By Randy Wachtin
Ladysmith, BC – With league leading Vancouver FC and second place Mid Island Mariners coming off away losses Saturday, the cards fell into place for Highlanders FC to step back into contention for a league title. With ambition to secure all three points, the Highlanders put together their best possession game on the season, earning a convincing 2-1 victory versus Island rival, Mid Island Mariners in Ladysmith.
Highlanders FC were on the front foot from the opening whistle. Their persistent play afforded many chances in the attacking half. A cross to the far post from Tarnvir Bhandal found the willing head of Callum Montgomery (25’) for a 1-0 lead for the Highlanders. The score would hold til the half. Style and pace of play would continue in the second half with Highlanders encouraged by the chants of their travelling supporters. Mackenzie Cole (53’) would bury a beauty for the important 2nd goal, a first touch finish from the top of the goal area on a well placed pass from Parm Johal. The boys nearly saw the game out, only to see their shutout broken in added time (90 +’) from a deflected ball launched from a long free kick. Final score 2-1 for Highlanders.
“Everyone pitched in with one purpose in mind; secure 3 points”, explained winning coach David Dew. “It was a workmanlike approach by the entire team. Our passing and movement was the best it has been all year”.
The victory leap frogs the Highlanders ahead of the Mid Isle Mariners and temporarily into a first place tie with Vancouver FC, each with 26 points; pending their result in Penticton versus Tim Hortons Pinnacles. The race for first will be tight with three games remaining on the schedule. With any team being able to beat anyone on any given day, it should be an exciting finish for the Pacific Coast Soccer League’s Premier Men’s Division.
Highlanders host Mid Island Mariners in their final home game, Sunday, July 19that Royal Athletic Park, 2pm.
Tickets for the final home game along with Season Tickets for the 2016 season are available online at Select Your Tickets.