DEFENDER Zelmar Martinez had an added reason to celebrate his super strike during Western Pride's latest National Premier League win over QAS Academy.
"I wasn't expecting to hit it that well but I'll take it," Martinez said after Pride's 2-1 victory.
"This is actually a milestone for me, first goal since moving up to Queensland. It was good to end a three-year drought on a good goal."
The Uruguay-born, Melbourne- bred footballer moved north in 2010, joining Taringa Rovers.
After recovering from injury this season, he has been a valuable acquisition for Pride.
"I'm still working on fitness but getting there," said Martinez, 27.
His timely goal finished off a first half cross from busy Pride captain Will Jordan.
"The guys really got amongst it and got stuck in there," he said.
Pride's second goal at Kippen Park on Saturday night came five minutes after the break.
Hardworking striker Russell Woodruffe converted a penalty awarded after tireless teammate Peter Drager was tripped in the box.
The dangerous Drager could have scored a few goals, such was his menacing presence in attack.
Although dominating the match, Pride had some anxious final few minutes when QAS scored a soft penalty then mounted some desperate attack.
Reliable Pride goalkeeper Steve Purdy made a crucial save in injury time to repel the challenge.
QAS had provided a similar scare the first time the teams met, drawing 2-2 in Pride's historic debut match.
However, Pride coach Kasey Wehrman said his team deserved their fourth win of the season after a promising start to the second round.
"We gave a light penalty at the end and let them back in it but we controlled 90 percent of the game," Wehrman said.
"They were a little bit sloppy in the first half but in the second half they really hit their straps and did everything I asked of them.
"They'll take confidence out of that."
Midfielders Lincoln Rule and Robbie Livingstone dominated.
Defender Devon Munn produced a brave performance after feeling unwell and Jay Kitching made some terrific runs.
Saturday night's NPL game capped a carnival atmosphere hosted by Western Spirit.
Under-7 players were involved in mini-games and were escorted on to the field with Pride and QAS players in a sign of the region's support for Western Pride.
State of Play
National Premier League: Western Pride 2 (Zelmar Martinez, Russell Woodruffe penalty) d QAS 1. Under 18: QAS d Western Pride 8-0.
Brisbane Premier League: Ipswich Knights 2 (Mathias Waldmann penalty, Keita Furuie) d University of Qld 0. Reserves: Ipswich Knights 1 (Matt Savini, Tim Jay) d University 0.
Capital League 1: Brisbane Knights d Western Spirit 1-0. Reserves: Western Spirit d Brisbane Knights 4-1.
Capital League 2: Grange 6 d Ipswich City 3 (Ben Robson 2, Zygan Condie). Reserves: Ipswich City 3 (Christian Heider, Grant Haviland, Scott Niemi) d Grange 2.
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