Ripley’s changing of the guard as Bulls fight for survival
WHEN injury lists keep growing and team line-ups change each week, it's difficult to build any momentum.
However, Ipswich's two Capital League 1 sides are battling through a tough period with similar challenges but vastly different goals.
As Ripley Valley maintain hopes of making the top four, the Ipswich City Bulls are focused on getting out of the relegation zone.
In their latest encounter, seventh-placed Ripley Valley added a draw to its two wins and three earlier losses.
Head coach Nick Paterson was disappointed not to secure full points in the 2-2 deadlock against Newmarket at South Ripley on Saturday night.
That was despite Ripley Valley being down to 10 men in the second half after key player Rhys Jackson was sent off in the 64th minute having accrued two yellow cards.
Newcomers Alistair Pace and Jarrod Norfolk put Ripley Valley 2-1 up before the visitors salvaged a draw.
Ripley Valley's latest draw following a previous round 3-1 away win over AC Carina in the CL1 competition before overpowering the same opponents 2-0 on Tuesday night in their latest Canale Cup knockout series game.
Having so many players injured or unavailable in recent weeks, Paterson was encouraged by those results as his team goes through a major transition.
"We've still got a heap out,'' Paterson said. "But the boys have been stepping in and are doing a job for us, which has been good.
"We were disappointed to get the draw last night. I thought we were the better side.
"Since the Bulls debacle (losing the local derby 3-1), we have regrouped and reset goals.
"The boys have brought into what we are about.
"It's really the changing of the guard with a lot of the older boys like Red (Brodie Kenyon) and AO (Adam O'Sullivan) out injured.
"It's a good chance for the new kids coming through to take a stranglehold on their position in the side and become senior figures in it.''
Paterson said Ripley Valley would continue to consolidate "and push into that top four''.
"Time will tell but I'm happy with the way the boys are going at the moment,'' he said.
With some Brisbane Premier League sides already bundled out of the Canale Cup, Paterson said his team would see what they could achieve, while managing the player challenges.
"By the time the second round comes around and we get boys back, we can have a red-hot go at it,'' he said.
Ripley Valley tackle Slacks Creek away in their next match on Saturday night.
The Bulls were knocked out of the Canale Cup midweek after losing 6-0 to Logan Metro.
Ipswich City went down 2-0 to their third placed CL1 opponents in their latest premiership game at Sutton Park on Saturday night.
The Bulls were also left concerned about stalwart Zygan Condie who suffered a shoulder injury in the game.
Head coach Norbert Duga said his team's main focus was rising off the bottom of the CL1 table, starting with a cellardwellar's battle with New Farm away next Sunday.
"We are both on three points so that's a massive game for us,'' Duga said.
Like Ripley Valley, the Bulls have struggled to field a similar side each game.
"It's all we can do,'' Duga said, about fighting hard to get out of the relegation zone.
"Last night, they (Logan) were a good side . . . and we were in it. We just lacked that little bit of quality there to get something out of the game.
"Everyone gave it their all and at this point, that's all I want.''
In the Brisbane Premier League, Western Spirit suffered their fourth loss of the season in going down 4-0 to Bayside United on Saturday night at Don Randall Oval.
Spirit are in the 10th place, having earlier won two matches.
Spirit's next game is against St George at Kippen Park on Saturday night.