GCU thump Reds

Gold Coast United Youth have returned to their winning ways in the National Youth League with an resounding 5-0 thumping of Adelaide United at Southport Tigers on Sunday afternoon.

Gold Coast United Youth have returned to their winning ways in the National Youth League with an resounding 5-0 thumping of Adelaide United at Southport Tigers on Sunday afternoon.

After three winless weeks on the road, United returned to Southport and courtesy of a brace each from captain Steven Lustica and speedster Chris Harold, and an own goal from Adelaide keeper Mark Birighitti, kept in tact their undefeated home record which now stretches back to early January.

Adelaide had their chances but a bizarre howler from Qantas Young Socceroo Birighitti gave the hosts the advantage in the 21st minute and set the tone for what would be a horror afternoon for the visitors.

Birighitti received the ball from a seemingly innocuous bouncing backpass and took a wild swing at it with his right foot which failed to connect properly - clipping the ball over his head as it spun into the back of the net.

It was a crushing blow for the Reds and they could have made up for it from a corner later in the half from Bradley Norton, whose cross found Jackson Groves mere centimetres from an empty goalmouth, but the youngster inexplicably found a way to balloon his shot over the crossbar, blowing an easy opportunity for Adelaide to even the ledger.

The first half was a see-sawing and at times dour contest which never really settled into any sort of rhythm, but the Reds were made to pay for their errors in the 39th minute, as Lustica laid on an inch-perfect through ball to Harold, who positioned himself perfectly and, with one touch, sidefooted past Birighitti to double his team-s advantage.

Adelaide were lively after the break as they looked to atone for their poor first half, but Lustica ended any hopes of a comeback and made it 3-0 after a foul on substitute Mitch Cooper just outside the edge of the penalty box in the 64th minute. From the free kick, Lustica took a shot that deflected off the Adelaide wall and into the net for his first goal of the season.

As the hosts continued to press, unsatisfied with their lead, Bobby Russell weaved his way into the box past two Adelaide defenders but was brought down and referee Jason Crow pointed straight to the spot. Lustica tucked away the resultant penalty into the bottom left hand corner for his double.

Deep in injury time, Gold Coast made it five with Ben Halloran setting up an easy tap-in for Harold to seal his brace - and an emphatic return to form for the reigning NYL champions.

Gold Coast will be looking to continue in the same vein as they travel once more to the Central Coast on Saturday, their second away trip to face the Mariners in a month, while Adelaide will welcome the AIS to Hindmarsh Stadium on the same day.

Gold Coast United: 5 (Birighitti og 21-, Harold 39-, 90+3, Lustica 64-, 79-) Adelaide United: 0