Strong win puts the FNQ Bulls in top three of state league soccer
FNQ Bulls registered their most emphatic win of the season on Saturday night, beating the fancied Whitsunday Miners 3-0 at Borzi Park.
The three-point win helped the Mareeba-based team leapfrog the Miners on the table and move into the top three for the first time this year.
After the game, coach Peter Tokesi said it was his team’s most complete performance in 2012.
"(After the game) I said, ‘Well it’s taken this long for (you) to shut me up after the game,’ so I was quite happy with that," Tokesi said.
Coming into the game the Bulls were facing question marks about how they would respond to last week’s 3-0 away loss to Brisbane.
The response came in a 15-minute period after the halftime break in which forward Jamie Carroll scored two goals and played a major role in another.
Before Carroll broke the 0-0 deadlock in the 49th minute, the Bulls were locked in a free-flowing first half in which both teams had opportunities but neither could gain the upper hand.
Six minutes after putting the Bulls ahead, Carroll found the back of the net for a team-leading ninth goal of the year.
Josh Di Nittis’s was next to cash in, his relentless effort all night rewarded when he patiently put away a Carroll cross.
That ended the scoring but the Bulls continued to impress the vocal home crowd.
Playing his second game since his mid-season return, veteran Glenn Hurney retained possession well and distributed the ball efficiently from the midfield.
The backline made keeper Jack Richards’ life easier by so effectively shutting down the Miners’ attack.
Coming into the season, the Bulls’ defence was facing major question marks after the loss of Stuart Dunn and Kane Alderton.
The combination of Cameron Morrison, Callum Wood, Victor Madrid and Alex Plowman proved they were up to the task on Saturday night.
"The pleasing aspect for me is that we’ve actually worked on shutting their frontline down. They were very direct and getting in behind us last time, but that didn’t seem to happen, and that part of the game worked for us," Tokesi said.
"It’s stuff that we’ve been working on for weeks, so it’s good that it worked."
Now the Bulls, once again, have to face the league-leading Strikers, who come to Mareeba next Saturday.
"There’s still a bit of sour taste in our mouths (from) when we played them … last week and lost 3-0. We will be looking at that and working on a plan to beat them," Tokesi said.
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Midfield veteran: Glenn Hurney played his second game for FNQ Bulls since his mid-season return to the team. Picture: JIM HATCHMAN