Super goal proves Christensen fit to help Knights lift status

HEAD-TURNING EFFORT: Ipswich Knights captain Igor Sao Jose duels with a Capalaba player in yesterday’s 2-0 win.
HEAD-TURNING EFFORT: Ipswich Knights captain Igor Sao Jose duels with a Capalaba player in yesterday’s 2-0 win. Sarah Harvey

HE may not have bent the ball like Beckham but Matt Christensen's super goal at Bundamba lifted his team.

In a season where the Knights have been hit hard by injury, Christensen has provided plenty of encouragement since returning to the club following nine games with Lions.

His reward yesterday was his first goal this season, setting up the Knights' 2-0 victory over Capalaba.

"Once it left the foot, it's one of those you sort of know it's going in the back of the net," Christensen, 27, said.

His free kick outside the penalty box flew into the top corner.

In his fifth game back with the Ipswich club, the former state league player highlighted the valuable skills he offers.

"I wasn't enjoying it at Lions," he said, having played Division 1 for the Knights last year.

Christensen settled quickly back into Ipswich's Brisbane Premier League side.

"The team has got so much potential this year," he said.

"A few games haven't gone our way. We should be a top four team the way we knock it around."

The classy Moores Pocket-based midfielder is already thinking about next season.

"I'll be staying here I think," he said.

"I want to finish the season on a high. In the off-season, I'm just going to hit the gym hard and try and keep fit."

Knights coach Mark Dykman was also pleased with yesterday's effort against a higher placed team, having tried some players in different positions.

With the Knights out of finals contention, he pushed Jonas Rasmussen up front. Rasmussen scored the Knights' first goal.

"This is what we lacked all year," he said, keen to find a replacement for Knights' former prolific goal-scorer Peter Drager.

"That strong go-to man up front."

Dykman was also heartened by the efforts of younger players like Jordan McCulloch at the back.

"That was a big win for us," the coach said.

The Knights Reserves have to win their final two games to have any chance of making the finals after yesterday's 1-0 loss to Capalaba.

The Ipswich City Bulls face the same situation in the Capital League 2 competition.

The Bulls kept their finals hopes alive on Friday night.

Coach Nev O'Sullivan was unsure what happened during a period of awful play early in the second half.

However, true to Ipswich City's fighting spirit, they recovered to complete a valuable 4-0 win over Newmarket at Sutton Park.

With playmaker Ben Robson out injured, Norbert Duga produced another consistent performance, assisted by Lucas Wilson and Shaun Kitching.

Mark Fancourt toughed it out in defence for 55 minutes, battling nerve pain in his back.

Jamie Beahan battled hard up front with Liam Mercer and Zygan Condie, who scored another double.

The Bulls Reserves are also still in finals contention despite losing 3-1 to Newmarket.

State of Play

National Premier League: Western Pride 5 (Russell Woodruffe 3, Peter Drager 2) d Olympic 4.

Brisbane Premier League: Ipswich Knights 2 (Jonas Rasmussen, Matt Christensen) d Capalaba 0. Reserves: Capalaba d Ipswich Knights 1-0.

Capital League 1: North Pine d Western Spirit 5-4. Reserves: Unavailable.

Capital League 2: Ipswich City 4 (Zygan Condie 2, Liam Mercer, Lucas Wilson) d Newmarket 0. Reserves: Newmarket 3 d Ipswich City 1 (Steve Newbigging).

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