AIS too strong for Gold Coast

The AIS have halted the strong form of the Gold Coast by knocking off the defending National Youth League champions 2-0 at the AIS on Saturday.

The AIS have halted the strong form of the Gold Coast by knocking off the defending National Youth League champions 2-0 at the AIS on Saturday.

The first genuine attempt on goal came as Melvin Becket laid the ball into the path of Jake Barker-Daish whose powerful strike was well met by Gold Coast keeper Jerrad Tyson.

It was Barker-Daish who opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after Jess Makarounas- crafty back heel put him into the box with only Tyson to beat. Tyson was no match for Barker-Daish-s finish this time and the AIS took a well-earned lead.

Makarounas was in the action again five minutes later as AIS pressure on the Gold Coast backline resulted in a clumsy turnover of possession. It proved costly as Becket reacted most quickly, sending Makarounas past the defence to put the AIS up by two.

The Gold Coast began to mount a fight-back towards the end of the half but a series of spectacular saves by ever-present AIS goalkeeper Paul Izzo denied them any chance of making a mark on the scoreboard.

Ben Halloran had Gold Coast-s best opportunity of the half when Andrew Barisic unselfishly set him up only seven metres from goal, only to watch Izzo parry the ball to safety.

Barisic followed up with a strong header two minutes before half-time but a reflex left-hand deflection from Izzo kept the score at 2-0 at the break.

Tim Anderson replaced Jerrad Tyson in goal for the Gold Coast after half-time, providing more stability and cleaner distribution from the back.

With more defensive structure and the wind behind them, the Gold Coast was more purposeful in attack in the second stanza.

Tahj Minniecon began to stamp himself on the match, as did second-half substitution Rob Russell who made several darting runs into the AIS box.

Despite this, none of Gold Coast-s endeavours looked destined for the back of the net and the window of opportunity for a comeback slowly slipped away.

The scoreline remained unchanged at the final whistle with the AIS moving to within one win of their Queensland opponents.

AIS 2 (Barker-Daish 23, Makarounas 28) Gold Coast 0