The last time Vic West FC visited the Cowichan 49ers masters soccer side, the home team was able to clinch the masters league trophy with the win. Cowichan did it by blasting Vic West by a 6-1 score.
Little did the 49ers know, that a forfeit by UVic last weekend would mean their next game action would be against Vic West yet again and Vic West remembered the drubbing they’d received the last time.
“Vic West came ready to play. It was our toughest test of the season so far,” noted team spokesman Adam Taft.
Early play was in the 49ers favour and at the 20 minute mark, Mike Minkler slipped a nice pass through to Neall Rowlings who, on the run, outpaced the Vic West defence and avoided a rushing keeper to make it 1-0 for the 49ers.
Both teams exchanged chances after the first goal.
Man of the Match and league shutout leader Darian Achurch managed the ball well, clearing and smothering many Vic West crosses toward goal.
“Darian was his usual self,” Taft said. “The team has so much confidence in him.”
In the 75th minute, Kale Haley took a pass at the top of the 18, made a quick move to his left and hammered in the 49ers second to make it a 2-0 final.
With the win, Achurch now has 10 clean sheets on the season — more than tripling that of the next best goalie.
“Kevin James was a standout as our coach this game, lots of personnel changes due to injuries and absences,” Taft noted. “Tyler Hughes was comfortable back in the centre back, where he loves to play.”
The 49ers look to defend the Tony Grover Trophy next with a first round match on the road against former masters A division rival, the Cordova Bay Bobcats. The teams know each other well and despite the Bobcats now playing in the masters B division, the 49ers expect a close, hard fought match.
The match will be played at Tyndall Turf on Feb. 11.
In other masters soccer news, the Cowichan Steelheads earned a rare victory on Feb. 5, beating Juan de Fuca Blue 3-0 in Tony Grover Cup play.
Scoring for the Steelheads were Travis Brown, team leading scorer Kevin Smith, and Alan Kane. Preston Johnny got the shutout in goal.