A tale of two derby teams: Ripley rising, Bulls struggling
RIPLEY Valley will test their depth early in Friday night's local derby against the Ipswich City Bulls.
With some injury concerns and player unavailability, head coach Nick Paterson was keen to see how his extended squad fares at Sutton Park in their next game.
Ripley Valley and the Bulls will clash in the third round Capital League 1 encounter having both lost their latest matches.
But while the Bulls were outclassed in their 6-2 defeat to Moggill on Saturday night, Paterson had mixed feelings about his team's 2-0 loss to Annerley.
"Bitterly disappointed (not to win) as we played really well,'' Paterson said.
"That's the frustrating part.
"We absolutely dominated possession, shots on target.
"We just didn't capitalise on some really good opportunities.''
Annerley is traditionally one of the benchmark CL1 performers.
However, wayward firepower at goal proved the difference for Ripley on Saturday night at South Ripley.
"We were our own worst enemies,'' Paterson said.
"We outplayed them on the park.
"It was just the one percenters and finishing that cost us last night. We learn and move on.''
An extended session on shooting awaits the footballers at training this week.
After a first round 2-0 win over New Farm United, Ripley have shown they can be a competitive force having moved up into CL1.
However, a likely season-ending knee injury to Alistair Wallis is among the early setbacks for Ripley.
Season recruit Danyon Mollee, from Lions, could also be out for some weeks after the recurrence of a long-term injury.
Former Ipswich Knights and Ipswich City Bulls attacking midfielder Adam O'Sullivan (wedding) and regular first grader Shane Carr (Sydney trip) will also miss the local derby.
However, Paterson welcomes back Jay Burton and Rhys Jackson for the Brassall duel on Friday night.
Another major boost for Ripley is securing Alistair Pase, an attacker from Taringa.
The club's Reserve Grade side secured their first three points in beating Annerley 3-2 on Saturday afternoon at South Ripley.
"You never get use to injuries but we've created a great squad so there's plenty of boys to fill the shoes,'' Paterson said.
The Bulls meanwhile struggled in the pre-season and FFA Cup. They were further troubled by having a first-round bye when Brisbane Athletic withdrew from the competition.
The Bulls have been hit hard by having a number of senior players yet to return.
The Bulls Reserves also lost their opening encounter 4-0 at Bellbowrie.
However, as past Ipswich history shows, there is nothing like a local derby to bring out the best in players searching for form.
"We just need to get back into the winner's circle,'' Paterson said.
Ipswich City Bulls coach Norbert Duga will no doubt share that ambition preparing for the latest local derby.