Reserve men claim Challenge Cup with 1-0 win over Mid Isle
PENTICTON – Victoria Highlanders FC’s men’s reserves capped of their 2014 Pacific Coast Soccer League campaign with a 1-0 win over Mid Isle Highlanders on Sunday, July 27. With the win, the Highlanders secured the 2014 Men’s U-21 Reserve Challenge Cup.
The lone goal of the match came courtesy of Highlanders’ midfielder Hayden White. Both teams played solid defensively throughout the game, while both goalkeepers were strong when called upon. Elliot Mitrou picked up the clean sheet.
“It was a team performance today,” commented Highlanders men’s reserve head coach Dave Ravenhill. “The guys really played well today. They brought their best in a match when it really counted. We gave them a real fight today and received great efforts from our core young guys. “
Victoria’s Jyotish Khanna had the first real chance of the game, but his shot from the right side curled wide left. Victoria controlled ball possession early on as they quickly tightened up the midfield defense when needed. The match turned chippy in the middle stages of the half as three yellows were handed out, two for Mid Isle and one for Victoria.
Mid Isle started to push back late in the first half. Awarded with a pair of corners late, Mid Isle looked to pull a head, but both corners were cleared from danger. The match remained scoreless after the first 45 minutes of play.
The second half started with Victoria controlling the ball and making use of quick accurate passes through the midfield. The Highlanders broke through in the 57th minute when White received a Bryce Marinus’ cross and wired it past the keeper for the 1-0 lead.
Mid Isle looked to respond as they started to push forward and play the long ball into the box. The PCSL champs came close on several chances in close, but Mitrou came up with key stops to keep his team up by one.
Callum Montgomery and Wes Barrett each had strikes that came close to extending Victoria’s lead, but both shots just missed the mark.
The dying moments of the match saw Mid Isle push hard for the equalizer, but Victoria held on for the 1-0 win on the back of solid defensive play by their backline. White was announced as the match MVP as the Highlanders’ claimed the 2014 Men’s U-21 Reserve Challenge Cup.
“Credit to Mid Isle, they were a very good team all year,” added Ravenhill. “I’m just very proud of our boys.”
For recaps on all this weekend’s Challenge Cup matches that include the Highlanders women’s first team and reserve squads, please visit www.highlandersfc.ca.