Pride’s great escape sparked by a send-off
WESTERN Pride head coach Andrew Catton praised his team's second half character but demanded a better performance after their opening Queensland Premier League victory.
Reduced to 10 men in the second half, Pride sparked up to come from 1-0 down to beat Sunshine Coast Fire 2-1 in Sunday afternoon's away clash.
Experienced Pride midfielder Killian Flavin was sent off after the halftime break, leaving a youthful Ipswich side to battle extra hard.
Japanese winger Yuta Hirayama scored both goals to salvage a first-round win.
"It was a great result and tremendous character and certainly the work ethic we want from the boys,'' Catton said.
"I'm certainly disappointed for a fact that it probably took us for a bloke to get sent off for us to actually start to play.
"I was pretty disappointed with how we were tracking until Killian got sent off. We clicked into gear and were quite good (after that).''
Catton praised substitute Jackson Bray for helping ignite a recovery.
The first-year Pride mentor said his team was focused this season on giving "a performance that people want to talk about and remember''.
"Their performance in the first half especially wasn't what we wanted,'' he said.
While he looks to rectify that, the Ipswich club received a boost with the Pride under-20 and under-18 sides also winning.
Ipswich Grammar School student Daryl Barton scored five goals in his team's 7-0 under-18 victory.
"It was a really positive start for the senior program . . . but I said to the boys after the game we have so much work to do,'' Catton said.
Western Pride's senior side is scheduled to host Mitchelton in Saturday afternoon's second round match at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
Pride's opening victory came after cross-town rivals, the Ipswich Knights, beat Souths United 4-2 on Saturday night.
Capital League 2 newcomers Ripley Valley FC were competitive in their FFA Cup game on Sunday afternoon, only losing 3-1 to a powerful Surfers Paradise Apollo combination.
"I probably underestimated where we are at in the pre-season,'' head coach Nick Paterson said.
"The boys were really good yesterday. They were up for it.
"If we were a bit more clinical in the final third, I think it should have been a lot different.''
Former Premier League utility Brodie Kenyon scored Ripley's goal.
Ripley Valley are preparing for an inaugural Centenary Cup tournament against Springfield on Saturday night before focusing on the CL2 premiership.
Springfield United also bowed out of this year's FFA Cup knockout competition after losing 6-2 to home team Woombye on Saturday night.
QPL: Western Pride 2 (Yuta Hirayama 2) def Sunshine Coast Fire 1.
Next match: Saturday (5pm) - Western Pride v Mitchelton at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
U20: Pride def Sunshine Coast 6-1. U18: Pride def Sunshine Coast 7-0.