Words: Michael Flynn | Image: Angela Mussell
Gold Coast City youth teams faced a pair of hard-fought fixtures against Western Pride at Duncan Mckenna Field on Saturday – recording a draw and a defeat.
Gold Coast City FC – 1 (Jacob BOUTOUBIA 11’)
Western Pride FC – 3 (Jack SHARPLES 5’ 22’, Mambo KASHINDI 48’)
Under 20’s coach Brett Budwee praised his side’s fighting qualities despite falling to Pride for the third time this season.
Pride’s Jack Sharple opened accounts early in the contest on the counter attack before Jacob Boutoubia levelled terms with a strong left-footed finish from distance – his ninth goal in four matches for the youth side this season.
Sharples second midway through the half restored Pride’s advantage before Mambo Kashindi struck early in the second half after capitalising on a City defensive slip.
Despite a typically strong response from City, a red card to Harry Liebke with 20 minutes remaining ultimately put paid to their hopes of a comeback.
In what proved an at-times physical encounter, Budwee questioned the distribution of bookings throughout the match.
“Both teams committed 16 fouls in what was a very physical game. But while we received six yellow cards, Pride only received one.”
He added, “The referee had no control over the game.”
However, Budwee identified areas within his team’s control that will be addressed over the remainder of the season.
“We were slow in transition from attack to defence and Pride are a counter attacking team. That caught us out a couple times resulting in goals, so we will have to work on that part of our game.”
“But we fought hard for the whole 90 minutes even after we went down to ten men,” he concluded.
The result leaves City in fifth place in the standings with five matches remaining in the home-and-away season.
Gold Coast City FC – 1 (Zane ROWLES 89’)
Western Pride – 1 (Will ORFORD 90’p)
The Under 18’s extended their unbeaten run to seven straight matches but were unable to gain ground against the league-leaders in their top-of-the-table clash.
A solid defensive effort from City prevented any addition to the scoreline until the final minutes of the contest when Zane Rowles struck the opener from distance.
However, Pride levelled from the penalty spot via Will Orford just a minute later to claim a share of the spoils.
Manager David Lister suggested his side deserved to take more from the game on the balance of play.
“It was a hard battle between the first and second teams in the competition,” he said.
“Our combination play stood out, especially in the second half where we dominated.”
“It was a great overall defensive team performance which limited the amount of shots on goal by Pride in the second half.”
City remain four points behind Pride on the table with four full rounds remaining, however maintain a game-in-hand advantage.