Green nails equaliser in emotional clash against competition favourites Fury inspire tears of joy
THE Northern Fury have kept their mathematical hopes of making the Queensland NPL finals alive after scoring an inspired 2- all draw with table toppers Gold Coast City.
Jarrod Green again played the role of hero for the Fury by pouncing on a Gold Coast defensive error to grab a 75th minute equaliser, one week after he scored a brace in the Fury’s 3- 0 win over SWQ Thunder.
The Fury are now three wins outside the all- important top four and have two games in hand as a result of weather and travel interruptions, and Fury coach Paul Roncato is confident Saturday night’s result on the glitter strip will be the catalyst of a late season surge.
There was plenty of pregame emotion for the Fury, who made a point of making Roncato proud after the respected coach suffered a stroke last week.
Fury goalkeeping coach Ken Mitchell filled in for Roncato during the rain- soaked game, which saw Gold Coast grab a 1- 0 lead after half an hour through a header from league leading goalscorer Jarrod Kyle, before Corey Waples slotted home a saved penalty near halftime.
Oskar Dillon made it 2- 1 for the home side just after the break, rising above the pack to score a header, and it could have been more if not for the stunning performance of Fury goalkeeper Joseph Simons who denied Gold Coast with a number of reflex saves.
Green then handed the Fury their deserved share of the points with his late goal.
“I think that was the first time I’ve been brought to tears in a long time,” Roncato said.
“My week wasn’t so good with the health scare I had.
“I don’t know if the players actually played for me, but I know as a player I would have, and to hear they had scored a result like that against the competition favourites was incredible.
“The feedback from the players was just beautiful. It’s hard to describe how proud I am.”
The Fury again reached into its under- 16 ranks to cover player shortages, and Jared Fagg was handed his NPL debut just 15 minutes into the game when central defender Mitch Maher suffered an ankle injury.
Starting defender Darren Walker was also a late with- drawal because of a sore neck.
Kyren Walters, another Fury under- 16 player, again had a stellar game and earned the penalty that was eventually converted by Waples.
The Fury host secondplaced Brisbane Strikers on Saturday and Roncato said a similar performance could put the Fury in prime position for a finals’ tilt.
“I still believe if we can keep pulling results like that – and with the two games we have in hand – anything can happen,” he said. “The 3- 0 win we got over the Thunder was magnificent and I think that gave us the belief we can really achieve something.”