Skip to content

VIDEO: Powell River Villa wins Jackson Cup opener

High winds a factor in entertaining match between Vancouver Island Soccer League clubs
HARD HEADER: Powell River Villa players Richard “Chico” Murphy [centre, in red] and Ori Fisher [right, in red] compete with a Saanich Fusion Bandits player to win a header during the teams’ first round Jackson Cup game on Saturday, February 4, at Timberlane Park. Villa won the game 1-0 and advanced to the round of 16.

Powell River Villa won its first 2023 Jackson Cup match against Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) Division 2’s Saanich Fusion Bandits by a score of 1-0 at Timberlane Park on Saturday, February 4.

“This is our third win and third shutout in a row, so we’re in good form,” said Chris McDonough, Villa’s manager. “The first half was a little slower. We came out flat, partly because it was a different style of play than we’re used to from Division 1 teams, but we carried the play and had the bulk of possession, and by the second half, we’d settled in and were able to score.”

After a scoreless first half where the high winds and occasional rains at times made game play more unpredictable, Villa made some lineup changes for the second half.

“We started the game with some changes to the lineup that didn’t work as well as we thought they would,” said Tony Leach, Villa’s coach. “We moved some players around at halftime, and that helped us. We were able to get on the scoreboard early in the second half, and held the lead for the rest of the game.”

Griffin Leach scored the goal at 51 minutes in the second half.

“The goal was a great effort by our front line,” said McDonough. “Griffin made a deep pass to Jake [Kenmuir], who beat his man and passed the ball back to Griffin, who put it into the net.”

The single goal held for the remainder of the game, moving Villa into the round of 16.

“We were a little slower in the first half, but in the second we got it together and focused more,” said Jerod Timothy, who plays for Villa. “We were able to pass the ball around more cleanly, even with the wind, and finished the game on a good note.”

Goalkeeper Matt Liknes achieved his third straight shutout, and the defensive line earned praise from Leach and McDonough for their efforts.

“Nick [Van’t Schip] and Joel [Harry] played well, and gave us good distribution out of the back,” said Leach. “Both outside defenders, Jacob [Duyvesteyn] and James [Timothy], were overlapping and allowing us to hit longer balls. That gave us a bit of an offensive threat.”

Offensively, the coaches saw good performances from Ori Fisher, Kenmuir, and Leach, as well as midfielder Richard “Chico” Murphy. 

“Jerod Timothy also played well for us, as one of our strong off-the-bench players,” said McDonough. “He’s been back from injury since Christmas, and while he still can’t play a full game, he brings excellent pace and ball control up front.”

The win means Villa will face fellow Division 1 club Cowichan FC in the round of 16, scheduled for Saturday, February 11, at Timberlane. Kickoff is at 1:30 pm, and tickets will be available at the gate.

Villa season’s passes do not apply to Jackson Cup games.

“Cowichan is a good team with a lot of strong players,” said Leach. “We’re evenly matched, and have a similar record this season, so it will definitely be an end-to-end action-packed game. We’re looking forward to seeing Powell River fans out to support us, and hopefully we’ll get a win and make it to the quarterfinals.”