On Saturday, August 11th, the Wallaceburg Sting hosted Tillsonburg, in a battle of two teams going opposite directions in the standings. The Sting, having begun the season 1-3-1 (W-L-T), since have surged up the standings, going into this game with a 7-4-1 record and tied for second place. Tillsonburg tied for last place in the WOSL’s First division, entered the contest with a record of 2-9-1.
From the opening whistle, it was clear which team was better, with Wallaceburg dominating possession. Several times they exposed their weaker Tillsonburg counterparts, seeing them result in quality scoring chances. Midway through the first half, the Sting’s, Roberto Attardi, was substituted in up front, and immediately made an impact. Attardi posted up for a ball sent high in his direction, calmly brought it down, and fed the ball passed the Tillsonburg defense to a streaking Taylor McArthur for a breakaway.
McArthur was tackled from behind inside the 18-yard box, resulting in a penalty shot. McArthur’s penalty kick went off the left post and in, giving the Sting a 1-0 lead. The Sting took this lead into halftime.
Early second half, the Sting struck again, with Taylor McArthur burying his second of the match. With the ball bouncing high atop the 18-yard box, McArthur decided to have a go with it, cracking a volley directly on target just inside the far post. The Sting, now leading 2-0 seemed destined to cruise to victory, but that wasn’t the case.
Tillsonburg dug deep and quickly responded. After putting together some significant scoring opportunities, their efforts were rewarded when they beat the Sting keeper to cut their deficit in half, 2-1. This swung the momentum in Tillsonburg’s favour and Wallaceburg found themselves on their heels. They were no longer winning the battle of ball possession, and were panicking and clearing the ball when it did come their way. Tillsonburg nearly knotted the game at two when the Sting’s keeper couldn’t hold onto the ball after a well-struck shot forced him to make a diving save. Another Tillsonburg attacker ran onto the free ball, in what looked like a sure goal, but the Sting’s keeper, Sam Youlton, somehow managed to stop his attempt on goal, salvaging the Sting lead.
Youlton gathered himself, and cleared the ball downfield, where it eventually found the foot of Colin McArthur. Taylor’s brother, Colin, in his first game back from injury, took advantage of the space he was provided, burying a marker of his own passed the Tillsonburg keeper for a 3-1 Sting lead. This quick change of events seemed to deflate Tillsonburg’s hope of a comeback, while lifting the spirit of the previously scrambling Sting.
The Sting gathered their composure following these turn of events and re-established their command with the ball. Despite a late Tillsonburg push, the Sting stood strong defensively and closed out the game with a 3-1 victory.
The Sting currently hold a record of 8-4-1 (W-L-T) and with 25 points, sit first place in the WOSL’s First division standings. The Sting next face Middlesex in game three of their current 6-game homestand on Friday, August 17th, 7:00PM at Kinsmen Park. Prior to the game, at 6:30PM, a brief inauguration ceremony will be held to recognize the Municipality for the funds they provided to upgrade the soccer field.