On Friday, June 14, the Wallaceburg Sting took on St. Thomas in a match-up that featured two teams struggling for points thus far in the early season. The Sting came out controlling possession early, moving the ball with poise. Early on, they created ample scoring opportunities but couldn’t find the back of the net. Those missed opportunities soon became all the more crucial, when a harmless looking play turned into disaster. A Sting defender ran back to retrieve a ball cleared overtop the defense with no near pressure from opposition. After stumbling over the ball he looked to move, the loose ball was pounced upon and buried by a late-charging St. Thomas striker. Finding themselves trailing 1-0 left the Sting in disbelief.
Wallaceburg managed to gather their composure, however, and re-gained their earlier game dominance. This dominance was finally rewarded when central midfielder, Colin McArthur, dribbled high above the 18-yard box and played through a ball overtop the St. Thomas defender’s, finding fellow central midfielder, Mark Foster. Foster took one touch to the bouncing ball before placing a shot above and out-of-reach of the St. Thomas keeper. The goal saw both teams go into the half in a 1-1 tie.
Wallaceburg entered the game’s second half a little shaky but rallied, regaining their ball possession prowess. After moving from right to left across their backline, the ball was played down the left wing, where Paul Craven took over. Craven beat the coverage and took a hard angle toward the goal, unleashing a laser inside the near post, giving Wallaceburg a 2-1 edge.
This go-ahead goal seemed to really ignite the Sting, fueling them to further attack the St. Thomas net. After being awarded a corner kick, the McArthur – Foster connection struck again. Colin McArthur whipped in a corner ball, high atop the 6-yard box, where Mark Foster, ran in and put a header to the back of the net. This gave the Sting a 3-1 lead they wouldn’t squander.
With St. Thomas pressing for a late tally, a Wallaceburg winger found, Matt Craven, Paul’s twin brother, alone inside the St. Thomas defense. Matt, not to be outdone by his twin’s earlier highlight, took a soft touch to corral the high ball, before making a quick turn toward goal and hammering a half-volley. The ball exploded off his foot on a perpetual climb as it neared the net before dipping just beneath the crossbar. Matt’s goal put the Sting ahead for what became the eventual final score of 4-1.
The win was the Sting’s first of the season. The Sting were next scheduled to play Sarnia on Friday, June 21, but the game was unable to be played when no referee’s showed up. The home game will be re-scheduled to a later, agreed upon date, by the two clubs.
Wallaceburg then faced the Chatham Express Saturday, June 28 at Thames Campus in Chatham, shutting out the home team for a 2-0 win, their second straight. Wallaceburg is now 2-5-2 on the season and are scheduled to play Benefica next week.