Ipswich Knights head coach Mick Matthews.
Ipswich Knights head coach Mick Matthews. David Lems

Even losing a key player, Knights get timely boost

FOOTBALL: Having midfielder Sam Watt sent off at a crucial time hurt the Ipswich Knights chances of at least securing a draw against competition heavyweights Rochedale.

Watt had done a terrific job for his team scoring both goals and keeping his team in the game before receiving his second yellow card.

Down to 10 men for the last stage of Saturday night's Football Queensland Premier League match, the Knights were unable to find an equaliser before the home side went 4-2 ahead.

While disappointed to lose the skills of Watt, Knights head coach Mick Matthews was much happier with his team's commitment in the game at Underwood Park.

"We did play really well,'' Matthews said. "I'm not too dissatisfied.''

After trailing 3-1 at halftime, the Knights were well in the latest clash against third-placed Rochedale.

"We were pushing for a draw at 3-2, which was encouraging,'' Matthews said. "But when we were a player down, we just got caught on the break in the 90th minute.

"We moved the ball really well. We penetrated well.

"They (Rochedale) are a good side too.''

With Watt to be suspended for a match, the Knights will welcome back defender Devon Munn and hopefully James Exon-Taylor (from a hamstring injury) for their next match on Saturday night. That is against Southside Eagles at Perry Park.

Spirit match leaders

In the latest Capital League 1 round, Western Spirit's top side only lost 2-1 to competition leaders Toowong at Dunmore Park.

However, after Spirit came from 2-0 down to challenge Toowong, assistant coach Chris Morrall was unsure why Saturday night's opponents were top of the table.

"I thought Ipswich City (Spirit's previous opponents) were a better side,'' Morrall said.

"We were a bit scrappy in the first half, trying to get used to the small field. But then in the second half, we just went all-out attack and I don't think they actually had a decent shot on target.''

The fourth-placed Western Spirit Reserves also lost 2-1 to top side Toowong in their Saturday game.

"We're still seven, eight or nine players out and we're still pushing the competition leaders,'' Morrall said.

"I think that says a lot for our players and our squads with the depth that we've got.

"We've got a lot more talent than we actually realise.

"Once we get two full squads back, we'll definitely be a very hard team to beat.''

State of play

FQPL: Rochedale 4 def Ipswich Knights 2 (Sam Watt 2).

CL1: Toowong 2 def Western Spirit 1 (Alex Varkevisser). Reserves: Toowong def Western Spirit 2-1.