Bulls' upset victory delivers double benefits
THE Ipswich City Bulls helped themselves and city neighbours Western Spirit by upsetting the competition leaders in a dramatic weekend of regional football.
Battling to stay out of the relegation zone, the Bulls beat Centenary 1-0 at Sutton Park on the same night Spirit ground out a late 2-1 away victory over Park Ridge.
The important wins gave the Bulls some much needed impetus and kept Spirit in touch with the Capital League 2 top three.
Both victories came late in the games with the giant-killing Bulls only nudging ahead in the 94th minute when Ronan Geoghegan pounced on a goal mouth rebound to score.
"The song was pretty loud last night,'' Bulls coach Nev O'Sullivan said of the excitement in his team's dressing room after an unexpected and crucial win.
"We really toughed it out.''
Spirit's win came at the same stage of the match when Damien Andison scored from a corner. That followed a Park Ridge equaliser three minutes earlier after Jay Johnson had put Spirit up 1-0 heading towards injury time.
Andison celebrated the winning goal in style, delivering some moves he picked up at the team's Thursday night hot yoga (sauna) session.
While happy to secure the points, head coach Nick Paterson rated it a poor performance.
"We were awful last night,'' he said.
"It was 11 individuals and didn't play any outstanding footy. It was just one of those weeks.''
However, Paterson gave his team credit for battling hard to the end without playing their usual quality football.
Spirit's win came after they also picked up a handy signing in Jay Kitching. The speedster debuted on Saturday night after transferring from Western Pride's National Premier Leagues team.
"He's another great addition to our young squad,'' Paterson said.
"I'm happy with the depth we've got in our squad.''
Fourth-placed Spirit plays third-placed Oxley United at Kippen Park on Saturday night.
Ipswich City heads to The Gap on Saturday night keen to use the Centenary win as a launching pad for their season recovery.
"We've still got to start winning more games,'' O'Sullivan said. "It doesn't get us out of the woods that's for sure.''
O'Sullivan said the local derby the previous week against Spirit lifted his team's confidence despite the 2-0 loss from two set pieces in that game.
"We could see it (a win) coming,'' O'Sullivan said. "We just had to be patient.
"We defended as a unit and we attacked as a unit.''
O'Sullivan praised goalkeeper Brent Witney for stepping up to the top side and doing a solid job.
"Brent has been training the house down,'' the coach said.
The Bulls defence and midfield also worked tirelessly with players like Ben Ungermann, Chris Heider, Nathan Manttan, Liam Mercer and Andreas Heider battling hard.
State of Play
- National Premier Leagues: Brisbane Strikers 3 (Jheison Macuace 3) def Western Pride 0.
- Brisbane Premier League: Albany Creek 2 def Ipswich Knights 0. Reserves: Ipswich Knights 3 (Matt Savini, Dane Grant, Trent Griffiths) def Albany Creek 0.
- Capital League 2: Ipswich City 1 (Ronan Geoghegan) def Centenary 0; Western Spirit 2 (Jay Johnson, Damien Andison) def Park Ridge 0.
- Reserves: Centenary d Ipswich City 3-0, Western Spirit drew Park Ridge 0-0.