Fowler brace sinks GCU

A second half Robbie Fowler double for North Queensland has downed state rivals Gold Coast United 2-0 at Skilled Park on Saturday night.

A second half Robbie Fowler double for North Queensland has downed state rivals Gold Coast United 2-0 at Skilled Park on Saturday night.

The win gives the Fury its second win on the trot and embarrassed United who played in front of its smallest crowd of the season.

When the teams emerged from the break Gold Coast looked the livelier, however the Fury managed to break the deadlock in the 63rd minute through Robbie Fowler.

The Fury's marquee man fired a left foot drive low into the bottom corner when David Williams cut back a pass after turning United defender Sebastian Van Den Brink inside-out on the left.

Gold Coast's night got worse when the Fury were granted a penalty in the 76th minute after Steve Pantelidis was judged to have handled the ball in the area.

Fowler then stepped up to convert, placing his shot neatly to the left of Higgins who dived the wrong way.

United struggled to bounce back the Fury coming close again ten minutes later when a Fowler right foot shoot went inches wide and Jeremey Brockie's angled drive a minute again testing United's defence.

Meeting for the second time this season, both teams struggled to control possession for lengthy periods and as such the first half was fought largely in the midfield.

The first real chance of the match fell to the Fury in the 20th minute after Daniel McBreen was fouled just outside the top of the 18-yard box. Robbie Fowler then stepped up only to see his left foot strike continue to curl past United's right-hand post.

On field action was few and far between until the 40th minute when United keeper Scott Higgins made a great save, turning a close range McBreen header over the bar after midfielder James Robinson delivered a great cross from the left.

United were then forced to make a personnel change when Brazilian import Robson who struggled to shake an early knock had to be replaced by Zenon Caravella.

Gold Coast United had its first chance of the half, deep into stoppage time, when Tahj Minniecon made a great run from inside his own half. The Young Socceroo then played in Shane Smeltz whose deflected shot forced Fury keeper Paul Henderson to dive to his right, turning the ball around the post.

Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg was disappointed with the result and felt that his team was unlucky to lose the points.

"Ever since a few weeks ago everything we've done worked in our favour, today it didn't work or recently it hasn't worked for us," Bleiberg said.

"When it's not working for you it-s not working for you, you have to swallow it and keep moving on."

Fury coach Ian Ferguson was delighted with his team's performance and ability to reverse the form they produced against United back in Round 2.

"Credit to the boys tonight again, I think they played fantastic stuff in the second half especially, we moved it about well and we kept it a lot better if the second half," Ferguson said.

"The last time we were here, it was probably a football lesson for us and we-ve learnt a lot of things since then."

"We're heading in the right direction, and we know we're heading in the right direction and that's the main thing."

Gold Coast United 0 North Queensland 2 (Fowler, 63, 76) Crowd: 2616 @ Skilled Park