United drops sleeper to Cowichan FC

Usually a match against a first place team is enough to get the competitive juices flowing for the opposition and makes for an exciting game.

That wasn’t the case for Nanaimo United FC on the weekend as a meeting with Cowichan FC – the top dog in Div. 1 of the Vancouver Island Soccer League – failed to live up to the billing.

United dropped a 1-0 decision at Merle Logan Field at Beban Park Saturday night and club manager Allan Jorgensen said the visitor’s game plan made for a boring match.

“We had our game plan all set, but it all went out the window because of the way they decided to play,” he said. “They kept kicking the ball over our midfielders, trying to reach their forwards and get throw-ins or cornerkicks all the time in our end.

“Our guys became wary of that, didn’t want to get caught so most of our players were hanging back and that makes it hard to attack. It was a boring first half of kick one way, kick it out; kick one way, kick it out.”

Jorgensen had anticipated an intense game, and didn’t understand why Cowichan chose to play the tentative style.

“The second half changed with more attacking on our part and we had a few chances but couldn’t manage that finishing touch,” he said.

Cowichan’s goal came with 12 minutes left on another long kick just inside centre. The ball deflected off a Nanaimo defender’s leg, changing direction on the goalie and ending up in the net for an own goal.

“That was tough because Cowichan was a beatable team. We were both kind of flat and afraid to make mistakes,” said Jorgensen. “It made for a boring game to watch.”

Nanaimo will have to shake off the loss and prepare for a much different game Saturday (Feb. 2) with second place Bays United coming to town.

“It’s going to be a tougher game. Bays plays a totally different style of game than Cowichan,” said Jorgensen. “They have more skilled players, play more of our style of game and there should be more action.

“The last time we played them at home we lost 1-0 on a late goal. So we’re right there with the top three teams.”

Game time is 7 p.m. at Merle Logan Field.

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