Brown: That felt good

He was never meant to start the match, but rising Gold Coast star James Brown finished Sunday's 1-1 draw with Wellington in the best way possible.

He was never meant to start the match, but rising Gold Coast star James Brown finished Sunday's 1-1 draw with Wellington in the best way possible.

Had Dutch import Maceo Rigters' visa clearance arrived in time for kick-off, Olyroo Brown would have been on the bench against the Phoenix and entirely at the mercy of coach Miron Bleiberg for playing time.

But after the former Blackburn striker was ruled out, Brown grabbed his opportunity, put in a delightful 90-minute shift in three different positions and capped it off with his late headline-grabbing shot from 25 yards that snatched United a share of the points.

"There were problems with Mace's visa so when I got the news that I was in the starting line-up I was pretty happy," Brown said after the match.

"It was a lucky hit but I'm happy with it. I've had some joy against Wellington last season as well so I was pretty happy with that."

But the best is yet to come from the quietly-spoken 21-year-old, according to his skipper Michael Thwaite, who is predicting 'big things' from the versatile young Kingscliff junior.

"For two years it's been building up. Now he's getting the rewards," Thwaite said.

"I'm a massive fan of Browny, he's just got to start believing in himself and doing it week-in, week-out."

"He's looking after his body now like all the young players are starting to do so he's destined for big things."

United were all over Wellington for vast periods of Sunday's match, but were kept at bay time and time again by a combination of poor finishing and a string of amazing reflex saves from goalkeeper Mark Paston.

It took 88 minutes and Brown's exquisite piece of skill for Paston to be beaten, but there were a multitude of other opportunities that could have just as easily gone in.

But at no point did Gold Coast panic in search of an equaliser, according to Brown.

"We always believed we could bag a goal. We had plenty of chances before that but we knew (a goal) was going to come," he said.

Eventually it did, canceling out Chris Greenacre's opener - but either side of that 13th minute strike were two goals from Dylan Macallister that were correctly ruled out for offside.

"If they were two feet to the side you'd be saying 'what a quality finish,'" Bleiberg said.

"Had we won you would say 'Gold Coast United, what a team, what beautiful football.' But because it was 1-all and we equalised, we escaped from jail."

"We're happy with what we showed today and if we continue to play like this, we'll be a force to be reckoned with."