A two-goal performance from Samuel Norman Gerrand was not enough for the Pincher Creek Under-18s soccer team to claim all three points at Sproule Field on Thursday, as visiting Elkford fought to a 2-2 draw.
The tie was a missed opportunity for coach Ondrej Soudek and his Pincher Creek tream; Elkford spent well over an hour short down a man after a first-half red card and the hosts missed a first-half penalty.
“It’s too bad [as] they were playing one player short, but we weren’t aggressive today — we didn’t want to win,” said Soudek, whose team’s record sits at 2W-1D-1L. “Elkford has a really good team — they beat us 5-3 last game — so we were better than our first match, but there are still lots of things to improve and make the team better.”
Pincher Creek started brightly just six minutes into Thursday’s match, as Gerrand opened the scoring with a cannon of a shot that beat the Elkford keeper from short-range.
Despite Pincher Creek enjoying the majority of possession early, the visitors from Elkford drew level in the 20th minute. Capitalizing on some sloppy defending off a corner, Elkford star David Gold kissed a half-volley off the underside of the crossbar and in.
Elkford was reduced to 10 men in the 38th minute after the referee deemed one of its defenders handled the ball on his own goal-line.
Gerrand stepped up to take the ensuing penalty for Pincher, but his well-struck effort was stopped acrobatically by the Elkford goalkeeper.
At the half, Pincher and Elkford sat tied at one.
The visitors took a shock lead just twenty seconds after the restart via Cruz Canlas.
Gerrand pocketed his second goal of the evening for Pincher in the 65th minute, capping a series of impressive solo moves with a finesse finish into the bottom corner of the Elkford net.
Pincher centre back Chase Lincez was the key player in the closing minutes of Thursday’s match; his long-range, potentially game-winning free-kick goal was waived off by the official, and he came up with a crucial goal line stop in his own half.
“We’re here [at Sproule Field] again on Thursday against Sparwood, and we hope that people will come support us,” said coach Soudek. “Everything is building up to our [playoff] tournament.”