Energy laments sharing win in pre-season friendly match
A JORDAN Miller penalty in the dying stages ensured Central Queensland FC returned from Mackay on Saturday night with a share of the spoils.
Facing a Mackay Crusaders representative team in their first official friendly as a squad ahead of the 2014 National Premier League season, Miller helped the Energy to a 1-1 draw at Brothers Football Ground on Saturday night.
The 19 year old converted the penalty shot in the 85th minute to equalise after Mackay scored earlier in the second half.
In what turned out to be a fiery contest, both teams were reduced to 10 men during the second half with the Energy's Scottish import Douglas Neill red carded after an altercation with a Crusaders player.
The Energy created plenty of opportunities and should have been leading heading into half-time with the travelling team continually on the attack.
CQFC ENERGY2014 PRE-SEASON Friendly
CQFC Energy 1
Mackay Crusaders 1
At Brothers Football Ground, Mackay on Saturday night.
CQFC dominated the opening period and had a number of chances on goal, but couldn't convert.
"In the first half we played pretty well and pretty much dominated the game," Miller said. "We didn't have any shots against us in the first half, and they didn't really have many chances except for the one they scored off. They took their chances."
Energy left back Byron Hassall echoed Miller's view of their performance.
"It was ridiculous how well we played in that first half. It was at a standard that most teams playing at this level would be happy with," he said.
"It wasn't a fair result. We should've won it and we should've won it in the first half."
The Crusaders remained in the contest, and a slow start from CQFC ensured the Mackay team had the upperhand in the second half.
Mackay scored in the 60th minute before Miller's equaliser shortly before full-time.
"The second half was a completely different story (to the first)," Hassall said.
"They pushed forward and really put it to us. We went down a bloke and to our credit we were able to scramble and fight our way back into it and get a result.
"As long as we continue picking it up and go further it's only going to blossom as the year goes on."
The draw came five weeks out from the Energy's round one fixture against South West Queensland Thunder at Rugby Park on March 8.
CQFC host Crusaders at Rugby Park on February 1.