Powell River Villa lost to Lakehill FC, currently in first place in Vancouver Island Soccer League Division 1 standings, by a score of 9-2 on Saturday, December 14, at Braefoot Park in Victoria.
“Road games have been difficult for us this season, and with five of the last seven games on the road, it’s been even tougher,” said Villa coach Chris McDonough. “We went down to Victoria with a depleted lineup to face the top team in the league, and that showed in the result.”
Lakehill scored first, five minutes into the first half. Villa answered quickly, with Jake Kenmuir scoring a goal at eight minutes.
The first half ended with three more Lakehill goals: one on a penalty kick and two during regular play. The home team scored four more times in the second half before Kenmuir capitalized on a Villa penalty kick to score his team’s second goal. Lakehill scored once more at 88 minutes to finish off the game.
“Jake Kenmuir had a great game,” said McDonough. “He created a lot of chances and scored two goals against a top calibre team. Niko Cristante also played well. He was taken down in the box, which allowed him to set up the penalty for Jake and our second goal. Overall, I thought we played better this time than when we faced them in September.”
The loss moves Villa into the relegation zone, but McDonough said he isn’t worried.
“We thought this might happen given the schedule, but we’re still in charge of our own destiny,” he added. “We have key games against Nanaimo FC, who we are tied with in points but they have a better goal differential, and also against Mid Isle Mariners, who are in last place in the division, coming up. Those games will decide our season, and we’ll be looking for wins in both.”
Villa will not play again until mid-January 2020.
“We’re going to use the winter break to regroup and get some rest,” said McDonough. “We only have one road game left, which is a more favourable schedule for us. We’ll be able to approach the remaining games in a fresher mindset and get the results we need to finish off the season outside the relegation zone.”
While Villa is on break, there will still be soccer at Timberlane Park. The Steve Steele Memorial Boxing Day game will showcase alumni from both Villa and Powell River’s senior men’s soccer league in a charity match, with proceeds going to the food bank and the Salvation Army. The game takes place on Thursday, December 26, with kickoff at 1:15 pm. Some current Villa players may take part in the match.
Villa returns to action at home on Saturday, January 18, against the Mid Isle Mariners. Kickoff will be at 1:30 pm, with tickets available at the gate. The club’s last road game of the season follows, versus Nanaimo FC at Merle Logan Turf in Nanaimo on Saturday, January 25.