How 'Red's' send-off could help Ipswich
BEING sent off for accruing two yellow cards could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Brodie "Red'' Kenyon and the Ipswich Knights.
A 10-man Knights combination had to battle hard to ensure a 1-1 draw after Kenyon's dismissal early in the second half at Bundamba on Saturday night.
However, serving an automatic one-match suspension will give the important Knights striker a chance to rest two sore ankles.
"I copped a couple of beauties (ankle knocks) against Moreton Bay last week,'' Kenyon said.
"I can come back after next week and I should be back to 100 per cent.''
Kenyon was in doubt for the Brisbane Premier League opener against Albany Creek.
Only after passing a late fitness test and with some strapping could the highly regarded Ipswich footballer and cricketer play.
Kenyon can use the week off to recover for the long season ahead after being a regular in the Knights' run to the Silver Boot pre-season grand final.
"I was a bit surprised,'' Kenyon said of Ipswich's early performances.
"I thought we would have been bottom four again but it was good knocking Lions off, who everyone rates highly.''
Kenyon, 30, proved a handful for the Albany Creek defence the entire first half, linking superbly with long-time teammate Peter Drager and working off new captain Andrew Butler.
It was the second time he'd received two yellow cards in a match.
"I've never had a red (card),'' Kenyon said after having an early shower on Saturday night.
"The first two yellows I had was a long time ago. I scored a hat-trick here and pulled the shirt over my head.''
He had to leave the field after the referee gave him a controversial second yellow for showing too much excitement on the field.
In this season's BPL opener, Kenyon enjoyed reuniting with Drager, who returned to his former club after a stint with Western Pride and being away through work.
Drager seized on a terrific first half pass from Butler to put the Knights 1-0 up.
"He (Drager) makes it a lot easier for you,'' Kenyon said. "And the same with Andy. I've played with him at Lions and a lot of football with him.''
Kenyon said the Knights made a positive start, creating good chances and "looking really good''.
Knights co-coach Graham Ross was also encouraged how his team dominated against an Albany Creek side that struggled to play attractive football.
"Having Red sent off in the first five minutes of the second half was very disappointing,'' the former national league goalkeeper said.
"I didn't really think it was a second yellow. The guy ran into his shoulder but the referee sent him off and we had to battle for really 45 minutes to hold on.
"We created enough chances at the end there to still win it.''
The Knights top side looked balanced with plenty of experience and attacking thrust.
The back four of Alastair Wallis, Jason Pillay, Devon Munn and Takuto Kakimoto formed a solid combination ahead of goalkeeper Declan Murphy.
Wallis only signed for the Knights through the week, returning to the club he played for before a stint with Western Pride in the NPL competition.
Ross rated Taku man of the match.
However, Ross was annoyed how Albany Creek played. "I thought we'd all progressed a little bit past kick and chase football,'' he said. "I thought they would try and play a decent style of football and most clubs do these days.
"I thought I was back in the eighties playing back at Ipswich.''
The Knights Reserve grade side started well with former Western Spirit striker Fred Kenyi scoring four goals in his new team's 5-0 win over Albany Creek.
The Knights senior teams play Rochedale away in their next BPL games next Sunday.
State of play
BPL: Ipswich Knights 1 (Peter Drager) drew Albany Creek 1. Reserves: Knights 5 (Fred Kenyi 4, Ron Given) def Albany Creek 0.
CL2: Ipswich City 11 (Dane Grant 6, Jay Kitching, Ryan Adekoya New, Zygan Condie, Nathan Manttan, Nathan Gee) d Park Ridge 1; Western Spirit 2 (Dylan Goodman, Mauricio Arena) d Pine Hills 1. Reserves: Ipswich City 5 (Jay Johnson, Hunter Oxspring, Jack Ryder) def Park Ridge 1; Western Spirit drew Pine Hills 0-0.