Cowichan LMG picked up their first win of the Vancouver Island Soccer League Div. 1 season on Saturday, doubling up on Vic West 2-1 at Finlayson Park.
Perhaps more important than the result was the fact that the team played much better than they had a week earlier when they coughed up a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to Lakehill.
“We were a little bit more composed,” said Cowichan head coach Glen Martin, whose team focused on game management during training last week.
It didn’t hurt to have Kevan Brown back at centre midfield after he was away for a month, which included Cowichan’s first two games of the season.
“He’s probably our best player,” Martin said. “When you’re missing your best player, it’s always good to have him back.”
Cowichan was “all over” Vic West at the start of Saturday’s game, Martin reported, and Blaze Roberts opened the scoring off a set-piece scramble at 15 minutes, the first goal Vic West had given up after starting the season with back-to-back shutouts.
After that, Cowichan had several opportunities to go up 2-0, but just couldn’t convert.
“They were really high quality chances we weren’t putting away,” Martin lamented.
LMG went into the break up 1-0, but the game shouldn’t have been that close.
“Probably 4-0 at halftime would have been a good score,” the coach said.
Craig Gorman finally made it 2-0 in the 62nd minute when his shot from about 25 yards out caromed in off the crossbar.
“After all the ones we couldn’t score, he puts in the hardest one,” Martin laughed.
Vic West replied a minute later after a free kick from centre resulted in a breakaway that Cowichan keeper Darian Achurch was unable to stop. Fortunately, that was it for Vic West as Cowichan controlled the rest of the game.
“We managed the game out properly,” Martin said. “We’ll take two points. We definitely played better.”
The entire team played well, the coach reported, but Brown was a huge addition to the team, and Logan Kits was tireless on the front lines.
LMG is now just three points out of first place in Div. 1, and can make up some ground this coming Sunday when they host the winless Mid Isle Mariners at the Sherman Road turf at 1 p.m.
“They’re struggling, so we’ve got to make sure we’re prepared for that game,” Martin said. “We’ve got to be ready for it. We can’t take them lightly. Anybody can beat anybody in this league.”