Pelicans out of their element in the mud
EAST POINT, GA (February 7, 2010) — Playing in their third game after the winter break, the Pelicans FC first team fell to Havoc FC in front of a sellout crowd of 3 at Georgia Soccer Park. The field conditions were perfect, if you were a pig looking to roll around in the mud and had a dollar to burn on your admission fee to the park.
Playing their 3rd game in 62 days, the Pelicans FC had the better of play in the first half against Havoc. In the 19th minute on an attempted clearance by international star, Jay Hornback, the ball spun over his outstretched leg sending Phil Lewis of Havoc through on a breakaway. After Phil Lewis’s conversion, the Pelicans pushed forward in hopes of the equalizer and Havoc was able to capitalize with four more goals in for a 5-2 victory.
The loss to Havoc put the Pelicans on a 2 game slide, and was the team’s second loss at Georgia Soccer Park this season.
The match is the second of two meetings between the teams. “There’s no doubt that you want competitors and we are competitors,” Abebe said. “The second half for us is not what we’re all about. When you have a game that feels like this at the end you don’t forget it. It’s something that we will always on the inside talk about, be honest about, and hopefully we can use it in a way that we’re better from it today.”
Abebe said, “Our focus now is on playing Stars SC in Roswell (North Springs HS) during the Perrin Cup first round. We start over on that day and have a chance to do something the Pelicans club haven’t done this season, win a first round cup game.”
Cold and wet conditions and a “soft” ground combined for a measured pace to start the game, but as the minutes passed the Pelicans settled in nicely. The first decent chance came in the 9th minute off a Walter Voit shot hitting the cross bar and deflecting out. The rebound led to a scramble in the area where Pelicans attackers nearly won the scrum, but the ball deflected out for a Havoc goal kick. Havoc would tally a second goal off a corner kick that was deflected in by a Pelican player.
After the quarter hour, the Pelicans began to find space down the flanks, serving numerous cross into the Havoc penalty area. At the other end, the backline stood solid in dealing with the limited forays of Havoc into the attack with 3 strong saves by Cantonis, while midfield pressure contained Havoc’s efforts to find any rhythm.
In the 32nd minute, a quick counterattack gave the Pelicans a numerical advantage heading to goal, with Lawrence Monroe leading the charge. Cutting down the outside, he slid a pass to Robert Hajnal, who took it the rest of the way, sending a low screamer past the keeper and in the back of the net.
The half ended with Havoc being awarded a questionable free kick just outside the 18. Havoc converted bending the ball around the outside of the wall and beating the Pelican FC netminder who made an attempt but had no chance to cover that much ground.
Pace quickened in the opening minutes of the second half as Walter Voit came on to join the Pelicans attack and, along with Lawrence Monroe, gave the weary Havoc defense fits. Both teams aggressively pursued attacks to goal. In the 58th minute the Pelican defense was caught on a counter attack. Havoc striker and leading scorer, Phil Lewis, came on another breakaway; his first attempt was knocked wide by the Pelican keeper who came off his line like a tractor stuck in the mud. Unfortunately for the Pelicans the ball stopped dead in the mud where a scrappy Havoc side was able to put away the loose ball. The Pelicans immediately tried to get forward, and Havoc responded with two consecutive chances to double the lead, with Cantonis making a near post save to keep the Pelicans remote chances alive.
In the 72nd minute, Pelicans got one back to make it 4-2. Defeating an aggressive, but slow Havoc back line, Walter Voit came in alone on the right side receiving a well placed cross and buried a low blast past the Havoc keeper.
In the final minutes, Phil Lewis closed out the scoring after Havoc was awarded a PK, beating the Pelican keeper to his left as he guessed correct, but couldn’t get there quickly enough.
The defeat was the worst by the Pelicans since a 7-2 loss to Real Pish on April 17, 2009.
Pelicans captain, Lawrence Monroe, had some inspiring words after the game, “The rules of soccer are very simple, basically it is this: if it moves, kick it. If it doesn’t move, kick it until it does” while his last words were the most inspiring, “next time score more than them!”
Before the game, the Pelicans debuted their new long sleeve jerseys showing off the new sponsor, Slalom Consulting
- Pelicans FC Match Report -
STARTING SIDE: W. Voit, L. Monroe, B. Hollaway, J. Abebe, D. Sanogo, A. Zhelyazkov, L. Abdur-Rahman, R. Hahnal, B. Boggs, J. Hornback, S. Cantonis
SUBSTITUTES: M. Ricketts, J. Patteson, R. Wells
GOALS: W. Voit, R. Hajnal
ASSITS: L. Monroe, D. Sanogo
MATCH: Screaming Pelicans FC vs. Havoc FC
DATE: February 7, 2010
COMPETITION: ADASL Regular Season
VENUE: Georgia Soccer Park – East Point, Georgia
KICKOFF: 2 p.m. ET
WEATHER: 40 degrees and cloudy