Bulls put paid to Pine Hills
A FIRST-HALF brace from Lailey Hunt helped the Ipswich City Bulls women to a 5-0 win over Pine Hills at James Drysdale Reserve on Sunday.
Hunt sent the visitors into half time with a two-goal buffer, and Teagan Gordon struck twice to double the Bulls' lead after the break.
Skipper Shani Wilton rounded out the scoring with a team goal described by coach Ian Carson as "one of the best of the season”.
Carson praised his side's build-up play for Wilton's goal, but he was not completely happy with the performance despite the lopsided scoreline.
"We needed a kick up the bum. Our first half was ordinary but the second half was better,” the Bulls boss said.
"How we were leading 2-0 at half time is beyond me. We just really didn't work hard enough.”
But a rev from Carson at half time inspired the second-placed Bulls to impose themselves on the contest. His charges responded.
"No one would have beaten us the way we played in the second half,” Carson said.
"You can play ugly and win and be happy, but we're better than that. It's really about not trying to take shortcuts like we did in the first half.”
Hunt "did a heap of work” for Carson's side in the first half, and the coach said his midfielder was rewarded for her industry on the scoresheet.
"Lailey was unbelievable,” Carson said.
"She is a left-midfielder (normally), but we played mind games with Pine Hills. We started (Hunt and Nikki Cox) on the opposite sides.
"(Pine Hills) were totally confused. They had no idea what we were doing, and Lailey bagged two goals.”
Carson was equally as impressed by the second-half performance of striker Teagan Gordon.
"She's our go-to, our target man,” Carson said.
"She did an enormous amount of work also.”
The 5-0 result brought the Bulls into second on goal difference behind competition leaders Annerley, albeit with a game still in-hand.
The Ipswich side's only dropped points this season came in a 0-0 result against Annerley - and they have conceded just three goals in five matches.
Carson said the team was originally cautious about how they might perform in the top flight, having come up from Capital League 1 the season before.
"I think in the initial stages they were worried, and it's hard when you don't know who you're playing against,” he said.
"But five games in and the girls know they have nothing to fear now.
"I keep telling the girls they're better than they think they are.
"It's just about working hard and not expecting it to happen. You know, all the cliches.”
The Bulls now turn their attention to a home tilt against Peninsula Power on Saturday.
"They were the early favourites with Annerley,” Carson said. "It'll be only our second home game of the season, hopefully we get some good support there.”