Powell River Villa SC played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday, November 16, against Victoria Lakehill FC in Vancouver Island Soccer League Division 2 play.
Villa had ball control throughout the road game and might have won if not for Lakehill scoring on a penalty in the last 10 minutes of play.
“I thought it was one of our better games of the year,” said coach Chris McDonough.
The visitors pressed in the second half and it payed off when Nick Van't Schip scored a hardworking goal for Villa at the 65-minute mark; his first goal of the season.
Chrispin Mgeni broke down the right side, moved past an opponent and put a cross on the six yard line to Van’t Schip, who managed to get a toe on it and cut the ball into the left bottom corner of the net.
Chris Fisher, back with Villa on a youth permit, ended up taking down a Lakehill opponent in the penalty area late in the second half.
“It was unfortunate,” said McDonough. “They just collided and a penalty was awarded.”
Despite the penalty near the end of the game, the coach said 17-year-old Fisher, who plays youth soccer with Upper Island Riptide, played a solid game on defence.
The two other permitted players were Sebastian Yan, who plays U21 with the Mid-Isle Mariners, and Mason Sousa, who is with Lakehill U21.
“We didn't know exactly what kind of team we'd have but we probably played one of our better first halves of the season and had a lot of youth players, so we had a lot of speed out there and really controlled the game,” said McDonough.
Jake Kenmuir’s offensive attack was missing from the Powell River lineup. The veteran player was serving a one-game suspension.
The tie earned Villa a single point. The club continues to hold onto first place in the division, four points ahead of Victoria Highlanders FC. The team shares the third-best goal differential with Lakehill and Juan de Fuca All Flows at plus six. Saanich leads the way at plus 12, followed by Highlanders at plus eight.
“These teams are all going to take points off each other throughout the season so we knew there was going to be a lot of parity just by the teams we've played,” said McDonough.
Villa has won all of its home games so far this season but the 2019 schedule will be tougher because of three road games and just two at home.
“We front-loaded our schedule and we're going to have some tough road games,” said McDonough, “and it's hard to get a result on the road.
The team’s next game also takes place on road this Saturday, November 24, against Juan de Fuca.
Villa plays host to Bays United on Saturday, December 1. Game time at Timberlane Park is 1:30 pm.