HANDY DEFENCE: An Ipswich City player shields the ball from a Western Spirit chaser during Saturday’s Reserve grade local derby at Sutton Park. Ipswich City won 3-2 before Spirit triumphed 1-0 in the main game.
HANDY DEFENCE: An Ipswich City player shields the ball from a Western Spirit chaser during Saturday’s Reserve grade local derby at Sutton Park. Ipswich City won 3-2 before Spirit triumphed 1-0 in the main game. Rob Williams

Spirit’s team song needs JJ’s treatment after derby success

WESTERN Spirit's new breed of players will have to improve their victory song as well as their shooting after drawing first blood in this year's local derby series.

The largely youthful line-up won 1-0 at Brassall on Saturday night, denying an Ipswich City side rich in local derby experience.

The victory was Spirit's first for the new Capital League 2 season.

Among those struggling with the club chant was Spirit newcomer Jay "JJ'' Johnson, an Amberley RAAF medic.

However, Johnson impressed on the field for Spirit. The energetic footballer made his local derby debut for the Bulls last season after coming from NSW.

"I played with a lot of mates here last year and just wanted to try something different, something fresh,'' Johnson said.

Unlike previous physical derbies, Saturday night's game was more open, mainly due to the younger newcomers.

"It was a good game out there, everyone kept it high intensity,'' JJ said.

Had someone got hurt, the 25-year-old medic could have offered his assistance.

Johnson has been working at Amberley since moving from Richmond.

He enjoyed being part of a fast and enthusiastic team with so many new faces.

"Spirit, we're looking very good,'' Johnson said.

"We're a strong team, a lot of cohesion and working well together.''

Johnson made several powerful runs, igniting Spirit's attack.

However, it was striker Fred Kenyi who finally scored before halftime after a number of shots sprayed wide. He even hit the post.

Once Kenyi gets his radar right, Spirit will be dangerous this season.

However, Bulls goalkeeper Dean Stenzel limited the damage in another outstanding performance.

Stenzel denied Spirit several times and saved a second half penalty diving to his right.

The Bulls defence scrambled well to frustrate Spirit's attack. However, the home side lacked spark in attack despite some determined midfield play from captain Shaun Kitching.

"Our defence was very solid but there was a gap between midfield and the forwards but we'll work on that,'' Bulls coach Nev O'Sullivan said.

A positive is the Bulls have only conceded one goal in their first two matches, preparing for Friday night's game against Centenary Stormers.

Spirit head coach Nick Paterson was reluctant to single out any of his players.

However, his backline - led by captain Joel Hancock, Raj Oshen and Andrew Jarrett - was organised.

"In the second half, we let them (Bulls) back into the game a little bit. But I was happy with the lads,'' Paterson said.

"They fought hard. It's momentum for next week.''

But before that clash against Park Ridge at Goodna, Paterson agreed the victory chant needed some attention.

"They have to work on that team song. That was awful,'' he smiled as only a winning coach can.