Mount Pearl sits in second place after beating Laurentians
Mount Pearl coach Walt Mavin isn’t about to plan the route for the team’s championship parade just yet, but it’s obvious he’s pleased with his team’s performance at just past the half way mark of the 2013 Challenge Cup Soccer League season.
Mount Pearl That Pro Look/Molson defeated St. Lawrence Labatt Laurentians 1-0 Sunday at Smallwood Park to take over second place in the team standings, two behind league-leading and defending champion Holy Cross Kirby Group Crusaders.
Mark Reddy scored the only goal for the game with five minutes to play, while Luke Olmstead posted the shutout.
“We’re not surprised we can compete with the best teams in this league,” said Mavin Sunday.
“We’ve known from the get-go that we could.”
The Mount Pearl coach said both teams created an equal number of chances in the game.
“We got a break late in the game when a ball came loose just outside the 18-yard box and Mark got on it and it was a great finish.
Mavin said it’s been his team’s “overall defensive game” that has produced a 9-5-2 record while allowing 15 goals over those 16 games so far this season.
“That’s organization and defensive positioning and we’re getting good goalkeeping as well,” explained Mavin.
“Our goal was to be fighting for the first or second spot and that’s where we are now, but it’s only half way through the season.
“So,” he added, “we’re not getting too excited about it yet. We’ve got lots of work to do. We hope that our best soccer is ahead of us, just like every other team in the league.”
The Mount Pearl coach said he’s still “tinkering” with the lineup to try to find just the right mix of players.
‘There’s been times when I think our game is improving and then you have a half that concerns you. You feel like you are taking two steps forward and three back. But I think every team struggles with consistency at times,” he noted.
“Right now,” he said, “we’re happy where we are.”
In the other match Sunday, Holy Cross Kirby Group Crusaders crushed Feildians Ernst & Young 6-1 at King George V Park.
Jeremy Babstock scored twice (57, 87 minutes) for the winners. Steve Delong (8), Chris Pope (16), Pat Reddick (20) and Tyler Forsey at 87 minutes with his league-leading 16th goal of the season, had single markers for the Crusaders.
Hassan Kamara scored on a penalty kick at the 90-minute mark for the Double Blues.
Canada Games 2, Feildians 1 (Saturday)
Techniplex Canada Games got two goals three minutes apart in the first half to nip Feildians Ernst & Young at KGV Park..
John Hanrahan and Kyle Williams had the goals for the winners. Kevin Connolly, with five minutes to play, scored for the Double Blues on a penalty kick.
St. Lawrence 1, Holy Cross 1 (Friday)
Jake Warren’s goal with five minutes to play earned the Crusaders a draw with the Laurentians at KGV Park.
Richard Kelly scored at 34 minutes for St. Lawrence.
Mount Pearl 3, CB Strikers 0 (Friday)
Mount Pearl scored two fist-half goals and went on to blank the Strikers at Topsail Field.
Matthew Hamlyn, at 12 minutes, Yinni Hanbis, at 47 minutes, and Justin Pickford, at 70 minutes, each scored once for the winners. Olmstead recorded the shutout.
Next league action is Wednesday when St. Lawrence plays Feildians 6:30 p.m. at King George V Park and CB Strikers FC take on Mount Pearl That Pro Look Molson 6:30 p.m. at Smallwood Park.
Holy Cross 14 9 1 4 31
Mount Pearl 16 9 5 2 29
St. Lawrence 16 7 3 6 27
Feildians 13 5 4 4 19
* Canada Games 9 4 5 0 12
Strikers FC 15 0 15 0 0
Note: The Techniplex Canada Games team is playing on an exhibition basis only and will not participate in the playoffs