Two late goals lift Warren to win, 2-1
Warriors first win of the season
VINCENT — Warren scored two goals in the final nine minutes of play to pick up win No. 1 of the 2020 season, taking down New Philadelphia 3-1 Saturday.
Knotted at 1-all with nine minutes to play, things got a bit heated between the two sides. Both teams were issued yellow cards around the nine-minute mark after some pushing and shoving. When play resumed, Warren’s Shane Gardner broke the tie with 8:18 left on the clock. Caleb Burns added a goal with 3:14 remaining to provide some cushion, and the Warriors held on from there.
After an 0-2 start to the season, Warren head coach Ekrem Eksi felt his team badly needed this win.
“If we would’ve lost this one, I think the kids would’ve been down,” said Eksi, whose Warriors play host to Athens Tuesday. “They’ve been down. They lost to teams that we should’ve beat. This was a good win for them.”
The match didn’t get off to a great start for the home team as New Philadelphia’s Elliott Warner found the back of the net nearly seven minutes into the match to make it 1-0.
Warren registered the equalizer at the 23-minute mark when Josh Yost booted a corner kick and Kyle Mahoney headed it in to make it 1-1.
“When the game started we were pretty much even, and then they shot a frame better than us,” Eksi said. “We made a defensive mistake and they capitalized on that one. After that, we started pulling it together. They didn’t get down, which I was afraid was going to happen. They started picking it up.”
“The second half, the team played very disciplined. We were creating opportunities, and I could see it was coming. Finally we made a goal.”
The Warriors celebrated as Gardner’s strike was just beyond the reach of a leaping Ben Barker, New Philadelphia’s keeper. The Quakers went on the attack, trying desperately to tie the game again, but it wasn’t to be.
With just over three minutes left, Warren booted the ball toward the goal and Barker raced up to gather it, but it slipped through his hands. Burns then raced around Barker and beat him to the ball, tallying an insurance goal.
“That took the pressure off us,” Eksi said.
Warren took six shots on frame to New Philadelphia’s three. Warrior keeper Jackson Petty notched two saves while Barker registered three.
Eksi was relievedt o see his team get in the win column and is hoping they can build some momentum moving forward.
“I look at the first two games, and I look at this team playing this afternoon, it was a day and night difference,” Eksi said. “We’re getting better. I think as the time passes we’re going to get better.”
Jordan Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.