OUT: Ipswich City Bulls player Nikki Cox hurt her shoulder in the team's 2-0 loss to Annerley on Sunday.
OUT: Ipswich City Bulls player Nikki Cox hurt her shoulder in the team's 2-0 loss to Annerley on Sunday.

Opposition 'a step above' Bulls

A "MORE EXPERIENCED” Annerley side showed Ian Carson's Ipswich City Bulls where to improve if they are to mount a realistic charge at the Brisbane Women's Premier League title this season.

The Bulls went down 2-0 to the competition leaders at Sutton Park on Sunday night.

"Annerley were just better all-around. We tried hard, but they just countered everything we did,” Carson said.

"In the first half we weren't able to play our normal game, because Annerley wouldn't allow us to.

"We're still the only team to take points off them this season. We've got the team to compete with them . . . they're just a step above us at the moment.”

The Bulls had set themselves for a quality showing against Annerley, having come close to defeating their nearest rivals with a 1-1 result in round three.

But even though the loss cut deep within the Bulls' dressing room, Carson said it was better to lose early in the season and have time to rectify any mistakes.

"We spoke about it after the game, about what we can take out of the loss,” he said.

"There was some pretty disappointed girls, but you've got to balance it out.

"We haven't had that kind of pressure put on us before. They pressed really high, and we should have sat deeper and let them come to us but we didn't.

"That's the learning curve. How to deal with better opposition.”

In an added blow for the Bulls, they lost attacking winger Nikki Cox to a shoulder injury. Goalkeeper Amber Lombard was also injured after colliding with the goal post attempting a save.

Carson said Cox would likely be out for a few weeks, but is unsure of the extent of Lombard's back complaint.

"We need to work on how to change it up mid-way through a game (if things are not working),” Carson said.

"Be more flexible, and not make the same mistakes over and over.

"We'll readdress things at training (tonight). We won't overreact.”

The Bulls have a great chance to rediscover winning form when they travel to second-from-bottom Park Ridge at Hubner Park on Sunday.

Callum Dick