For the second successive Saturday United played a home game at Cloverdale Athletic Park against Richmond Hibernians and much to their chagrin, the visitors managed to eke out a draw which sent United back into second place in the Premier Division table. Richmond started brightly against a sluggish home team and dominated the early part of the match and deservedly took the lead at around the 20th minute mark as a result of a well executed three way passing play which ended up with Surrey goalkeeper Drew Smiley making a great save on the initial shot but Richmond’s Masumi Turnbull picked up the rebound and smashed the ball home for the all-important opening goal. The goal seemed to be the wake-up call that United needed as they bounced back with grit and determination and quickly knotted the score when Angus Burke finished off a well-executed pass from teammate Tyler Rosenlund. In the second half, both teams took turns attacking and defending but it was Richmond FC that took the lead at around the 60th minute mark, once again on a close-range shot by Turnbull. Once again, Surrey United responded quickly and scored the final equalizer six minutes later when Rizal Ganief”s cross was collected by Burke who smashed home a powerful shot from the top of the box. United took full control and pushed Richmond back on the defensive and deserved further goals but Ganief hit the post with one effort and had another denied by a fine save from Richmond keeper Matt Clayton.
Mens CAT “A” DIVISION
United’s CAT “A” team got back to winning ways with an impressive 3-2 away victory against West Vancouver at Ambleside on Saturday. After a fairly even first half, United seized the initiative a minute before the break thanks to a fine solo effort by Ezra Fenwick. Shortly into the second frame Surrey increased their lead when keeper Jeff Patterson’s long clearance eluded the home team defence and goalkeeper and found its way into the net. United then surrendered two goals to the home side in the following ten minutes before Fenwick set up leading goal-scorers Chris Roots for his eleventh goal of the campaign and what stood up to be the game winner.
Mens CAT “B” DIVISION
Surrey United’s CAT “B” played GN Sporting Club “B” on Sunday at Cloverdale. United started quickly in the first half, taking it to the visitors from the whistle with strikers Liam McKinnon & Lenny Longley each coming close to scoring in the first ten minutes of the game. After a great start to the game United deservedly took the lead at the 12 min. mark when Krisztian Turcsanyi took the ball to the right corner and fired over great cross which was smartly headed by McKinnon into the top corner of the net. Three minutes later Longley was sent in by McKinnon but was denied a goal when his swerving shot hit the right post and rebounded out of harm’s way. The visitors came out into the second half somewhat rejuvenated by the fact that despite being considerably outplayed they were only a goal down. Both teams traded good chances over the final 45 minutes, with the visitors testing United’s keeper Paul Moreau a number of times but he was able to repel all the efforts to gain a shut-out and preserve the narrow margin of victory for the young United team to maintain their lead atop the standings.
The Master’s team also returned to winning ways with a convincing 5-0 away victory against bottom placed team Metro-Ford Firefighters. Murray Howes opened the scoring after 18 minutes when he fired home a Spiro Pegios cross and then Surrey added a second before the interval with Richie Pasqua setting up Darren Villars. United added three further goals in the second frame with Carson Drayson adding the third before midfielder Kelly Bey added a brace one being a rocket of a shot after fine set-up work once again from Pasqua.
United’s premier Ladies team avenged an earlier season defeat by beating Burnaby Canadians 2-1 at Cloverdale on Sunday.
They got off to a great early start when midfielder Kim McMullen opened the scoring at the five minute mark scoring with a powerful shot after latching onto a Megan Blaker pass. However, the fine start was undone ten minutes later when United conceded an equalizer when a long range shot somehow eluded the grasp of United goalkeeper Theresa Nuttall. Burnaby can consider themselves fortunate not to be shorthanded when their defender clearly brought down Blaker on a breakaway and just about as she was about to shoot. With the scores knotted at the half United came out strongly in the second period and dominated most of the play. They once again grabbed an early goal this time after only six minutes when great determination by April Coffin sent Katie Thorlakson racing down the left and her excellent low cross was smashed home from close range by McMullen. United could and perhaps should have added further goals. McMullen wasted a breakaway opportunity that would have given her a hat-trick close and Aly Benes was thwarted on another breakaway by a brave diving save from the visiting goalkeeper.
Ladies DIVISION ONE
Surrey United visited Richmond to play the Stingrays and the last time these two teams played each other earlier in the season the match ended in a 1-0 win for the Richmond visitors at Cloverdale, thanks to a late break-away at the final whistle. The match played out Sunday had all of the same type of characteristics as the previous encounter. Surrey United pressed continuously throughout the first half of the match trying to gain that one all important go-ahead goal, but only accomplished to hit woodwork, send the ball over the target or simply had their efforts saved e running by the keeper. United’s best effort, emanated from a three way play started by defender Jaide Helgason who delivered a great ball between Richmond's defensive core to a hard running teammate striker Claire McKinnon who in turn sent pass off to fellow striker Sam Pither. Unfortunately Pither's chip shot was finger-tipped over the cross-bar by the home team’s keeper. The second half produced more exciting soccer but both goalkeepers were putting on great displays, turning aside everything coming their way. United enjoyed an added advantage midway throughout the second half with Richmond reduced to ten men due to a series of injuries and a short bench. Even with this advantage Surrey just could not put together the final touch to convert their pressure into that all important first goal. However, as the match wound down with only minutes left, Richmond mounted one last counter-attack and created a breakaway situation but United keeper Brittany Galeslook sprinted alertly off her line and bravely dove at the feet of the Richmond striker to smother the ball and deny the opponents a goal.
Player of the WeekThis week’s Player of the Week goes to Ladies Premier midfielder Kim McMullen whose two goal performance saw her team gain a narrow 2-1 victory over Burnaby Canadians which enabled United to maintain their second place position in the standings.