Villa Soccer Club held Nanaimo United FC to a 1-1 tie in a match held Saturday, October 12, at Timberlane Park.
“We had a full 90 minutes of good effort,” said Villa coach Chris McDonough. “The team did well both offensively and defensively, and we played a good, complete game, probably for the first time this season. This is definitely something we can build on.”
Nanaimo scored first at the 39-minute mark, leaving Villa down one goal at the end of the first half. The team rallied in the second half, and Grant Campbell scored the tying goal at 78 minutes.
“Grant had a great opportunity, took the ball down off his chest, and hit it low and hard into the corner of the net,” said McDonough. “It was a very timely goal, and important for us as a team to prove that we can come back from a deficit and believe in the way we play.”
Following Campbell’s goal, both teams stepped up the pace in an effort to score again.
“We were the team that geared up this time,” said Villa player Jake Kenmuir. “Sometimes we’ve played well for 80 or 85 minutes, but we had a full 90 minutes of good soccer this game, with a more defensive formation, and that showed.”
McDonough was pleased with the effort across the field.
“On offence Jake Kenmuir and Kye Taylor had a lot of chances and were very dangerous in front of the net,” he said. “Our keeper Matt Liknes made some big saves to keep us in the game, and our defensive line was solid, especially Nick Van't Schip and Carl Hanson.”
Many fans came out for the game on the Thanksgiving long weekend, giving the team a boost.
“We love seeing all the fans out,” said Kenmuir. “There is hardly anyone in the stands for most of our road games. We truly have the best fans in the league, and we’re really thankful for all the support we receive.”
The game started with a moment of silence for Elvio Cramaro, one of the founders of the Villa Soccer Club, who passed away recently.
“Elvio was the first president of Villa and has always been a big supporter of the club,” said McDonough. “Even though he moved away a few years ago, he still came to a lot of our away games. We’ll miss seeing him out, and it was our honour to hold a moment of silence for him at home.”
Villa is on the road this weekend, playing Mid-Isle Mariners at 1 pm on Sunday, October 20, at Bowen West Field in Nanaimo.
“Mid-Isle is below us in the standings, so this is a crucial game,” said McDonough. “We are aiming to come home with a win.”
Villa will return to Timberlane Park on Saturday, October 26, to play Gorge FC. Kickoff is at 1:30 pm, with tickets available at the gate.