Wallaceburg Sting Lose Hard Fought Opener

Soccer-Ball-Grass-CKThe Wallaceburg Sting Mens team began their 2015 First Division WOSL season playing host to the London Portuguese Club. In the past the two clubs have competed against each other in both the Premier League as well as First Division on numerous occasions bringing about some very close battles.

The Sting would play the first game without Colin McArthur due to injury, and had both Brad Langstaff and leading scorer of the team Phil Nywening missing for this one.

This game however came with some new faces to the Sting side. Players including Brad Maxim, Casey McGee, and Scott Pollard got their debut for the side. Ian Denys also returned to the squad after playing his soccer with Nairn in the 4th division for multiple seasons.

With Coach Chris Baertsoen and newly appointed Manager Kevin Babcock manning the bench there was much anticipation leading up to the game and everyone was itching for that first whistle of the season.

At kickoff the intensity was high, the Portuguese immediately put the pressure the defensive line of the Wallaceburg players with multiple attacks down the left and right side. And with the Sting’s slow start to the game came the first break through for the away side as they scored the first goal at the 7th minute mark.

As the whistle blew again to resume play Wallaceburg seemed to gain more of a foothold in the game as the midfield possessed the ball more and began distributing the ball to the left and right wingers Jake Zelina and Kyle Allaer. Runs were made down the right with crosses coming into the away sides 18 yard box with a few chances coming very close.

At the 23rd minute the Londoners struck again as they put a collective effort of various passes together that in the end resulted in a beautiful goal.

The Portuguese then began to play a more of a possession game as they were two goals up and feeling more comfortable being in the position they were in. The Sting once again found themselves on the back foot and were looking vulnerable until a well played ball in the box fell to Brandon Watsons left foot at the 40th minute mark to bring the Sting back into contention going into the halftime break.

The 2nd half began with a clear momentum switch as Wallaceburg controlled the play increasingly more with Kurtis Lubbers and Mike Foster getting the ball at their feet in centre midfield and distributing the ball with more intent.

More pressure was applied to the Wallaceburg side throughout the early stages of the second half. However the two Centre backs Sean Hogan, and Troy Babcock who were playing together for the first time competitively proved to be a solid pairing at the back. Even if the opponents were able to get past the two, they then had to get past the towering keeper Sam Youlton.

The Defensive effort from the Sting proved to be too much for the Portuguese side to get a 3rd on the scoresheet, but it was the same story at the other end. Even with Casey McGees penetrating runs at their defence and his long range effort at goal, and with Brad Maxim’s sneaky runs down the left side just wasn’t enough for Wallaceburg to get an equalizer. The pressure was piled on in the dying moments but the away side held strong and got to head back to London with a well fought 3 points.

The Sting’s next league game will see them head to Simcoe and play the newly promoted side on Thursday May 14th. They will then play host to St. Marys on May 22nd at Steinoff park in Wallaceburg with an 8:30 kickoff time.

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