Meiklejohn goal keeps Bulls in second
A FIRST-HALF strike from Lareena Meiklejohn spared the Ipswich City Bulls' blushes in a 1-0 defeat of Virginia United on Sunday night.
Meiklejohn struck just prior to halftime, and the Bulls held on despite multiple injury scares to solidify their position in second on the Brisbane Women's Premier League ladder.
First-choice goalkeeper Amber Lombard was forced from the field in the first half, after breaking her hand in an accidental collision with the Virginia striker.
The injury curse continued when substitute shot-stopper Melissa Coggins was thrown into the action in the second half.
Coggins broke a finger, but played out the rest of the match in a gritty effort.
She went to hospital to have the finger looked at after the match.
Bulls coach Ian Carson was understandably frustrated with the key injuries, but he still kept his sense of humour about the situation.
"I've still got one more 'keeper I can hurt, thankfully,” Carson said. "And then we'll have to dip into (the reserves).”
The Bulls' win coupled with Peninsula's loss to ladder-leaders Annerley helped stretch the Ipswich side's gap to six points from third place.
It was a pleasing result for Carson, even if the Bulls played well below their best against Virginia.
"It was a tough game actually. They defended well, and we just weren't on our game,” Carson said.
"It was a really dogged win. The cliche is winning ugly, and that's what we did.”
Carson labelled it "just one of those games”, where the Bulls struggled to string passes together and were frustrated by a team they defeated 2-0 at the start of April.
"(The team) were all down on themselves, but I said there's no point in getting down,” Carson said.
"Sometimes you have to win and be gritty about it, and walk away at the end and say we did enough. At the end of the day we got three points.
"We're working hard and not dropping points, so you can't be unhappy. The girls know that.”
Carson welcomed the coming weekend off.
The coach has told his squad to forget about football for the weekend, and come back refreshed and ready to push toward a finals berth in their maiden season in the women's top flight.
"We're probably due a break to recharge the batteries and refocus,” Carson said.
"This free weekend will allow them to go away, not worry about football, and come back and get back to where we were.”
The Bulls return to action on June 17 at home to sixth-placed Pine Hills.
BWPL Round 12: Ipswich City Bulls 1 (L. Meiklejohn goal) def. Virginia United 0 at Sutton Park.