Praise for young keeper given huge higher level task
WESTERN Pride defender Kelton Scriggins praised the courage of young goalkeeper Ashton Bonsall after he was thrust into higher level football.
In a match where Pride were unlucky not to salvage at least a point, Bonsall had a massive task being called into the Football Queensland Premier League 1 side at short notice.
"The young fella did well tonight in goal,'' Scriggins said after Pride's latest 3-2 loss to Souths United.
The club's under-18 and under-23 keeper only trained with the top squad on Thursday night after the gravity of Pride's goalkeeping situation was realised with regulars Jake Reesby and Josh Boyle both ruled out.
Reesby faces more than six weeks on the sideline after being crunched early in the team's previous week 2-1 loss to South West Queensland in Toowoomba.
On a rainy night in the same game, goalkeeper on the rise Boyle slipped at halftime and bruised his hip. He is expected to be out for at least a fortnight.
Pride goal scorer Scriggins said Bonsall accepted the challenge as best he could.
"I haven't really seen much of him around so it was good for him to step up,'' Scriggins said.
"He made some good saves. He done well.''
In his third season with the Ipswich-based club, a disappointed Scriggins summed up Saturday night's defeat at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
"The team in general just weren't at it tonight,'' he said.
"You get them games where you come across a team that is not as good as you but they just want it more than you.
"They had a bit of heart tonight. We didn't.
"We'll bounce back.''
With a Friday night local derby against Ipswich Knights at Bundamba looming, Scriggins said it was vital the team responded to its second loss after three consecutive wins.
Scriggins scored the opening goal from a header before Souths United drew ahead 2-1 at halftime.
Pride made a game of it when Bryon Mcleod headed home a 67th minute goal to reduce the deficit to 3-2.
Pride's attacking unit had multiple chances late in the game, deserving a draw for their efforts.
At the other end of the field, Scriggins said Pride's defence had enough quality to become stronger as they become more familiar with each other.
"We've got a variety of different players on the team,'' he said, working alongside footballers like Rhys Webster, Ben Piper and Mark Ingerson.
"We've got fast players with strong legs but we've just got to work together.
"I'm probably one of the most played here after three years.
"We still have to work together. We still don't know each other enough.
"We'll figure it out. It's still early in the season.''
With nine points out of 15 and catch-up matches, Pride has plenty to build on.
"We haven't conceded too many goals each game,'' he said, knowing Pride benefited from a 2-1 workout against competition heavyweights South West Thunder the previous week.
"It's hard going to the range and playing like that.''
Scriggins said the way Pride was finishing games strongly was also encouraging.
"That's something different to last year,'' he said. "Last year, we'd get down and we'd just put our heads down.
"It's a good improvement but that (Saturday night's game) was just a bit unlucky.
"We could have scored at the end there. It could have been a draw.
"Things didn't go our way tonight.''
In Friday night's Brisbane Premier League encounter, Western Spirit lost their third match from five games this season, going down 2-0 to Acacia Ridge at Kippen Park.
Spirit's next match is against Bayside United at Don Randall Oval next Saturday night.