Cowichan LMG set the tone for the rest of the Vancouver Island Soccer League season with a crushing 6-1 win over Gorge FC at the Sherman Road turf on Friday night.
Cowichan gradually built up a 6-0 lead and made it stand up, giving up just one late goal on a penalty kick.
“I am happy we were able to put some goals away this game,” Cowichan coach Glen Martin said. “We have let leads slip away before so that was important. Our next step is to avoid late goals by opponents.”
LMG threatened to score several times in the early going before Craig Gorman finally made good in the 29th minute. Late in the first half, Cowichan goalkeeper Darian Achurch was able to turn back a breakaway against the flow, and LMG turned around and got a goal from Adyn Lamont just before the whistle.
Martin made some changes from his deep bench at the break, and it didn’t take long for the team to build on the first-half lead. Shortly after he rang a shot off the post, newly signed Billy Bagiopoulos finished off a great cross from Blaze Roberts to make it a three-goal lead at 51 minutes. Gorman added his second of the game four minutes after that, curling in a free kick from the sideline.
The barrage continued when captain Steve Scott converted a set-up by Bagiopoulos at 58 minutes. Scott came close to scoring eight minutes after that, but Cowichan’s sixth goal was declared an own goal off the foot of a Gorge player.
“Our midfielders worked very hard in this game to control the tempo and pressure Gorge,” Scott noted. “Russell Lederer was a real horse running up and down the wing, and Colin Knight played a full 90 minutes, even after asking for a sub around the 60-minute mark.”
Gorge kept pushing even when Cowichan’s lead appeared insurmountable, and Achurch held the fort, saving a penalty shot and tipping another attempt over the crossbar before he was finally beaten on a second penalty kick in the final moments.
With the win, Cowichan leapfrogged Gorge in the Div. 1 standings to move into third place. LMG will hit the road this Saturday to face ninth-ranked Powell River.