Ipswich Knights player Peter Drager scored a handy goal on his return from holidays.
Ipswich Knights player Peter Drager scored a handy goal on his return from holidays. File

Knights keep dream alive

THE Ipswich Knights are clinging to hopes they can play Premier League football next season after a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Moggill on Saturday night.

With competition leaders Queensland Lions losing 3-0 to Mitchelton, the Knights are seven points out of top spot, with North Star still in second place on 41 points and with a game in hand.

The Knights will need to keep winning and have some Division 1 results go their way over the next month to stay in touch.

However, coach Ian Carson said Saturday night’s win over a powerful opponent showed the Knights were still in the hunt for promotion.

“We’ve had three tough games – three fixtures in a row and a Canale Cup and they’ve all been one goal or three-goal games,” Carson said.

“We know how to play when it counts.

“We can’t take our foot off the pedal. We’re still in it.

“We are going to frighten more teams than teams that frighten us.

“We still haven’t given up our dream of playing Premier League.”

The Knights led Saturday night’s game 3-0 on a bumpy Bellbowrie field after a late first half goal by Brodie Kenyon, a second half penalty by Phil Brown and a handy goal from returning striker Peter Drager.

Moggill stuck to the task and forced the Knights to concede an own goal before getting back to 3-2.

Carson was upset how his team played in the first half before switching to a more productive approach after the break.

“We tried to play football on a cow paddock and it just wasn’t working for us,” Carson said.

“We weathered a fairly big storm for the first 25 minutes and didn’t learn anything.

“Half-time was the best thing that could have happened for us.

“We had to play it in their half and all credit to the boys, they changed their way of thinking.

“It was very workman-like, nothing fancy in the second half.”

Carson praised Kenyon, Andy Drager and goalkeeper Zayne Freiberg for standout efforts.

Ever-reliable defender Damian Hoffman also did a fine job after replacing Alex Anderson, who suffered a foot injury in the first half.

Hoffman had played a full game of Reserves in Knights’ 5-3 loss, before helping out the top side.

“He’s a trooper that bloke, he was brilliant,” Carson said.

In last night’s Division 1 game, Western Spirit goalkeeper Chris Morrall accepted some responsi- bility for his team’s uncharacter- istic 2-0 loss to Slacks Creek.

However, Morrall was entitled to feel overworked after playing four games in a week and five matches in eight days.

The dependable goalie also played a full game for the Spirit Reserves who won 2-1 yesterday.

That came after a mid-week catch-up game for the same side.

“We weren’t really on our game,” Morrall said, giving credit to Slacks Creek for seizing on his team’s poor preparation.

“It wasn’t too tough. The boys’ heads weren’t in the game.

“We just weren’t playing as a team. It was a completely different team this week to last week.

“There was no team motivation.

“I probably put my hand up first for poor preparations.”

Morrall hoped a back-up goalkeeper could be found at the club to ease the workload.

In the top grade game, Spirit were down 1-0 after 10 minutes before conceding another goal from a free kick.

Morrall said the Spirit Reserves deserved their victory.

Key results

Division 1: Slacks Creek d Western Spirit 2-0, Ipswich Knights 3 (Brodie Kenyon, Phil Brown penalty, Peter Drager) d Moggill 2, Ipswich City 2 (Aaron Willmann, Lucas Wilson) drew Brisbane Force 2 (Roger Hunter 2), MItchelton d Qld Lions 3-0, Toowoomba drew Pine Rivers United 2-2, North Star d Beenleigh 2-1, Rocklea drew Southside Eagles 1-1.

Reserves: Western Spirit d Slacks Creek 2-1, Moggill 5 d Ipswich Knights 3 (Ben Ungemann 2, Nick Paterson), Brisbane Force 5 d Ipswich City 1 (Richard Fancourt).