Pelicans FC Blue “Stings” Division 1 Team in Perrin Cup!!
(Stone Mountain, GA – January 29, 2011 – by Alex Cameron) Pelicans FC Division 2 team (Pelicans FC Blue) played Sting Gold at Granite Park for the final spot for the Perrin Cup quarterfinals. It was certainly a showdown to remember and came to be one of the greatest fights in Pelicans history. Sting Gold, a Division 1 team that has a name for making it far in the Perrin Cup Tournament, had their hopes and dreams cut short in an upset that just about made them cry like babies after the final whistle. The match consisted of brutal tackles, world-class saves, and excellent movement from key players on both squads. Let’s review how the underdog Pelicans wrapped up a 2-1 victory over Sting Gold.
For most Pelicans, it has been many years since anyone had played under the lights. Arriving early and warming up, the Pelicans were determined to chalk a “W” and keep their Cup chances alive. At the start of the game, Pelicans FC took strong possession and moved the ball well through their central midfielders Josh Abebe and Bryan Hollaway. Sting was unable to gain control and found themselves playing kick ball. With Drew Millet and Aleks ‘the Bull’ Zhelyazkov holding a defensive stance as stopper and sweeper, those long balls were short lived from strong man marking and well executed off-sides traps. The first strong attempt at goal came in the 15th minute from a quick counter attack in the mid line where Hollaway made a sharp pass to Abebe who sent a floating through ball to striker Alex ‘the self proclaimed stud’ Cameron. With the keeper charging, Cameron’s low strike to the far post was saved by the keeper’s big toe. Momentum had strongly grown in favor of the Pelicans.
As the game went on, both teams became more physical. Brel Clark, outside mid, ended a Sting counter attack when nearly injuring Sting’s top goal scorer in a 50/50 ball. The 6’14’’ Sting striker came down hard landing on his shoulder after Brel quickly used his low center of gravity to flip him off his back. More and more tackles acquired in frustration for both teams and Pelicans defender, Richard Murray – outside back, found himself head to head in the air (literally). Forced to come off the field because of a bloody nose, Murray later on said “it was a tough play for both of us, you should see the other guy!” Murray would not return to the match and x-rays later revealed a broken nose.
Back and forth, opportunities arose. In the 25th minute, Pelicans created havoc when Hollaway made a precision cross to outside mid Ricky Wells. As the ball cleared over the 18 and to the corner of the 6, Wells put his head on a ball that sailed over the keeper into the far side netting. Truly a goal to remember! It’s incredible how Wells has managed to score many goals from his hot spot! Excellent work by Wells and Hollaway!
With a 1-nil lead, Pelicans only gained more momentum. The second goal came in the 35th minute when Striker Lonnie McGlone acquired the ball on the outside 18. He made some impressive moves, juked two defenders, pushed the ball central and shot a rocket over Sting’s keeper in the upper netting. Truly a perfect strike for the teams leading scorer! Pelican’s fans were chanting, hooting, and hollering as the half ended at 2-0.
After halftime, Sting Gold came out with vigor and crashed the Pelican’s goal with nearly every player for 45 minutes. It was a defensive battle full of constant through balls and crosses in the Pelicans back line. Luqman Abdur-Rahman (Sweeper) held his defense tight and any through ball that got past him was quickly swept up by all-star keeper Aaron Ingham. The game took a change when Sting was awarded a penalty kick after a controversial tackle in the box. Keeping his cool, Ingham read which side the kicker was targeting and made an incredible diving save off the line. But wait! It get’s better… Following up on the rebound, the Sting midfielder had his second opportunity to score; however Ingham shut him down again with back-to-back saves and cleared the ball out of threatening territory. The play was truly one of the best thus far this season!
With the penalty as a wake up call for both teams, momentum only grew for Sting and they caught some luck when finishing off a deflected shot from Ingham. Aaron later said “Hey, I can’t make every save! Ever heard of the law of large numbers??” With the game at 2-1, both teams made strong efforts with a barrage of counter attacks and tedious tackles. Sting even had 3-4 free kicks from scoring distance to even up the match, but the final whistle blew and the Pelicans had done what nobody expected!
Everyone on the Pelicans squad was elated with victory, relieved, and exhausted. With this win under their belts, PFC Blue will be meeting the winner of FC Ljiljan in the quarterfinals. Great victory by PFC Blue and stellar goalkeeping by Aaron Ingham!
PFC Blue continues their push towards the top of the regular season table… Get out there and cheer them on!! Til next time…