Gold Coast Knights Head Coach, Grae Piddick says there are plenty of positives for his side to take from Wednesday night’s 0-0 draw against Lions at Lions Stadium.
The NPL Queensland’s ladder leaders couldn’t be split in a hotly contested affair that sees both sides maintain their unbeaten records this season.
Knights came close on a number of occasions in the first half with Max Brown & Jheison Macuace both finding the side netting, while Jarrod Kyle had the ball in the back of the net only to be denied by the linesman’s flag.
At the other end of the park, Josh Langdon came up big to deny the league’s top goalscorer, Joe Duckworth one-on-one after his initial slip allowed the Lions forward a sight on goal.
In the opening minutes of the second half only a fingertip Luke Borean save could deny Macuace’s header after he ghosted in at the near post to meet a Mitch Nichols free-kick.
The hosts best chance of the match came in the 73rd minute when Nathan Shepherd’s cross found Zach Maltby who was unable to hit the target with his first time effort from close range.
Knights were reduced to ten-men in the dying stages when substitute Paul O’Brien received two bookings in the space a minute.
The midfielder was cautioned for a misplaced challenge on Tommy Jarrard before receiving a second yellow card just moments later for a handball.
O’Brien was one of three players to make his Knights debut on Wednesday night. Blake Thompson impressed as part of a back-line that kept Lions goalless for the first time this season, while Jean-Carlos Solorzano also made his Knights bow off the bench in the second half.
Speaking post-match, Knights Coach, Grae Piddick said Wednesday’s performance provides his side with a strong point to build on in the coming weeks.
“It’s a good start, to come to the home of the Premiers, many teams won’t come here and take any points so considering we haven’t played for four months we’ll take that point,” Piddick said.
“We didn’t win here last year, we know they had a few players missing as well, but at the same time I’m reasonably happy to come to Lions and keep a clean sheet first of all.”
“We had a few good opportunities and we know we’ll get better with the ball, but I was pleased to see our application and drive to scramble and get back and clear our lines, so I was happy with that.”
Knights now face a short turn around to Saturday, when they’ll host Eastern Suburbs at the Croatian Sports Centre (6:30pm KO).
Easts resumed their 2020 campaign with a 2-0 win over Peninsula Power at Heath Park on Tuesday night, Piddick said his side were expecting another tough test on Saturday.
“We played Easts a week ago in a friendly, we know they’re a good side, it was a really good contest and we kind of got a lucky goal to win 1-0 that day.”
“Obviously, their confidence will be up and we know that they’re a good team, because we’ve seen it a week ago. It’ll be another tough task, all these games early on until everyone gets back into the groove are all just going to be battles.
“We’ll try and improve from tonight and if we can do that, that gives us a good chance for Saturday,” Piddick concluded.
NPL Queensland 2020: Round 21 – Lions FC v Gold Coast Knights
Lions Stadium, Richlands
Wednesday, 29 July
Lions FC – 0
Gold Coast Knights – 0