After a lacklustre opening 45 minutes, Cowichan LMG turned things right around in the second half as they powered to a 2-0 win over Comox Valley United in Courtenay on Saturday evening.
With just three subs on the bench, Cowichan got off to a slow start, and it had little to do with the play of Comox, who sit last in the Vancouver Island Soccer League’s top division.
“There wasn’t much pressure,” Cowichan head coach Glen Martin said. “But it seemed like we just weren’t clicking.”
Cowichan started to show a little bit of improvement late in the first half.
“The last 15 minutes, we started to play better,” Martin said. “We got our legs.”
Martin made just one change during the first half, subbing in Jose Muro and moving Keevan Webb to centre back after starter Jesse Winter was injured. He made a couple more alterations to the formation at halftime, but not enough to account for the sea change in his team’s play.
“It was like a switch went off,” Martin said. “I’ve never seen a tale of two halves like that before.”
Striker Craig Gorman led the charge in the second half. Not only did the recent transfer score two goals, he also missed a penalty shot, hit a post and had two other good scoring chances.
“He could have scored six goals in the second half,” Martin said.
This was Gorman’s third game back with Cowichan after starting the season with Bays, and the third time he has scored the game-winning goal. Not coincidentally, Cowichan has won three consecutive games for the first time this season.
By the end of the game, Martin felt as if his team had won by a lot more than two goals.
“It felt like a five or six-nothing game,” he said. “But it didn’t start out like that.”
Russell Lederer assisted on the first of Gorman’s goals, and the second was set up by Webb, who earned Man of the Match honours in his first game with the team since he was injured in the season opener on Sept. 14.
With six wins, one loss and three draws, Cowichan has climbed to third place in Div. 1, and has two games in hand on both the first- and second-place teams.
LMG will visit Bays United at Oak Bay High on Friday, Cowichan’s last game of 2018. Led by former Cowichan stars Paddy Nelson and Cooper Barry, fifth-place Bays have won their last two matches, including a 14-0 dismantling of ninth-place Fernwood Town on Nov. 23. Cowichan won 3-1 when the teams met at Keserich Field on Oct. 6.