VIDEO: The Nerang Eagles have turned the Gold Coast’s second division competition on its head, catapulting from 5th place to 3rd place yesterday after one of the most significant wins in recent memory against a fired up Southport Warriors side.
The result, alongside the 4-1 win by Merrimac over Runaway Bay yesterday, has all but wrapped up the third-place finish for Nerang which not only delivers the team a spot in the finals, but a coveted chance to playoff in the coming weeks in a chance for the club to be promoted into the Gold Coast Premier League for 2018.
The Nerang Eagles recently suffered two heart-breaking and controversial results against the top teams, Tweed Heads and Mudgeeraba. The Eagles were sure to take the win from Tweed a few weeks back until a referee’s error – allowing the game to run abnormally over time – gave Tweed an opportunity to score a scrambling equaliser in the dying seconds and force a draw, almost 53 minutes into the second half of the match. The goal, forced the ref to check his watch again and the full time whistle was sounded after the goal. Nevertheless, the welcome one-point earned from the draw would prove crucial coming into the last two rounds.
Last week’s round away against Mudgeeraba saw the score at 4-3 against Nerang with a couple of minutes to go when the Mudgeeraba goal keeper lashed out without any provocation, throwing a deliberate striking elbow towards the face one of the Nerang player who was running past him. Despite missing his target by just inches, the aggressive and dangerous move was overtly deliberate and could have hospitalised our player if it connected. The incident was not seen by any of the referees, however would have very likely been a red-card offence resulting in a penalty and opportunity to level the game – in the end these results proved to be just the catalyst needed to fire up the Eagles to victory.
Yesterday was an outstanding performance, with Nerang clearly dominating the majority of the match with exceptional control and tactical skill.
With this being the most crucial game of the year for our club, the Eagles set a cracking pace and didn’t disappoint. Poised, precise, humble and calculated performance from the lads, surging up the ladder from 5th to 3rd and a top 4 finish – all but securing their place in the playoff for the last remaining Premier League spot.
A clumsy foul from the Southport defence, just outside their own box, allowed for Nerang to open the scoring with a failed attempt by the defence to deflect the free-kick strike. Ultimately, it was deflected over the keeper and into the net.
The frustration was evident for Southport, who drew a series of yellow cards throughout the match for dissent, foul play and some agressive conduct however none of it had any impact on the snowballing momentum of the Nerang team.
The next two goals, one late in the first half and another late in the second, were world-class all the way, showcasing the raw talent the club has coming out of Nerang’s Academy of Football Australia. Outstanding performances from Gary and Darrel’s protégés, these lads held themselves so well and professionally, they do the Eagles badge proud!
The win caps a highly successful season for the team and the club as a whole. There is now one match to go to book the play off against Premier League wooden spooners Coomera, so you all absolutely have to get down the to club this Saturday (19th) for the last home-game match up against Robina.
Let’s do this and cheer on the Eagles all the way!!!