Match Report: NPL Men Rd5 vs SC Wanderers

An Alex Fiechtner hattrick and a composed team display earned our Lions an imposing six-one victory.

Back from injury and thrust onto the field following a Sean Carlos Solórzano injury, NPL All-Star Alex Fiechtner wasted no time reminding the league what he’s worth, providing two goals and an assist before the interval, and then sealing his hattrick and winning us a penalty in the second half.

In a controlled display marked by ninety minutes of composure and attention to detail, our Lions lined up in a new 3-5-2 formation which allowed us to prevent our opponents from playing between our centre-backs. The change of shape also allowed us to utilise our full-backs attacking traits, positioning them higher as defensive wide-midfielders, who dropped into a back five when our defence came under fire. With Alex Fiechtner and Andy Pengelly forming the deadly strike partnership responsible for five of our six goals, Darren Sime’s tactical alterations provided control in the middle and an assurance at the back that was severely lacking in the opening two matches.

It took just six minutes for us to take the lead against the Wanderers, with Andy Pengelly running onto a Solórzano lay-off and driving the ball into the bottom right corner from the edge of the box. Thirteen minutes late we doubled our lead through Shaun Carlos, who guided the ball into the bottom left corner from just inside the box.

Two minutes after assisting Shaun’s opener, Alex Fiechtner headed the ball home from close range before adding a second goal ten minutes before the break with a calm right-footed finish after bringing down an overhead cross.

We were unfortunate to concede our cleansheet to a Kyren Walters penalty, but it was Fiechtner who responded with his hattrick, beating the keeper to an Andy Pengelly through-ball, and running across him to score against an empty net. Andy Pengelly capped off a fine all-round display, earning himself a brace after dispatching the ball into the bottom right corner from the penalty spot.

Head Coach Darren Sime spoke positively about his side’s emphatic victory.

“Yes, really happy”, Darren said, “I’m a little bit disappointed that we conceded a goal, but overall, there was some fantastic football, really patient, they came out and they pressed in good areas, but we didn’t panic, we found the player in the next line, and we scored some good goals.

“Sometimes that one-nil early in the game can be a bit of a false assurance, so I’m glad the second one went in.”

Sime also commented on Solórzano’s injury, as well as Alex Fiechtner’s return to the squad.

“Nico’s been fantastic to be fair, he brings an intelligence to the squad that you can’t buy, but in saying that, I was upset for him [coming off injured], but it was more precautionary, he felt something twinge so he decided to come off.

“Alex has got talent in abundance, and if we get him on the ball in good areas then he will certainly keep defences accountable.

“Some of the build-up play and some of the unselfishness to get him into those areas was fantastic.”

We travel away for the first time in the NPL this season, heading to Heath Park to take on Eastern Suburbs FC on Sunday evening.



Men’s NPL Queensland 2022 Round #5

Lions FC vs Sunshine Coast Wanderers

Saturday, 2nd April

KO: 7:00pm

Lions Stadium, Richlands




HT: 4-0

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