August 7, 2016 L1O:Woodbridge Strikers and Oakville Blue Devils

Final Score:……Woodbridge Strikers……..1…….Oakville Blue Devils………1…..

Attendance was about 75 on this mild evening with a cross-field wind from the east.

The temperature cooled off quite a bit from the start of the game, enough to send many of the fans back to the parking lot to retrieve sweaters or a jacket. The call for water-breaks seemed unnecessary especially in the second half but the referee was telling Strikers officials in the parking lot after the game that the league had made the decision earlier in the day (the weather earlier in the day extended the heat wave that’s been running for weeks now). There was supposed to be 6 minutes of added time but a few delays including Yellow cards extended that. OBD players and officials had pleaded for a Penalty kick at 94 minutes when WS Kyle Watson chested down a long OBD cross from 40 yards sent in by Hitesh Joshi but they were ignored.

Strikers only had one Yellow card in the game and that set up the Penalty kick. OBD earned four Yellows.

Both teams struggled stringing passes together once they got inside the other sides 30 yard line. The defences of both sides were able to break up passes but the finishing of both teams forwards left much to be desired. The goalies didn’t have to be spectacular because shots were off target.

Strikers scored their goal late and had no more offence forays. OBD turned the last part of the game into a shooting gallery.

Best non-scoring chances were at 20 minutes when OBD Felipe Velila was sent in 1 on 1 but WS Cameron Brooks made a sliding poke check from behind at 15 yards to prevent him getting a shot down the middle. 40 minutes had WS Kyle Watson’s cornerkick from the right had WS Darian Bygrave take a 10 yard header that was caught on the bounce by the flying goalie on the left post. First half injury time had OBD Richard Ainscough miss a 10 yard blast up the middle when rolled a pass from Velila and it go through his legs. 48 minutes had OBD Tarik Roberts take a 28 yard freekick from the right that OBD Eric Crawford jumped and send a 6 yard header wide left. 75 minute had OBD Roman Young one-touch a midair shot from 15 yards just over the net. 77 minutes had the WS goalie dive to make a save on a 22 yard shot between players and was injured when OBD Khody Ellis kicked at him for the loose ball. 92 minutes had OBD Roberts take a long throw-in from the left and the ball was flicked across the box by OBD Tariq Roberts and OBD Ellis headed a 3 yarder over the net. 95 minutes had an OBD cornerkick from the right have OBD Young leapt and flicked an 8 yard header in the middle downward and bounced it wide wide left of the post.

Woodbridge’s record improves to 10 wins, 3 losses, 2 ties for 32 points—good for second place in the eight team Eastern Conference. They were just seconds from recovering from their Cup Final loss last weekend to Vaughan Azzurri. They have only allowed 12 goals in fifteen regular season games this year which is the best in the league this season.

Oakville’s record improves to 5 wins, 6 losses, 3 ties for 18 points—good for sixth place in the eight team Western Conference. They are the 2015 L1O champions and then won the Interprovincial Cup against CS Mont-Royal Outremont the Quebec Champion.

Oakville was the last of the sixteen teams in L1O for me to now say I’ve seen every league team at least once this season. Their roster had many names I recognized from last year and after the game I asked head coach Duncan Wilde why the team hasn’t done as well this season. He said the team has been giving away silly goals that decide games. The team has scored 25 goals but allowed 26—that’s not so good when five of the league’s sixteen teams are minus 20 which pads many of the better teams records. OBD have only scored four goals in one game this season. Wilde said tonight’s lineup included twelve players that play on their U21 team.

Tonight their lineup only listed one imported player. Using imported players to be competitive was one of the complaints from their PDL days (they are directly descended from the Toronto Lynx team). Toronto FC took their spot in the PDL in 2015. OBD joined L1O in the league’s second year of operation.

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Robin Glover

Robin Glover

Robin has been writing about soccer in the Toronto area for message boards and his own website since the early 1990s in the days of 2400 baud modems to USENET sites. In the 2014 season he attended 76 games in various leagues that played in the GTA area. Follow Robin on Twitter and on his website

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