Powell River Villa SC’s defence continued its stingy play for 45 minutes in Victoria on Saturday, November 2, but a constant offensive push by Gorge United FC eventually led to two second half goals and a 2-0 win for the home team.
“We were under a fair bit of pressure for most of the game so it wasn't our best effort,” said Villa coach Chris McDonough. “It was 0-0 at the half, then we gave up a penalty kick just into the second half and they scored; and then off a corner kick shortly after we gave up another goal and couldn't mount much of a comeback after that.”
The two goals were just the second and third scored on Villa goaltender Matt Liknes in eight games this season.
Six regulars were missing from the starting lineup due to injury, suspension or work commitments, several of whom were replaced by permitted youth players. New faces in unfamiliar positions made it difficult for Villa to play its system, according to the coach.
“We could see this coming a couple weeks ago; we knew this was going to be a tough match as far as personnel goes,” said McDonough. “It was a bit of a tough go plugging in people who haven't trained or played with us. It was a good effort but, in this league, you can't really throw together a team and expect good results.”
Villa played without Kye Taylor, Kurtis Dennison, Trevor Harry, Greg Smith and Brandon Knox. McDonough said regular roster players are coming back from the injured list, including Patrick Rainville, who returned for the game against Gorge.
“We have some players coming back from injury and more players available so it should get better from here on,” added McDonough. “Brandon Knox's suspension ended this weekend, too. Hopefully we're coming to the end of our personnel issues.”
Villa remains atop Vancouver Island Soccer League Division 2 standings with 18 points, four in front of Juan de Fuca and five ahead of its next opponent, Saanich Fusion.
Saanich visits Timberlane Park on Saturday, November 10. It is the first match of the season between the two clubs.
“It’s a big game; they have been right behind us for most of the season and have been getting good results,” said McDonough. “We've had some good results at home and played really well. It will be a real test for us with three big points on the line.”
The game is scheduled to start at 1:30 pm.
Villa is hosting a social and fundraiser immediately following the match at the Soccer Centre across the street. Villa president Jamie Zroback said it is a joint event to raise funds for the Braxton Leask and Dylan Buckle scholarship fund, as well as the club.
"We’re encouraging everyone to come to the game and then the beer and burger directly after," said Zroback. "It will be a good thing for the families and our club just to get everybody together. We're trying to have it as more of a celebration and a remembrance rather than something that is going to be somber."
Tickets for the fundraiser are $20 and available at Lockeroom Sporting Goods or from players.