FNQ FC Heat became the fourth and final Football Queensland club into the Westfield FFA Cup thanks to a convincing 6-1 defeat of Mackay Magpies.
FNQ FC Heat became the fourth and final Football Queensland club into the Westfield FFA Cup thanks to a convincing 6-1 defeat of Mackay Magpies 6-1 in Cairns.
Heat midfield talisman Alex Smith overcame the flu to claim a brace for the hosts while Mqondisi Nkiwane also netted twice, Crios O'Hare and Ethan Docherty also adding a goal apiece.
Following an energetic start to the contest, Nkiwane opened the scoring after only ten minutes of play – the flamboyant attacker delivering a dancing celebration to the delight of the parochial home crowd.
Magpies bounced back to win several corners and create a number of chances, but a lapse in concentration allowed Carroll to pick out Smith with a cross field ball to double the hosts advantage on 24 minutes.
Jamie Carroll proved a particular handful down the left for Heat as the National Premier Leagues club proceeded to dominate their lower division opponents.
Docherty and Nkiwane spurned chances to further extend the advantage before Smith netted his second in the 31st minute, showing control and guile to beat three defenders then slotting his shot to effectively seal the win before half time.
A promising free-kick for Magpies failed to find the target shortly after, however the bulk of the play remained with Heat.
Docherty pounced for his first goal in the unfamiliar right wing role just prior to the half when he capitalised on a rebound from Carroll’s initial strike.
Heat continued to dominate in the second half, denying Magpies extended possession; however the visitors still managed to test Heat goalkeeper Daniel Valcicak with a series of speculative efforts.
The American goalkeeper produced a full-stretch save to deny Magpies, before a full-field counter attack enabled substitute O’Hare to net a fifth for the hosts on 65 minutes.
A strike from Carroll grazed the crossbar shortly after before Nkiwane completed his brace by finishing off a series of sharp one touch passes.
Heat sought to close out the contest before Magpies netted a consolation in the final minutes on the counter attack through Michael Lyall.
The win continues an impressive run of form for Heat, who are undefeated in their past 11 matches across all competitions – a run that started in late March.
FNQ FC Heat 6 (Nkiwane 10’/71’, Smith 24’/31’, Docherty 45’, O’Hare 65’)
Mackay Magpies 1 (Lyall 90’)