Cowichan LMG’s 1-1 tie with the Mid Isle Mariners in Ladysmith on Saturday evening left head coach Glen Martin conflicted.
“We felt good about the tie, but we didn’t,” he said. “We gave away two points, but on the other side, it was a tie on the road against a good team.”
With more parity than usual in the Vancouver Island Soccer League’s top tier, Martin feels seven or eight of the 10 teams have a chance to win Division 1. And with goals at a premium for his team this season, Martin will take points where he can get them.
“I don’t usually like ties in our league,” he said. “But this year, a tie on the road is a good result.”
LMG got on the board first with an own-goal when a Cowichan cross deflected off a Mariners player and over the goalie’s head. The Mariners got it back five minutes before the half, although the goal-scorer was about three yards offside, and Cowichan’s entire backline had stopped backing up while waiting for a whistle that never came. Regardless, the midway score of 1-1 held up.
The rest of the match was pretty even, although Cowichan had better chances to take a 2-1 lead. Darian Achurch came up with a big save on Ladysmith’s best opportunity.
“We outplayed them, we out-chanced them,” Martin said. “We just didn’t score.”
Cowichan created lots of chances, including great opportunities for Keevan Webb and U21 call-up Logan Kits, who came into the game late. They just couldn’t finish.
“At least we’re creating them,” Martin said. “If you’re not getting chances to score, that’s a whole different problem.”
Kits wasn’t the only U21 player to make an impact in the match. Igor Liah took a free kick in the first half that went over the wall and had the goalie beat, only to carom off the flat crossbar.
“If they had a round bar, I think it would have been in,” Martin suggested.
Adyn Lamont played the entire 90 minutes at centre back.
“He’s doing amazing,” Martin gushed. “I can’t believe the kid’s only 16. He seems to be a very mature soccer player for his age. The biggest surprise this season is that we found a kid on the U21 team who’s able to play 90 minutes for us. He’s doing really well.”
Martin’s team is undefeated through four games, despite having scored just six goals. With the off-season departure of three top offensive players, that’s understandable.
“It’s going how I thought it would go,” Martin said. “Last year, our team would be 4-0. We had the goal-scorers we’re missing right now.”
There’s no shortage of desire and drive among the current Cowichan players.
“The guys are coming to play, for sure,” Martin said. “Everybody is having a good time, I think.”
Cowichan will play host to Vic West Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Sherman Road turf. With two wins, one draw and two losses, Vic West sits one point back of Cowichan, although LMG has a game in hand.