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Pelicans FC first teamer Mike Skurski faces a spell on the sidelines after fracturing his right forearm during last Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Sting Select.
The £9m signing suffered the injury in a collision with a Sting Select player, and Pelicans FC boss Cantonis said: "Mike is in a lot of pain." It is not yet known how many games the 31-year-old Skurski will miss. But the Polish international will definitely sit out this week’s game against Stars FC this Sunday. Skurski initially tried to continue at Weber Field but was eventually replaced by David Weber (no relation to the field) and taken to the hospital. Initial X-rays didn’t reveal a fracture, but follow up examination revealed a fracture of the lower forearm.
He has now returned to South Carolina (or Northeast Georgia as some call it) with the rest of the Skurski clan, where his injury will be monitored in the coming days. The former St. Pius striker, who joined Pelicans FC in 2000, missed long spells of last season with a hip injury while a knee problem restricted him during the summer. Lenoir Rhyne all time leading goal scorer Cory Morgan will provide cover during his latest absence.
The Pelican FC side looked to notch their 2nd straight victory in 2010. The first half saw several good chances for the Pelicans come up short. Byan Hollaway, in his return from injury, had a rocket that just sailed over the crossbar in the later stages of the first half. A few minutes later a well struck header was just wide of the post. Several strong attacking runs were thwarted by the AC Majestic keeper during the first half, partly due to the field conditions. The first half ended down 2-0 for Pelicans FC on sloppy and wet pitch. The Pelican FC side was frustrated at themselves, but they had seen this before and proven they could come back from a 2-0 deficit, just asked Bafana!
Pelicans FC pushed the second half with new vigor and a streaking Doug Johnson, from his central defense position, found himself on a breakaway beating the keeper and pulling a goal back. Down 2-1 the Pelicans continued to push the attack. Matt Ricketts did a great job man marking AC Majestic’s dangerous striker for the remaining 45 and helping limit his chances.
Midway through the second half a well placed Ricky Wells cross found a streaking Bryan Hollaway from his outside midfield position, finishing with a well placed volley that tied the match at 2-2. The game would continue back and forth, but in the 38th minute a questionable call was given 30 yards out from the Pelican FC goal. One of three Majestic players, all offsides, connected on the played in ball heading home what would be the controversial winning goal. Reserve keeper Kendall White played a great game in net with several saves throughout the game keeping it close. The field conditions did not help against a hungry scrappy Majestic side. When asked about the game and how the Pelican FC side played against AC Majestic, captain Josh Abebe simply stated, "we lost 3-2. They wanted the game more than we did. We fought valiantly to overcome the defecit, and almost did, but in the end they came out on top".
Although the weather outside was a frightful 27deg F, at kick off, the Pelicans showed no Holiday hangover, in defeating a gamey Sting squad this past Sunday.
The match scoring started early for the Pelicans. In early quarter of the first half, the Pelicans mantained a significant posession advantage working the ball around the pitch. The through balls were on many times, but Sting played their offsides trap neatly, resulting in several offsides. When the Pelicans were not caught in the trap, they were foiled by speedy defenders catching up on break-aways, or good saves from their 7’13" goalkeeper, known throughout the world as "Fort." His inpenetrable goal was finally pierced on a screaming cross from Ricky Wells, that received a well placed neck header from the #13, on your scorecards. The ball bounced around the box, and finally the "Fort’s" goal mouth was compromised, as he came out to play the ball, and Scooter-ski finished inside of the six. The goal was finished after a good run of posession from the Pelicans who worked the ball from the back, through the midfield before finishing the Wells cross.
Sting did not appear dangerous, but would have attacking moments that did threaten the goal. The Cantoni goal mouth was brushed clean time after time that first half, and the Pelicans went into the half with the lead.
Not wanting to lose that lead, they may have come out a bit too offensive minded, as they were caught on two counter attacks, and were quickly down 2-1. The 20 minute lull, which seems to strike the Pelicans at the wrong time, caught them off guard. Maybe there was a bit of a Holiday hangover. But, after about the 30th minute of the 2nd half, the 5hr energy shots kicked in. Posession was changing, and the Pelicans seemed to be gaining momentum. The defense, with new strategic player adjustment Doug Johnson, shut down the Sting force "Crabbe" (named appropriately). With help from Haji, Luq, and Bryce in the attack, it was only a matter of time before the score was tied. That moment came shortly after that 30th minute when the Pelicans received a throw-in in the Sting attacking 3rd. The throw went across the edge of the six yard line, over the goalkeeper, and found a leaping Bryce Boggs, who finished the header with class and poise into the back netting. At this point, the score was tied, and the Pelicans squad was looking for the game winner.
