Send-off hurts Pride after Olympic effort
FOOTBALL: An untimely send-off cost Western Pride dearly just as the National Premier League side was threatening to capitalise on a previous victory.
Western Pride had levelled the scores at 1-1 and were looking to get on top when recent recruit Anthony Sarramea received his second yellow card.
Olympic took advantage of having an extra man in the catch-up NPL game, scoring three goals in nine minutes at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
"I still believe if Anthony wasn't sent off last night, we were well and truly right in that game,'' Pride head coach Terry Kirkham said.
Although Pride was returning after a two-week break, they had built momentum from their previous 4-0 win over the Magpies Crusaders in Mackay.
Pride were generating some positive attack on Tuesday night before the dismissal of experienced attacking midfielder Sarramea unsettled the Ipswich side's formation.
"We just had one cleared off the line and a shot saved,'' Kirkham said, highlighting the pressure his team was mounting before losing a key player for 30 minutes.
Missing an opportunity to secure at least a vital point, Pride have to refocus on Saturday night's crucial encounter against South West Queensland at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
Pride are in 14th place facing relegation on nine points.
SWQ are in 12th and just two points clear, making the game the most important of the second round for Pride.
Kirkham said his team could gain confidence having pushed another top four side in the league before suffering more misfortune.
He said Pride goalkeeper Max Davison had his best game since returning from serious injury.
Captain Cam Crestani was also solid, scoring his team's only goal in the first half to level the scores.
Crestani worked well with Gabby Hawash and Pride's ever-consistent defender Kelton Scriggins. That gives Pride plenty to build on against SWQ this weekend.
State of play
NPL: Olympic 4 def Western Pride 1 (Cam Crestani).
Next match: Saturday (7pm) v South West Queensland at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.