Head coach Glen Martin didn’t have a lot to say about Cowichan LMG’s 6-0 win over Vantreights at the Williams Turf last Friday, because he didn’t see much of the game.
Martin was there for the entirety of the Div. 1 soccer match, which had his first-place club hosting the last-place team, but thick fog that blanketed the pitch made it impossible to see what was going on.
“It was awful,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to coach another game like that.”
Martin could only recall one other game that was played in similar circumstances, about 12 years ago when Cowichan was still in Div. 2. His team had travelled to Powell River, and postponing the match was not an option. With Vantreights’ trip from Victoria much shorter, they could have rescheduled last Friday’s game, but Vantreights seemingly just wanted to get it over with.
“The other team had no interest in coming back and playing us again,” Martin said.
Positioned in front of his bench at the west end of the field, Martin couldn’t see anything at the other end, and completely missed his team’s first four goals.
“I could barely see our own goal,” he noted. “Let alone the other end.”
Jordan Korven opened the scoring at 10 minutes, followed by Craig Gorman at 32 minutes, Steve Scott at 35 minutes and Gorman again at 43 minutes. For Korven and Scott, those were their first goals in league play this year.
With the teams switching ends for the second half, Martin did see goals by Cooper Barry at 47 minutes and Russell Lederer at 49 minutes before the game was called early because of the fog, around the 70-minute mark.
Martin had expected Paddy Nelson to add to his league-leading goal total against the last-place team, but although he had a few chances, Nelson was held off the scoresheet and remained at 16 on the season, a number now equalled by Nanaimo’s Daragh Fitzgerald.
“I was surprised at Paddy not scoring a goal,” Martin said. “I don’t think the fog helped him.”
Cowichan goalkeeper Darian Achurch did fine in the unusual conditions, posting his sixth shutout of the season, also the best total in Div. 1.
“He’s the reason why our goals-against is one of the lowest in the league so far,” Martin said.
Cowichan will take a record of 11 wins, two losses and one tie into the six-week Christmas break. They remain atop the standings with 34 points, seven more than Vic West. Vic West was beaten last weekend by Westcastle, who Martin hoped would do his team a few favours after they defeated Cowichan 2-1 in early November.
LMG’s next league game is set for Jan. 20, when they visit the V.I. Wave. On Jan. 6, Martin will coach the VISL side in the all-star game at Hampton Park. Achurch, Gorman, Nelson and Kevan Brown have been picked to represent Cowichan, along with Korven, who will make his all-star debut.
“He’s never played Div. 1 in his life,” Martin said of Korven. “And he’s been a solid defenceman for us at centre back.”