Knights need to regroup to avoid relegation threat
THE Ipswich Knights have a weekend off to regroup before a final bid to jump off the relegation tightrope and climb onto safer Brisbane Premier League ground.
That's the scenario after the club's top side lost 3-1 to Easts at Bundamba yesterday.
The Knights Reserve grade team helped the club's quest to remain in next year's BPL competition by winning the earlier match 2-1.
However, the Knights need wins from at least their top two sides next month to avoid being demoted under the complicated relegation system.
After his first full game as Knights BPL coach, Russell Mapri remained optimistic the club could achieve what was needed.
"That was a good win for Chris (coach Chris Brown) out of Ressies because they played first-placed Easts," Mapri said.
"We (the top side) really needed to try and get something out of today but with three weeks to go, there's plenty of time to fix it."
Mapri ran the team yesterday with head coach Mark Dykman at home recovering from illness.
In a battle between fourth-placed Easts and fifth-placed Ipswich, the Knights held the visitors scoreless in the first half.
After Easts built a 2-0 advantage following the break, the Knights finished stronger. The Knights had a late chance to equalise after utility Scott Dykman scored from a goal-mouth scramble.
Easts' third goal came on the counter in injury time after the desperate Knights pushed forward in an attempt to salvage a point.
"The thing about Easts is they'll sit the number nine striker back quite deep to try and put you in a false sense of thinking you are on top," Mapri said.
"In the second half, they press hard and press high and that's exactly what they did.
"They are trying to play for a home semi-final and they are a quality outfit."
Mapri praised Knights midfielder Dale Robinson and his back four of Matt Flick, Chris Butler, Daniel Cunha and Shu Miyazaki.
Miyazaki left the field in the second half with blood streaming from a cut lip.
The Japanese recruit was keen to play on. However, his injury from a head knock bled too much to allow him to return.
"We were unlucky because within two minutes of a double-man sub, we had poor Shu go down with a split lip," Mapri said. "That puts you behind the game ball and throws the game plan out the window."
In Capital League 2 games, the Ipswich City Bulls and Western Spirit were left on the brink of missing this year's playoffs.
The Bulls lost 5-0 to the Gap in Saturday's away match before Spirit went down 3-1 to Brisbane Knights yesterday.
Both teams need to win all their remaining games and have favourable results to have any chance of sneaking into the finals.
The fifth-placed Bulls Reserves kept their finals hopes alive with a 3-0 win over The Gap.
All Football Brisbane premiership teams have this weekend off.
State of play
- National Premier: Western Pride 4 (Lincoln Rule 2 penalties, Peter Drager, Schon Hansen) d South West 1.
- Brisbane Premier League: Easts 3 d Ipswich Knights 1 (Scott Dykman). Reserves: Ipswich Knights 2 (Mitch Bird 2) d Easts 1.
- Capital League 2: The Gap d Ipswich City 5-0; Brisbane Knights 3 d Western Spirit 1 (Dan Liddy). Reserves: Ipswich City 3 (Justin Hilliard 2, Matt Grassick) d The Gap 0; Western Spirit 1 (Josh Walton) d Brisbane Knights 0.
- Brisbane Women's Premier League: Easts 4 d Ipswich Knights 3 (Gabby Hein 2, Hannah Bianchi).