Saturday, 12 May 2012

CSL: Kingston FC 1, York Region Shooters 1

After last week's first full and proper CSL game in Kingston (a 4-2 loss against the TFC Academy, covered in full on Waking The Red and the Kingston Whig-Standard), Kingston FC was prepared to look for their first win of the young CSL 2012 season against the York Region Shooters.

The CSL Division II game was played immediately beforehand and despite fighting back to a 3-2 scoreline late in the game, the Kingston FC Reserves dropped the game by a 4-2 result, a definite step up on last week's 10-0 scoreline!

The game kicked off with Kingston FC wearing blue and the York Region Shooters dressed in white, and Kingston attacking the north end of the pitch.

Kingston started with something akin to a 1-3-3-2-1 formation (almost a 4-3-3), with Morgan Kenny in goal, Jacob O'Connor (captain) in front of him in a sweeper-like position. Moosa Ashrafi, Olivier Rieutord, and Hugo Delmaire filled out the defense, while Stephane Emard, Antonios Assaad, and Ali Al-Badry (George Anthony El-Asmar 58') covered the midfield. Jordan Brooks (Alex Campbell 58') and Edgar Soglo played as attacking wingers just behind Mademba Ba as the top striker.

For the York Region Shooters, they played more of a classic 4-4-2 formation with Emanuelle Ameltonis in goal, Ricky Herron, Marcelo Capazolo, Audrae Rollins (Fitzroy Christey 74'), Matthew O'Connor (Alex Trujillo 69'), Goncalo Almeida (Jalen Brome 77'), Julian Uccello (Desmond Humphrey 57'), Ryan Dummett, Darryl Gomez, Sam Roca, and Andre Manders filing out the outfield players.

The Shooters started off really strongly forcing an early save from Kenny and the rebound was cleared out for a throw. A few minutes later, Kingston FC got the first free kick, but it came to nothing at all. The play went up to the other of the pitch and the Shooters got a free kick. It came to nothing as Ryan Dummett put the ensuing ball through the uprights above the goal.

In the 7th, the Shooters got a corner and it was, as most of the corners in the game seemed to be, poor. Kingston FC picked off the ball and broke to the half-line before getting bogged down by the Shooters defense. In the early going, the Shooters had more of the possession, but could do very little with the ball.

The game changed in the 16th minute as Ba put the ball through to Brooks with a header. Brooks flicked the ball onto Soglo at the back post and he made no mistake, putting the ball past Ameltonis and just inside the far post to give Kingston FC their first ever lead at 1-0. Right off the kickoff, the Shooters pushed the ball up the left wing and Andre Manders fired the ball past Kenny into the back of the net to tie up the game almost 70 seconds after Kingston FC had taken the lead.

With the game locked at 1-1, Kingston FC began getting more and more into the game and taking more and more of the possession. This led to a flicked-on header from Soglo over to Ba, but he put the ball just wide of the post. Kingston FC had their best chance to regain the lead a few minutes later as Soglo was fouled on the edge of the area about ten yards off of the goal line. Brooks stepped up to take it, facing a three-man Shooters wall. He made a sharp pass to his right and Assaad stepped into the shot forcing a good diving save at full stretch from Ameltonis.

With about 11 minutes left in the first half, Emard went down with an injury and had to be treated both on and off the field. Four minutes later, the Shooters had a corner on the far side. It was hit hard toward the penalty spot, flicked onto the back post, where one of the Shooters hit it back into the middle to Manders. Manders hit a fantastic volley but struck the top of the crossbar.

Right before the single added minute at the end of the first half, Capazolo was shown the first caution of the game for unsporting behaviour. The free kick came to nothing and the whistle was blown with the scoreline at 1-1.

The second half started much more scrappily than the first was played and Ricky Herron took an early caution for unsporting behaviour in the 51st minute. Interestingly, the referee Carol-Anne Chenard had played an advantage a minute or two before and Herron had gotten injured on the ensuing play.

The Shooters made the first sub of the game in the 57th minute as they took off Uccello for Humphrey. Kingston FC responded within the minute taking off Brooks for Alex Campbell, and Al-Badry for George Anthony El-Asmar. Ninety seconds later Herron took a second caution and was dismissed from the game, leaving the Shooters with ten players with over thirty minutes of play to go.

For the first several minutes with the man advantage, Kingston FC tried to make it count forcing the play and getting a couple of good chances, but were unable to tally a goal. As they pressed, it opened up the back a bit and gave the Shooters a couple of good opportunities, one of which led to a cynical foul near the halfway line by O'Connor, garnering him a caution.

The Shooters began pressing more and playing harder, all the while Tony Di Thomasis kept tinkering with their lineup, using mot of his substitutes. Bringing on Trujillo gave them more control of the centre of midfield and he was able to put a ball through to create an odd-man break for the Shooters, but Kenny came up huge, making a block with his shoulder to keep the scoreline level.

The play of the Shooters kept stretching the Kingston FC defence and one break down the left wing forced a fantastic tackle deep in the penalty area by Ashrafi. As time wound down, the Shooters starting running out of gas, and Kingston FC had two really good chances, the first hopped just over the crossbar, but rolled down the back of the net, giving the impression that a goal had been scored. Two minutes later, Soglo and Ba broke through but Ameltonis dove at Ba's feet to save the point for the Shooters.

Compared to last week's game, the skill level (overall) seemed a bit lower, and the game was far chippier this time around. Talking with one of the owners, he seemed happy to get a point out of the game and expected better next week against Windsor in Kingston FC's last home game before a couple of weeks away. The crowd was much smaller this week than last, but much more vocal (per capita) than last week's crowd. Kingston FC's biggest failing in this game was that they did not take better advantage of the man advantage for a third of the game, and seemed to misuse their substitutions, using only two to York Region's four. As both Mike and Yassine pointed out, the team never adapted their formation with the extra man, and this made it difficult for them to take advantage and press the Shooters better for the last third of the match.

Bonus notes from the evening: I got to meet Carol-Anne Chenard before tonight's game · Alex Campbell's nickname is "Soupy" (I recognize that name for some reason...) · Kingston FC took their first CSL point in the first division · If a supporters group for the team gets started, it has to be named "The Colonels" (from Sarah) · Yassine is really good at predicting red cards.

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