Experiment pays off in Cup victory

WHEN your team is in second spot having just beaten the competition leaders, it can be difficult for fringe players to stake their claims.

However, that’s exactly what Ipswich Knights trio Aaron Christensen, Justin Smith and Michael Brown did on Wednesday night.

The Knights advanced to the third round of the knockout Canale Cup competition by beating Moggill 2-1 at Bundamba.

Smith scored a terrific winning goal with three minutes of normal time left after Christensen had put the Knights 1-0 up in the first half.

Brown also stood up as the composite Knights team got the job done.

“It was just pleasing to see those guys do well,” Knights coach Ian Carson said.

“It was basically an experimental team for us.

“We were delighted with the win but it just gave a lot of the fringe players the chance to run 90 minutes with us.

“The game could have gone either way and I was just happy to get the result.”

Smith’s late goal was the difference.

“It was pure determination . . . he never gave up,” Carson said.

“The amount of work Justin Smith did was outstanding.”

Christensen also played up front.

“That boy has come of age too,” the Knights mentor said.

“He’s a lot more mature now.

“He took a fairly decent knock, just shook it off and got on with it.”

Carson was encouraged by the way the fringe players gelled with his regular first graders.

“To get the cohesion that we did was quite good,” Carson said.

“I was very, very happy with the boys’ performance.”

The Knights’ next Division 1 game is against Beenleigh at Usher Park tomorrow night.

Regional previews in tomorrow’s QT.