Gold Coast's Harold in top form

Promising youngster Chris Harold stole the headlines with two late goals as Gold Coast United continued its 2010-11 A-League preparations with a 5-0 victory over a local Select XI at Carrara Stadium on Wednesday.

Promising youngster Chris Harold stole the headlines with two late goals as Gold Coast United continued its 2010-11 A-League preparations with a 5-0 victory over a local Select XI at Carrara Stadium on Wednesday.

Harold's ability in the penalty box was vital on a night where Gold Coast wasted several chances.

The recently turned 18-year-old showed the same skill in front of goal that saw him net 16 goals last year in Gold Coast's National Youth League title winning season, which included strikes in the Semi Final and Grand Final.

United had many opportunities to take the lead in the early stages with Jason Culina, Michael Thwaite, James Brown and Joel Porter all going close but the determined team of Queensland Premier League players were keen to keep them out.

Former Perth Glory defender Dino Djulbic finally broke the deadlock on 35 minutes when a short corner move started by Culina finished in the back of a net courtesy of a strong header.

Five minutes later and the advantage was doubled when striker Porter converted a one-on-one after neat build up work from the eccentric Tahj Minniecon and defender Kristian Rees.

As usual in pre-season friendlies, half-time saw numerous substitutions and one of new inclusions; Bas van den Brink scored the goal of the night. The Dutch centre-back thumped home a volley from the edge of the area to put the result beyond doubt.

Harold's header 15 minutes from time was followed by a well-taken finish on 80 minutes and wrapped up a convincing 5-0 win.

"We trained on the morning of the game so perhaps the players were a little tired and flat in the first half," an animated Gold Coast Head Coach Miron Bleiberg said.

"There was improvement in the second half and that was good to see."

Bleiberg also promised dramatic improvement when his side clash with fellow A-League team North Queensland Fury at Carrara Stadium on Sunday.