Brisbane Roar Youth took the lead through Alex Parsons but were eventually run down by competition heavyweights Gold Coast Knights in a 2-1 loss at the Croatian Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Parsons scored a left-footed screamer in the 23rd minute but Young Roar’s hopes of taking a lead into half-time were extinguished two minutes before the break when Max Brown equalised with an opportunistic dribbled effort from the edge of the area.
In a finely balanced contest, Marek Madle gave the hosts the advantage just after the hour following a ripping cross from Curtis Stollery, although there was controversy regarding a foul on Jordan Courtney-Perkins during the build-up.
After full-time, Head Coach Chris Grossmann was circumspect about losing such a close game despite having clear opportunities to win.
“It was a frustrating one,” Grossmann said. “We started well, we got the goal which our play deserved up to that point, but to be honest we have a lot of quality in the front third and I thought not converting chances let us down severely [in the first half.]”
“You can’t let a team like Gold Coast Knights back into the game,” he continued, “because they will hurt you.”
“I expected three points going into this game because they are the sort of aspirations we have to have this year.”
With that being just their first defeat of 2021, Young Roar remain in third place ahead of some traditional powerhouse clubs.
“Anytime you can get ahead of teams like [Lions FC and Olympic FC] is a positive because there are difficult games ahead for everyone,” Grossmann said when asked about the team’s current status inside the top four.
“If you look at where we are after five games then, sure, I’m delighted, but we need to look at our missed opportunities.”
Sunday’s result wasn’t the desired outcome but with plenty of football yet to be played, Grossmann’s boys are in a handy position.
“Ultimately I’m not going to shed any tears over the result,” he said. “It’s one out of 30 games we hope to play in this year, so hopefully if we go on an extended winning run no one is going to talk about it.”
Young Roar head to Max Haynes Field next Sunday for a 6:15pm kick off against a Capalaba FC team coming off a solid Round 5 victory over Magpies Crusaders United.
Brisbane Roar – Parsons 23’ – 0-1
Parsons wins the ball from a Knights defender just inside the penalty area, wheels onto his left foot and drives an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
Gold Coast Knights – Brown 43’ – 1-1
Madle causes uncertainty in the middle of the Young Roar defence. The ball bounces free to Brown who squirts it low and hard inside the far post.
Gold Coast Knights – Madle 66’ – 2-1
Knights go forward quickly to Stollery who slings an inch-perfect drive across the face of goal which Madle taps in with ease from close range.
NPL 2021 Round 5: Gold Coast Knights vs Brisbane Roar Youth
Croatian Sports Centre, Carrara
Sunday, 11 April
Gold Coast Knights 2 (Brown 43’, Madle 66’)
Brisbane Roar Youth 1 (Parsons 23’)