Cowichan LMG took sole possession of first place in the Vancouver Island Soccer League’s top division with a 2-0 win over Gorge at Hampton Park last Friday.
The team had coughed up a similar two-goal lead against Bays United a week earlier, so they weren’t going to make the same mistakes again.
“We learned from our last game,” Cowichan lead coach Glen Martin said. “Believe it or not, they might have listened.”
In fact, Martin felt the most recent match was his team’s best complete game all year, from start to finish. It helped that they were well-prepared for both the playing surface and the opponent.
“There’s an advantage to playing a team you know,” Martin said. “They haven’t changed from last year at all.”
LMG went in with a good game play, which the players executed.
“It was a good all-around team victory,” the coach stated.
Anton Bucher opened the scoring in the 28th minute, with his first goal of the season. Paddy Nelson made good on a penalty shot in the 73rd minute for his 11th of the season, one off the league lead.
Things got feisty toward the end of the game, with the ref dealing a couple of yellow cards to each team
“That’s what you expect when teams face each other for first place,” Martin said.
What you might also expect is a close game, which it was. Martin didn’t feel that his team blew Gorge away.
“I wouldn’t say we dominated,” he said. “It was fairly even. We played solid defence. We didn’t give them many chances. That was the main thing.”
Jordan Korven earned the hard hat award, as selected by his own team, an honour that Martin admitted was hard to pick this time around. Craig Gorman received the game MVP award, as selected by the VISL brass.
Cowichan will be home this Friday to host Vic West at 7 p.m. for the last game of the first half. With five or six teams jockeying for the top two or three spots in the league, every point is vital.
“The league is so tight at the top, a couple of bad games and you could go from first to fourth real fast,” Martin said.
The third-place team in the league, just one point back of Gorge, Vic West won’t be easy to beat.
“Vic West is tough,” Martin said. “They’re a really good team with lots of talent. They beat us last year [5-2] on our own field. We’ve got to get them back.”