Knights, Spirit welcome home ground victory bids
THE Ipswich Knights have a point to prove on home turf having claimed one major scalp and pushed another heavyweight rival while below their best.
A week after upstaging Mitchelton 5-2 away, the Knights were denied a valuable point when South West Thunder scored an injury time decider in Toowoomba on Saturday night.
Knights head coach Andy Ogden had mixed feelings about the 2-1 loss in the Football Queensland Premier League 1 competition.
"We didn't play to our potential,'' Ogden said.
"We unfortunately gave the ball away a lot and we were chasing players.
"We had good chances but generally in the game, they (South West Thunder) were better than us.''
However, the encouraging sign was how the Knights were still well in the victory hunt despite their substandard performance away from home.
"Toowoomba are genuinely going to be contending for promotion,'' Ogden said.
"Toowoomba are a good unit. They were unlucky not to probably win it last year.''
The home side secured victory in the dying stages when Pasquale De Vita nailed a superb strike.
Knights striker Nick Edwards had put his team 1-0 up early after great lead-up work by Lucky Joe.
However, South West Thunder equalised quickly to create a tense battle at Clive Berghofer Stadium. The 94th minute winner summed up the Ipswich side's night.
"That's the biggest disappointment,'' Ogden said.
"Even though we didn't play really well, we limited their chances to shots from outside the area. They didn't break us down too often, if at all to be honest.
"Then they come up with a match winner.''
The Knights were also with skilful playmaker Mitch Herrmann who awaiting further scans on an ankle injury.
"We still had a good team out. We just didn't complete our stages of play like we have in the past,'' Ogden said. "And we just couldn't get the momentum going.''
With their first match at Eric Evans Oval against Souths United on Friday night, Ogden is hoping the weather gods are kind this week.
"We are one from two. We could be none from two,'' Ogden said, reflecting on how his team is matching some highly regarded sides.
"Cross our fingers the weather looks after us and we can finally get on down at Bundamba.''
The Knights under-23s drew their latest match 1-1 with the club's under 18s going down 4-0.
Meanwhile, Western Spirit were also keen for a strong home ground performance on Friday night after their latest Brisbane Premier League (BPL) match was postponed.
Spirit were scheduled to play The Gap at Walton Bridge Reserve on Saturday night before the field was deemed too wet to play on.
That came after Friday night's Capital League 1 derby between the Ipswich City Bulls and Ripley Valley was also washed out.
Spirit head coach Reggie Yaqub said his players had extra reason to train well this week preparing for what is effectively their local derby against the Centenary Stormers.
Former Spirit coach Mario Malesevic is now in charge of the Stormers, setting up an intriguing BPL battle at Kippen Park, Goodna.
Yaqub was Malesevic's assistant at Spirit last season before he accepted an opportunity with Centenary.
The coaches remained on good terms with Malesevic happy Spirit retained a number of his former players.