Cowichan Red Arrow took the deepest bench they’ve had in several weeks to Westhills Stadium on Sunday afternoon, and that depth helped propel the team to a convincing 5-0 win over Juan de Fuca United.
The teams exchanged scoring chances in the early going but Red Arrow made good on theirs when midfielder Jonas Golf-Myers held the ball wide until Michael Cummings was able to jockey into position to head in the cross. Unfortunately, Cummings was hit hard on the play and had to leave the game. That was all the offence for the first half.
“Even though we had more possession of the ball and the better chances, an uneasy feeling coated my stomach,” Cowichan coach Will Chaster commented.
The deep bench allowed Chaster to swap in six fresh players for the second half, although he acknowledged the danger in doing so.
“This kind of change can back fire as the chemistry is changed but today that was not the case,” he said. “Instead, we reverted back to exchanging chances with JDF, but we were getting more and higher-quality ones.”
Kaelin Leddy was a monster up front all match, and potted Cowichan’s second goal on a through ball he took to the touch line and powered into the top right corner. Golf-Myers put Cowichan up 3-0 on a penalty shot after Owen Meyland was body-slammed to the turf. Those two goals helped change the feeling of the game.
“Our dominance was clear and we held the majority of possession,” Chaster said. “We still gave up opportunities and JDF tried to capitalize, but we did not let them.”
Cowichan kept coming. The fourth goal came from a corner that bounced out to the top right side of the 18 where Paris Holland was waiting to hammer the ball home, and the fifth came when Matt Owen tracked to the ball deep in the JDF box and deposited it into the net.
The win was Cowichan’s ninth of the season and fifth in their last six matches. The team has outscored opponents 40 goals to eight over 12 games this season.
Now in first place in Div. 4 pool B, although second-place Castaways Invicta have a game in hand, Red Arrow is back home this Saturday for a 4 p.m. showdown with third-place Bays United at the Sherman Road turf.