Surrey United and Croatia have produced many tight close exciting games over the past ten years but this was not one of them and the reason the scoreline was kept to 4-0 in favour of Surrey was due only to the brilliance of Croatia's keeper Didar Sandhu. After a fairly even opening fifteen minutes Surrey started to take control and after coming close on a couple of occasions deservedly took the lead in the 20th minute when a great ball by Jeff Buchanan sent young Joseph Martin racing down the left flank before his great cross was headed home by a towering header from Lucas Barrett. Croatia almost grabbed a goal against the run of play when Marten Koorn's powerful thirty yard rocket seemed destined for the top corner until United keeper Drew Smiley produced a fantastic leap to tip the ball around the post. It was a key save at a key time from the veteran netminder and produced a good response from his Surrey teammates who shortly afterwards seized the initiative and added a second goal when great link up play between Barrett and Tyler Rosenlund was finished skillfully by striker Cam Wilson whose quick kick turn and low shot to the corner gave Sandhu no chance. A minute before the half United should have added a third but somehow Rosenlund scooped the ball over the gaping net from eight yards. Croatia probably took some comfort from the let-off and although they started strongly in the second half Surrey put the game beyond reach adding a third ten minutes into the second frame when following a Rosenlund corner kick Martin pounced on the loose ball and hammered it home from ten yards. Five minutes later Surrey scored again with Wilson getting his second goal of the game after some fine play between Barrett and player of the game Vince Stewart. The rest of the half ended up being one-way traffic and developed into a personal duel between Rizal Ganief and Sandhu who this time won the battle and produced a string of fine saves to deny Ganief on two occasions and also denied substitute Niall Thompson after great set-up by Ganief.
Mens CAT “A” DIVISION
After last week’s tie United came roaring back with a thumping away win against the aptly named Friends United. Indeed they were very friendly towards United who hammered in thirteen goals on their way to victory but yet surrendered the shut-out allowing the home team a consolation goal. United built up a convincing 5-0 half-time lead and although very sportingly played with ten men for the majority of the half they still managed to stuff in eight more goals. Chris Roots led the way with the scoring notching four goals, closely followed by fellow striker Ezra Fenwick who bagged the hat-trick. Other goals came from Brad Philips (2), Rodrigo Casio (2) and singles from Josh Possey and Nick Gollogly
Mens CAT “B” DIVISION
Surrey United came out of the block very cautiously against opponents Burnaby Fury but still managed to control most of the early play and deservedly took the lead at the 20th minute when Kelvin Hayes struck a beautiful cross field pass to Andre Felicio, who slipped in from the left and fire home a powerful shot. United continued to dominate throughout the balance of the half but were unable to add any further goals missing numerous chances and hitting two posts. United’s young team started the second half where they left off and peppered the Burnaby goal with numerous shots before finally adding to their tally in the 55th minute when Kody Bell coolly finished on a breakaway after a clever feed from Lenny Longley, sent him racing clear. Burnaby continued to struggle with the blistering pace and fitness of United and eight minutes later United added their third. Liam McKinnon’s arching free-kick was only partially stopped by the Burnaby Keeper and United’s Paul Moreau pounced on the rebound for an easy tap in. Five minutes later United scored again when Bell intercepted a pass, then fed McKinnon on the open left flank, who struck a low missile to the bottom left side of the net from 18 Yards. A visibly frustrated Burnaby team were being outplayed and out-hustled and they resorted to play it very physical resulting in numerous serious infractions. Eventually the inevitable happened when the visitors instigated a fracas, resulting in a red card to a player on each team but thankfully the game coasted in to a finish, without further incident.
Our Masters team followed last week’s away win with a disappointing 2-2 tie at home against Richmond Olympics although United had to snatch a late goal to gain a share of the points. Surrey started strongly maintaining good possession and had a number of off target attempts on goal before their dominance was rewarded with an early goal at the 9 minute mark. Striker Mike Marini deftly chipped a ball to Bill Jackson at the top of the penalty box, where Jackson controlled cleverly and then slotted it into the bottom left corner. United controlled much of the first half aside for the last 10 minutes when a somewhat harmless looking shot took a strange bounce and ended up in the net. The goal gave the visitors quite the half-time boost and they came out full of purpose in the second half and within five minutes took the lead. United pushed forward in search of more goals and were finally 10 minutes from time when Darren Villars beat a couple of players out wide before crossing the ball for Dave Harkison who headed home the tying goal. Man of the match and a player of the week nominee was defender Dave Wyatt who defended tremendously throughout winning virtually every challenge.
Surrey United notched their second win of the season with a 3-0 win over North Coquitlam City Slickers at Cloverdale Athletic on Sunday although the margin of victory would have been greater if United had capitalized on their chances. Nicole Stewart opened the scoring at the 20minute mark slotting the ball home from twelve yards after set-up play between Megan Blaker and Randee Hermus. Blaker came out injured shortly afterwards and the United team sadly missed her goal-scoring prowess as they squandered a number of good opportunities. Shortly after the half-time break Kate Qually added the insurance marker with a sweetly placed shot into the corner of the net following a fine through ball by veteran Geri Donnelly. Stewart and Qually both came close to scoring and after great individual runs both tried to squeeze home a short sided shot when maybe a square pass to a colleague might have resulted in a simple tap-in. Stewart rounded out the scoring in the 70th minute with a powerful strike into the top corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area. Theresa Nuttall earned her shut-out with a fine acrobatic save after some sloppy defensive coverage allowed the City slicker forward a clear strike on goal.
Ladies DIVISION ONE
Surrey United got off to a great start to their game against PCOV when striker Claire McKinnon appeared to score the opening goal 15 minutes into the first half, only to have it called back by the referee citing an off side on the play. Ten minutes later United midfielder, Sukhpreet Grewal had the ball in the back of the net again but once again the goal was ruled out by the referee because of goaltender interference. It clearly was going to be a day of frustration for the United players which was further evidenced throughout the first half as they hit the cross-bar, goal post and had several shots blocked on the line by the PCOV defence. On the other side of the ball, PCOV's attacks were few and far apart as they were constantly thwarted by Surrey United's defensive core. However, two minutes before half-time the game was marred by an unsavory incident when a PCOV striker reacted viciously to a strong fair tackle by Surrey United's Mary Ferguson and culminated with the PCOV striker throwing a sucker punch into the face of the United defender. The referee red carded the PCOV player and the incident created some heated words between both teams. United enjoyed the one man advantage throughout the entire second half but despite complete domination of the match the Surrey United's ladies just could not find the back of the opponent’s net. Then to round off a bad day in injury added time Surrey United gave up penalty with the referee adjudging that United defender Rachel Saunderson had handled the ball. PCOV scored on the ensuing controversial penalty kick to somehow steal all the points from a game where they were completely outplayed.
Player of the Week
There were plenty of worthy candidates for player of the week with some multiple goal-scoring accomplishments but this week’s PLAYER OF THE WEEK is Nicole Stewart from the ladies Premier Team.