The 49ers’ Ryan Fusick jumps into action during a home game earlier this season. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Inspired 49ers get past Saanich

Cowichan masters rally after midfielder’s red card

Perhaps George Thomas was just talking about how cold it was.

The Cowichan 49ers midfielder was ejected from his team’s masters men’s soccer game against Saanich Fusion FC at Tyndall turf last Saturday for “offensive language”, but if he was in fact complaining about the bitter chill, it’s a forgivable offence.

Despite playing the next 55 minutes down a man, the 49ers still prevailed in the match, beating the struggling Saanich squad by a final score of 2-0.

“[Playing with 10 men] inspired us to play harder,” 49ers player/manager Neall Rowlings stated.

Cowichan struck in the 68th minute when Mike Minckler headed home a cross from Darcy Penner.

“The ball was so cold, he was rattled,” Rowlings reported.

Twenty minutes after that, recent addition Sandro Tassone delivered a free kick that Penner tapped in for his team-leading ninth goal of the season. Cowichan goalkeeper Chris Muller earned his third straight shutout, stopping a penalty kick along the way.

“He’s really in top form at this moment,” Rowlings commented.

The 49ers are hoping for warmer weather this Sunday when they visit Vic West on the grass pitch at Glasgow Park.

The Cowichan Steelheads were also on the road last weekend, losing their masters A match against first-place UVic Alumni 4-0. The Steelheads return home this weekend to host Lakehill at the Sherman Road turf starting at 8 p.m.

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