Stu Barker controls the ball in a Cowichan 49ers game earlier this season. (Citizen file)

Stu Barker controls the ball in a Cowichan 49ers game earlier this season. (Citizen file)

‘Shake ‘n Bake’ helps Cowichan 49ers cook Gorge

Gorge showed up for their home game with plenty of depth

Some late heroics from Stu (Shake ‘n Bake) Barker helped the Cowichan 49ers secure a 3-2 victory over Gorge FC in a masters men’s soccer battle at Hampton Park on Sunday.

After Ryan Fusick scored a nice goal that was called off on a contentious offside ruling, the 49ers rallied quickly and Barker finished off a play that couldn’t be questioned.

Gorge showed up for their home game with plenty of depth — 22 players suited up and ready to play — but it was Cowichan that struck first when Matt Arnett headed in a cross from Darcy Penner in the 32nd minute. Gorge responded early in the second half, but Ryan Flynn banged home his second of the season less than a minute later on a rebound from a shot by Fusick. Gorge made it 2-2 three minutes after that, setting the stage for Barker’s big goal.

The 49ers are now focusing on their all-Cowichan showdown with the Steelheads this weekend. The Steelheads are coming off a 5-0 loss to league-leading UVic Alumni last Friday, and are still looking for their first goal of the season, but the Niners know their local brethren are better than their record suggests.

“We don’t take them lightly,” player-manager Neall Rowlings said. “And feel this will be one of our harder games of the season.”

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