Peter McWilliams

League-leading Young Masters extend points lead

The Mainstream Young Masters enjoyed an important victory in Campbell River last weekend

Canada Mainstream Young Masters enjoyed an important victory in the Vancouver Island Soccer Division Four top of the table clash on Saturday afternoon at Willow Point. The win against second placed Zgoda put them nine points ahead with only five league games remaining.

It was a strong squad that lined up against the Victoria outfit and it was clear from the onset that the Young Masters were keen to improve upon their 2-2 result in September when the teams last met at Willow Point.  In contrast and despite bringing 14 players Zgoda were without four starters and their attitude at the start of the game suggested they were less than confident.

A healthy crowd of local soccer fans enjoyed a close first half and a dominant second from the hosts.

Forwards Shane Berry and Wyatt Bryce created a number of early chances with their slick passing and unselfish play. It came as no surprise when Berry scored with a solid header from Kevin Shelswell corner after 18 minutes. Despite spending most of the opening 30 minutes in the opponents’ half the one goal lead was not added to and Zgoda began to grow in confidence and enjoy a good spell of possession in the final 15 minutes of the first half.

Defenders Peter McWilliams and Colan Grootenboer were superb at the back and continually thwarted the forward runs of Zgoda’s speedy Bill Heaton. Young Master Mark Ross was a tower of strength in the centre of the pitch constantly winning the physical battles.

Half time was a welcome relief for the home side and allowed them to regroup and prepare for the second half. It proved to be an excellent performance in the second half as the home side continued to press with attacking runs by Shelswell, Patrick Cullen and Jacob Blanchard. From a defensive standpoint full backs Jason Fawkes, Alexandre Desrochers, Ivor McWilliams and Colton Reesor were solid and always looked to get forward and support attacks whenever possible.

The game remained in the balance but after a brave run by Shelswell he was fouled in the 18 yard box and earned his side a penalty kick. Captain P. McWilliams drove the ball home in style to secure a two goal lead. Shortly after, Berry ran through a tired looking Zgoda defence and scored his second and the Young Masters third. The Victoria side continued to battle and almost scored a consolation in the dying minutes.

However,the score line remained 3-0. Next Saturday the Young Masters travel to Victoria where they take on Saanich Fusion FC at Tyndall Park at 4 p.m.