Roar held by Fury

Brisbane Roar snapped a three game losing streak to stay in touch with the top six courtesy of a 1-1 draw with North Queensland Fury at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

Brisbane Roar snapped a three game losing streak to stay in touch with the top six courtesy of a 1-1 draw with North Queensland Fury at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

The Roar could, and probably should, have won the contest, but the point will serve as a stepping stone for a final push towards the semi-finals over the remaining three weeks of the season.

Steven Bryce very nearly made the perfect start to his Roar career when Reinaldo, prostrate on the ground, cut a ball to the Costa Rican with only a diving header on the line from Beau Busch preventing the midfielder from opening the scoring.

Brisbane acquitted itself well in the opening stages of the match despite the hot conditions on the pitch.

The Roar were pressing the home side at every opportunity, leaving the Fury little room to play through the midfield.

Out of nothing North Queensland fashioned an opportunity when Jason Spagnuolo knocked the ball to the far post, but David Williams flashed his volley over the bar.

Matt McKay was the next to threaten when he drifted to the far post to meet an Ivan Franjic cross, but he couldn-t direct his effort on target.

Sergio van Dijk then looked to sneak one past Justin Pasfield with an audacious attempt from the edge of the box which had the keeper beaten but sailed just over the bar.

Williams was again the threat for the Fury with two minutes left in the half when he broke down the left of the park before cutting in and shooting just wide.

A well-worked move between Bryce and Reinaldo down the Roar right unlocked the Fury defence but the big Brazilian-s cross had too much zip on it for strike partner van Dijk and the ball flashed harmlessly across the face of the North Queensland goal.

Reinaldo opened the second stanza with purpose, brushing off the Fury defence inside the first minute and squaring the ball to Tommy Oar but the teenager-s shot sailed over the goal.

Ninety seconds later it was defender Luke DeVere who opened the scoring when he headed a van Dijk assist goalwards, Justin Pasfield got his hands to the ball but could only push it into the corner of the goal.

Williams looked to strike back immediately for North Queensland, again from distance, but once again his effort was off target.

Eventually the Fury did draw level on 55 minutes when Brisbane failed to clear their lines and Williams hammered the ball into the net, after a suggestion of handball in the lead-up play, from the edge of the six yard box.

Matt Ham then came to Brisbane-s rescue as Fury pushed for a second, stopping Dyron Daal-s goal-bound effort after the striker had turned the Brisbane defence on the edge of the box.

Reinaldo had a shot blocked from the edge of the box with 25 minutes left on the clock as the Roar sought to regain the ascendency in the match.

McKay swung a shot on the turn over the bar as Brisbane continued to put pressure on the Fury backline.

Oar unleashed a 30m thunderbolt on 75 minutes which Pasfield just managed to push around the post with the ball headed for the bottom corner.

DeVere nearly doubled his tally with a volley that again Pasfield just managed to get away, this time over the bar.

Zullo was next to make Pasfield earn his match payment with a sweetly struck drive which the goalkeeper could only parry into the box, but the ball wouldn-t fall to a Roar attacker and the Fury eventually cleared the danger.

Brisbane continued to boss possession but could not find a way past Pasfield and when Fury midfielder Jason Spagnuolo was free in the heart of the Roar box, he put his volley over the bar.

Reinaldo and van Dijk had chances in the closing minutes to claim all three points for the Roar, but it wasn-t to be.

Roar coach Ange Postecoglou was happy with the improved performance from his side, but disappointed his charges could not hold on to a lead.

“We probably did enough to win the game, but that tells the story of our season,” Postecoglou said.

“We created the chances to take all three points, but at the end of the day we didn-t take them and that-s what counts.

“It was an improved performance though, we got the point and hopefully we can now use that as a building block towards next week-s game.”

Saturday 23 January 2010 North Queensland Fury 1 (David Williams 55-) Brisbane Roar 1 (Luke DeVere 48-) Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville Referee: Gerard Parsons

North Queensland Fury squad: 2.Robbie MIDDLEBY (capt), 3. Chris TADROSSE, 6. Ufuk TALAY (16. Paul KOHLER 71-), 10. Jeremy BROCKIE (7. Jason SPAGNUOLO 4-), 11. David WILLIAMS (23. Rostyn GRIFFITHS 68-), 13.Beau BUSCH, 19. James DOWNEY, 20. Justin PASFIELD (GK), 24. Dyron DAAL, 25. Grant SMITH, 26. Matt SMITH.

Substitutes not used: 1.Paul HENDERSON (GK).

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Matt HAM (gk), 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Pieter COLLEN, 7. Michael ZULLO, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 10. Steven BRYCE (17. Mitch NICHOLS 64-), 11. REINALDO, 15. Matt McKAY (c), 21. Tommy OAR, 22. Ivan FRANJIC.

Substitutes not used: 2. Andrew PACKER, 6. David DODD, 20. Griffin McMASTER (gk).

Yellow cards: 7. Michael ZULLO (2-), Matt McKAY (35-)

Red cards:> Nil