A sensational outing by George Thomas helped the Masters A Craig Street 49ers overcome a slow start and remain undefeated against B-division teams in the Vancouver Island Soccer League.
Thomas scored two goals and set up the other four as the 49ers knocked off Juan de Fuca Alliance on the Royal Bay Secondary School field last Saturday.
“It was a typical start for us, a little slow,” Cowichan head coach Kevin James noted. “We’ve been starting slow in a lot of games lately. We were a little better this time, but still slow.”
The game took place on a narrow field, so James changed up his team’s formation a couple of times, and finally found something that worked in the second half.
“It was a tale of two games,” he said. “We didn’t play poorly in the first half, but we came out a little bit flat.”
After getting a pair of goals in the first half from Henry Nelson and Nick Zuback, the Niners scored four in the second half, including a pair from Thomas, bookended on either side by Brad Peterson and Darren Meiner.
Two-touch soccer also helped Cowichan create chances.
“We started to move the ball around well in the second half,” James said. “That’s something we’ve been trying to get better at. We’ve been working on it at training.”
Not surprisingly, Thomas was named Man of the Match for the 49ers.
“He had an outstanding game for us,” James said.
Preston Johnny wasn’t too busy as he registered his fourth shutout of the season. While defence hasn’t been an issue for the 49ers this season, James was happy to see his team match a season high with six goals at the other end.
“It was nice to get goals,” he said. “Especially with the way things ended up last year, losing the league on goal differential. UVic and Gorge have been scoring a lot of goals on the weaker teams.”
The 49ers now have nine wins and one loss on the season, tied with Gorge atop the Masters A standings, although Gorge has the edge on goal differential. The team will host Lakehill at the Williams Turf this Saturday at 6 p.m. Lakehill sits 10th in the B division, two spots behind JDF, but James knows anything can happen.
“We’re trying to take the mentality that we’re playing against UVic and Gorge every time,” he said.
Cowichan’s Masters B team, the Steelheads, lost 1-0 to SFFC Forest on Sunday. The game MVP was goalkeeper Edrissa Gassama. On the previous weekend, they tied Vic West Academy Dental 2-2, getting both goals from Dennis Atkins. The Steelheads host CB Bobcats Alumni on Saturday at 8 p.m.