Wallaceburg Sting Riding Early Season Roller Coaster
Despite a successful start to the season, the Wallaceburg Sting, of the WOSL’s First division, have hit a road bump. The Sting have lost their most recent 2 games by a combined score of 8-1, and now sit with a record of 1-1-3 (W-T-L).
The first half of the Sting season is filled with road games after their home field, Kinsmen Park, underwent repairs over the off-season. To allow the field to be settled & properly fitted for play, the Sting’s first 6 games and 9 of their first 11 will all be played on the road. While a daunting task, it does have its benefits. In a season that won’t conclude September 22nd, the Sting will play their last road of the season on July 14th. They will then finish out the season with 7 straight home games.
In their first game of the season the Sting took on a St. Thomas team promoted this season into the First division, after finishing first place last year in Second division. The Sting came out strong potting an early goal on route to a 4-1 victory. Goal scorers were Colin McArthur, Matt Feddes, Mike Foster, & Jorge DaSilva. This was the special game for the Sting – its first victory in over a year – after going winless in Premier division last season.
Next, they faced off against a familiar foe, Middlesex, a team who along with Wallaceburg, was relegated from the Premier division after a disappointing last season. Wallaceburg didn’t come out with the same sense of urgency and found themselves trailing 2-0. It was a deficit they were never able to solve, falling to Middlesex by the same score.
In Week 3, they travelled to the outskirts of London to take on the London Scottish. In an evenly matched game, the Sting found themselves trailing after a header off a corner kick found its way into the only space available in the net’s top right corner. Wallaceburg knotted the game at 1-apiece when Phil Nywening found space atop the 18-yard box and beat the keeper with a shot just inside the far post. The Scottish were awarded a penalty kick, but Wallaceburg’s keeper, Sam Youlton, made a remarkable low diving save to salvage the score, keeping the game at its final score of 1-1.
In the fourth game of their 6-game road trip, the Sting took on the London English. Despite dominating play early on, the English capitalized on one of their first chances to get the lead. Wallaceburg didn’t recover well. Before they could get their heads back into the game after being shocked at the early deficit to a team they felt far superior than, they had allowed two more goals as a result of not following up and clearing rebounds. In a span of 10 minutes, the Sting had allowed 3 goals. The Sting came out in the second half with a vengeance, attacking early & often, but luck wasn’t on their side. Kurtis Lubbers hit two crossbars that would have surely swung the momentum in their favour. While continuing to press late in the game, the English potted another goal, for a 4-0 final.
This past weekend, the Sting travelled all the way up to Delhi to take on a Norfolk club, which like St. Thomas, had been promoted from the Second division. This game too, began with Wallaceburg dominance before Norfolk struck first. In rainy and wet conditions a crossing ball slipping through the hands of the Sting’s keeper and was buried into the back of the net. Early second half, Norfolk put a ball through Wallaceburg’s backline, leaving a player from each team to race onto it. As they reached the ball just inside the 18-yard box, the Norfolk player hit the pitch and was awarded a penalty shot. The Sting protested their own man touched the ball just before Norfolk’s player attempted to make a play on it and consequently lost his balance when his foot collided with the back of the Sting man’s leg. But it was the ref’s discretion that decided it, and Norfolk put home the penalty kick despite Wallaceburg’s Sam Youlton getting a hand on it. The Sting pushed forward as the second half progressed but only found themselves undermanned defensively, allowing two more goals late in the game. The Sting finally got on the board when Colin McArthur was fed a nice ball down the right wing, beat a man and buried his shot passed the Norfolk keeper. With little time remaining though, it didn’t change the result – another loss – by the score of 4-1.
The Sting will make their home debut Friday, June 15th when they play host to Bosnia, 7:00pm at Kinsmen Park.