from substitutes Smith and Saunders secured a come-from-behind win for the visitors at Briggs Road.
Pride took the lead in the 24th minute when midfielder Adam Endean rifled an effort from inside the are past City goalkeeper Matt Stein.
City restored parity in the 59th minute when substitute Sam Smith headed home Nik Mirkovic’s cross just minutes after coming on.
Both teams heaved and hoed in a tightly fought affair until another City substitute Rhys Saunders headed home from a corner in the 84th minute to secure the points for the visitors.
Speaking post-match, Smith praised his sides attitude in what proved to be a tricky encounter.
“Grae mentioned in the changeroom after the game that maybe in previous years we might’ve lost or drawn that game whereas tonight we’ve gone out and won it.”
“It’s games like this make champions, don’t get me wrong we can’t get ahead of ourselves we’ve still got 12 games left we’re only half way through the season.”
“I’m sure Strikers and Olympic will probably have gotten a result today so they’ll be right on our heels.”
“We’ve got to move on from this game quick take the three points and look to Moreton bay next week,” Smith said.
The win keeps City’s three-point buffer at the top of table in tact and stretches their unbeaten run to eleven matches in all competitions.
Smith said the win was vitally important for City’s end of season hopes.
“I think it could be a pivotal week,” Smith said.
“In terms of the FFA Cup, and I think it’s becoming a decisive tournament to become involved with, we’ve got one more game can we get into the last 32.”
“The league is the most important thing in my eyes, the win tonight it could be massive come the end of the season.”
The win was City’s third in just seven days following FFA Cup triumphs over Gold Coast Knights and SWQ Thunder.
Smith said Saturday’s win was another affirmation of the strength in depth with the City squad.
“They are a good side, Western Pride, they were well organised.”
“We went a goal down and this is where maybe the strength in depth of the squad shows.”
“With myself and a couple of others like Jacob and Rhys coming on that strength of depth in a squad can sometimes win you games like that which will be really important I believe at the end of the season,” Smith concluded.
City now turn their attention to next weekend’s home clash with Moreton Bay Jets.
PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland 2017 – Round 10
Saturday May 13
Briggs Road Sporting Complex, Ipswich
Western Pride FC – 1 (Adam ENDEAN 24’)
Gold Coast City FC – 2 (Sam SMITH 59’, Rhys SAUNDERS 84’)
Gold Coast City FC Squad: 1. Matt STEIN, 2. Riley DILLON, 3. Oskar DILLON, 4. Martin VAZQUEZ, 6. Roman HOFMANN, 8. Curtis STOLLERY (10. Jacob BOUTOUBIA), 9. Jarrod KYLE (21. Sam SMITH 56’), 11. Nikola MIRKOVIC, 14. Benji LYVIDIKOS, 15. Eoghan MURPHY (12. Rhys SAUNDERS 53’), 18. Justyn MCKAY
Unused subs: 20. Garion VOGEL, 22. Austin LUDWIK