BRONTË JAMES Fredericton Daily Gleaner
June 22, 2014
The FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers (2-5-1) defeated the Fredericton Picaroons Reds (2-6-0) 2-0 in McCain Premier Soccer League action at Scotiabank Park South Saturday night in their first matchup of the season at the Elm City Derby.
“I think after losing all the games we have in the last few games, we really needed to come out and play hard and get a win,” said David Jamael, who scored both goals in the game. “And we did that, so we’re all pretty happy right now. No complaints.”
The first half wouldn’t see any goals, but it wasn’t without a strong push from both teams. Less than five minutes in Picaroon’s Alex Haiart would go up for a header against Colin McIsaac and they would collide, sending McIsaac off and give the Wanderers a free kick.
Roughly 12 minutes later the Wanderers had another chance when Reds goalkeeper Adam Grant came out of the net to block Jamael. The ball would ricochet off Jamael to teammate Marco Riedel, but he would kick it wide past the net.
The Reds’ first real chance came with three minutes left in the first half, but Wanderers goalkeeper Mackenzie Hill was able to get a touch on the ball and keep the game scoreless going into the second half.
“Compared to the rest of the season we were off to a slow start,” said Reds captain Eric Karosan. “We’ve picked things up, we’ve just gotta find a killer edge.”
No goals would be scored until 63 minutes into the game. Jamael would have an easy goal after taking the ball into the top of the six and dribbling it around Grant, who looked to have hurt his ankle and was too slow to get back in front of the ball.
It was now a 1-0 game.
“Roy (Mugume) played a good ball over the top of the D and I just took a touch around the keeper,” said Jamael. “And I saw Al (Fredericks) on the line and I just walked right around him and tapped it in.”
It would be back and forth between the teams – one trying to keep their lead and the other trying to close the gap. Two yellow cards would be given out during the game, one to Wanderer’s Fredericks and one to the Reds’ Haiart, but it didn’t keep either team from continuing the physical game.
With five minutes of extra time for injuries and stoppage of play, the Wanderers looked like they had a 1-0 game in the bag. But the Wanderers were awarded an indirect free kick after Grant had a ball passed back to him by his fullback and put a hand on the ball. The Reds lined the goal-line from post to post. But Max Legg would put his touch on the ball and Jamael would kick it to the left corner the net, giving the Wanderers a 2-0 lead and sealing the victory.
“Marco (Riedel) told me to put it left corner, so that’s where I put it,” said Jamael.
“They didn’t get too many good chances, it’s just those two breakdowns, they capitalized on it,” said Karosan. “Some teams have a good night and others just don’t, it just happened to be in their favour today.”
Both teams were missing key players. Wanderers head coach Joe Ross sat out a one-game suspension for talking back to the ref in their game against the PEI FC. Starting left back Craig Draper also sat out after receiving a red card in that game. Carl Speed, out with a Achilles tendon injury since the first game of the season, and Dylan Hughes, out with a dislocated shoulder, were also missing.
“But guys stepped up and we played a good game,” said Jamael.
The Reds were missing two key players as well, in Victor Karosan and Galen Smith,
The team is transitioning their roster as more and more players who play for the UNB Varsity Reds in the fall leave town for the summer months. The Picaroons Reds filled with players from the former FDSA U18 program, such as rookie Varsity Reds Pat Cormier and Louis Robichaud.
“So we have to go recruiting with some of the younger guys, but they’re stepping up, getting used to the pace,” said Eric Karosan. “It’s a big, big difference playing U18 and playing men’s, so I think they’re getting used to it and it will be good preparation for them come university in the fall.”
Karosan said watching the World Cup the last week was something the men used for motivation when they were down 1-0. “You figure a lot of teams have been scored on and come back within a minute or two, so we still had that confidence, we still had that swagger, but things just weren’t going our way.”
Karosan enjoys the rivalry between Fredericton’s two teams.
“Years ago, we’ve always been known as the big boys around town, so every time they come out and play against us, it’s always very, very hard and we respect them for that,” said Karosan. “It always keeps us on edge and it always makes a good game for the fans.”
The Wanderers are in Saint John Wednesday for their first meeting of the season against Fundy United.