In the excitement, they/we were caught off guard on a Select counter attack. The ball was ripped in on a cross, and volleyed on the 1/2 from the front edge of the 18. If not for a brilliant reflex save from the Cantoni, the score would have weighed in Sting’s favor. From there, the change of the match was made, as the Pelicans went to a more attacking mode. Luqmon moved to the top, moving Doug to the sweeper position. This move proved advantageous, as at approximately the 40 minute mark, Ricky and Lawrence made moves down the left midfield flank, getting into the final third. Luqmon made a check across the 18, where Lawrence passed him the ball. A superb 1v1 move pushed Luq right passed the defender. Still with much work to do, he cooly slid in with his left foot, and slid the ball under the goalkeeper’s left arm. Thus, securing the win, and starting the 2010 year off right for the Pelicans team.
Congrats to everyone for playing short-handed. Thanks to Weber for helping us out this weekend, good job by the defense, midfield, and forwards in finishing, and making good runs. It takes a lot to come back from being down, but we showed good resilience.
The next game is on 1/17 vs. AC Majestic. They are 2 points behind us in the standings. We play them at 3pm at the Georgia Soccer Park. They have caused us problems the last few times we played them. There are two players on their team of class, they have a total of 8 of their 12 goals. It appears as if they are their forwards. Let’s destroy them, and eat their children.
Pelican’s first team goalkeeper Steve Cantonis has played his last ADASL soccer match for the 2009 year. The Pelicans FC custodian will be sidelined for four to six weeks because of a broken nose, a Pelicans FC club spokesman confirmed today. Cantonis will be replaced in goal for the Screaming Pelicans’ Perrin Cup match, against Stars at ACC on Sunday, by reserve keeper Jem McAbee. Cantonis is expected back for the Sting Select match.
Bryan Hollaway has been sidelined by the ankle problem that forced him off in the early stages at ACC against AC Majestic and will miss yet another match. "Hollaway has an ankle injury, grade two, so it will be another few weeks" revealed by manager Cantonis. "This week he is out, maybe he will make Sting Select [on January 10]."
Drew Millett has been ruled out of the Perrin Cup clash against Stars with a ankle injury of his own "Millett will not be available," said Steve Cantonis ahead of the trip. "He has an ankle problem. He should be available for Sunday [against Sting Select] but we still have to check."
Overbeck has had surgery on a broken leg injury sustained in the 1-0 defeat against AC Majestic and will be out for at least three months. According to the doctors, the surgery went well. Overbeck is doing well, but we are still concerned about the healing process," said the doctors.
On another cold and windy day, thankfully without rain this time, Screaming Pelicans first team came out on the short side of a 2-0 match with Wings Select. Wings claims to be the oldest club in Atlanta, but very few of their players appeared to be holdovers from last year’s squad. It was a tough game from the start, as Wings scored their first goal before we even touched the ball (save for 2 deflected passes). Setting up a corner kick inside of 1 minute, a Wings midfielder broke to the near post and finished beautifully into the top corner.
After that early lapse, the game was very even, with Pelicans getting plenty of pressure on the Wings back line, but no balls into the net. As has become habit, we just couldn’t find that last touch, and the Wings sweeper cleaned up most of the chances we had. Great effort on the flanks from Alex Cameron and Ricky Wells kept pressure coming throughout the game, but there were not enough shots taken overall, and obviously not enough finishing.
Just before halftime, the game got a little ugly as the beast of a forward from Wings decided that a mid-air goalie with the ball in his hands was fair game to maul. The ref rightly called foul, and after seeing Steve’s bloody broken nose, finally issued the yellow card for the attack. Thanks to Bryce for filling in briefly in net to finish out the first half.
The second half saw more of the same, as Pelicans had plenty of chances, but couldn’t come away with an equalizer. As the clock wound down under 10 minutes, the Wings set piece got the better of us again. This time it was the towering defender who rose first to the corner kick, again with a strong finish into the back of the net. 2-0 to Wings, and despite the constant attack from the home side, we could not pull back any goals.
This week we’ve got the first of a doubleheader with Stars SC, a newcomer to Division 2, but showing their skill with their current top of the table form. This week we’re at Stars Complex in Alpharetta for the league game at 3pm, then next week they come down to ACC for a Perrin Cup first round match. Please do your best to be there this weekend as subs are starting to be even more necessary with the winter weather. As always, please update your status for the game on this site, and make sure to contact Steve or Lawrence with any last minute changes to your availability. The schedule for the whole season is available on the ADASL website, so there shouldn’t be any late surprises regarding games.