VIDEO & GOALS: A stacked Friday of fixtures last night at Nerang delivered it all, from heartache for some, celebrations for others.
First up our U15 boys faced off with their league’s second place team Burleigh, and our emerging U23s — featuring many U18 players in their first few games of senior football — took on the visiting Musgrave Mustangs who are sitting 4th place on their table.
The U15s found quality patches and managed to hit the net twice, however it wasn’t enough to get on top of their Burleigh foe. In the U23s, it was always going to be an uphill battle for our younger less experienced side but they ran out their game regardless of the result.
The next round kicking off at 8:05pm saw our Premier League firsts take on Musgrave in a match that had all the hallmarks of a competitive first grade game.
Musgrave pressed and secured the greater share of attacking chances for much of the match, however an undeterred Eagles outfit — featuring several exciting new mid-season transfer players — ran out the full 90 minutes with pure grit and determination, pushing forward several times to create repeated chances on goal and truly test the visitor’s defence.
Despite the halftime scoreline at one all, a momentary lapse in defensive shape cost them in the opening minutes of the second half, leaving Nerang chasing once again.
A late flurry of attacking play in each half delivered two quality goals from Carlos Cardoso and Gabriel Costa, however they were not enough to rebound from the four goal deficit and the Eagles fell short, however the result was far from previous early-season thumpings.
The Eagles are now looking competitive and are poised to strike, showing the kind of football required to secure more points in the coming weeks, and fend off possible relegation. Talk within the Eagles camp is that of continuing to build towards 2023 as confidence grows and results on and off the score sheet begin to manifest in earnest.
Wrapping up the night our U16 Division 1 boys showed exactly the character Nerang Eagles teams are known for, clawing back from a 2 nil half time deficit to run away 3-2 winners over Pacific Pines.
Following on from a mid-week 2 nil victory over Ormeau on Tuesday the boys struggled to find form early in the fiery match, however regained composure to take control of the second half and generate multiple scoring opportunities, three of which were realised.
Having hit the crossbar twice (Jayden Taylor and Lincoln Syers), the boys put the foot on the accelerator to hammer forward with some intelligent play, intensity and ball movement.
Lukas Gebler struck first to pinch one back for the home team, which was followed on by a rare goal from defender Ryan Arrowsmith, who seized the chance to pounce on a corner kick cross before firing a spinning header from the middle of the box which ricocheted off the Pac Pines keeper’s body to spin its way just over the line.
Locked at two all and with just minutes to go, a perfectly weighted through pass from Kia Nasrollahi found its mark, landing at the feet of Stav Roussos who hammered a wickedly struck shot over the keeper’s head and into the top of the net.
The goal and win now sees the Nerang Boys lift towards the middle of the table with the prospect of a top-four finish for a third year in a row starting to come within reach.
Premier League Firsts vs Musgrave Mustangs /// 2-4 loss
U16 Boys vs Pacific Pines /// 3-2 win
U23 PL Reserves vs Musgrave Mustangs /// 12-2 loss
U15 Boys vs Burleigh Heads Bulldogs /// 2-4 loss