'Shock' local derby win keeps Ripley club on the rise
AS the "new kids on the block'' Ripley Valley have been able to build momentum in their debut season without any added pressure.
However, upsetting Springfield United 4-1 in Wednesday night's inaugural Capital League 3 local derby showed the competition newcomers are an emerging threat.
Before that catch-up clash at Woodcrest College, Springfield were rated one of the premiership favourites along with current joint leaders Logan Metro.
While Ripley Valley head coach Nick Paterson retains respect for both sides, he's delighted how his team is progressing.
"I think it was really a shock to them,'' Paterson said of Springfield.
"I think they didn't expect us to be as well prepared as we were as the new kids on the block.''
The latest victory has lifted Ripley Valley into equal top spot on 16 points with "benchmark'' side Logan Metro. It was Ripley Valley FC's fifth win of the season, along with a draw and two losses.
Ripley Valley's other victories were over Ridge Hills 2-1, Teviott Downs 5-2, Jimboomba 5-1 and Redcliffe 5-1.
In an important performance, Ripley Valley drew 1-1 with leaders Logan Metro last month.
Another win on Saturday night against Logan Village - one of three Logan sides in CL3 - will keep Ripley Valley well in touch with the pacesetters who have two games in hand.
"We just have to keep worrying about what we do,'' Paterson said, knowing the top teams also have to play each other and can take points off their opponents in coming weeks.
Logan Village are one of the sides struggling in the league, having conceded 25 goals and notching just one win in eight games.
"It's good for us to keep building momentum really,'' Paterson said.
"We're going from strength to strength. We're in a good position now.
"We're starting to gel. There's a bit of team camaraderie and we're getting a good culture around the group.
"The boys are working for each other.''
The former Ipswich Knights, Ipswich City Bulls and Western Spirit player and coach was encouraged how his team responded to its halftime challenge, being deadlocked 0-0 with Springfield.
"I said to the boys 'we can either sit back and be defensive or be really attack the game and win it','' Paterson said.
"To their credit, the came out with a purpose in the second half and just really took it to them.''
Ripley Valley's goal scorers were captain Alex Weatherby, Brodie Kenyon, Michael Leech and Rhys Jackson.
"He's been superb,'' Paterson said of former Ipswich Knights Premier League player Weatherby, husband of Western Pride NPL women's captain Sophie.
"He's really taken the captaincy by the horns and he's going well.''
Saturday's main game is at 6pm at Big River Country Park as Ripley Valley FC officials await confirmation when they can play at their new South Ripley sports fields.
After two losses in a row, Springfield can regroup in Sunday's home game against Jimboomba.
In this weekend's Capital League 1 games, the fourth-placed Ipswich City Bulls are away to Mt Gravatt on Saturday night before fifth-placed Western Spirit host competition leaders Annerley on Sunday afternoon.