Lake Country FC Variform shut down the Vernon Celtic 3-0 in Okanagan Men’s 35+ Soccer League action Monday night at Marshall Field #3.
The Celtic season has been marked with ups and downs, and after a few convincing wins, the Celtic got hurt in their battle for playoff seeding by a lower ranked but well-organized Lake Country FC.
The visitors started strong and dominated play for the first 20 minutes to take a deserved 2-0 lead. It took until midway through the first half for the Celtic to get more grip on the game, resulting in several chances for Tyler Johnson and Jesse Knight.
The 9-6-2 Celtic made some changes during half time and opened the second half with a flurry of attacks. More chances followed but they all were denied by the excellent Lake Country goalkeeper. With 15 minutes to go, the 7-8-2 Lakers countered their way to a third goal, breaking the spirit of the Celtic.
Jason Beck had an excellent game on the back line for Vernon, breaking up many attacks and being unlucky with narrowly missing the goal on several long distance efforts.
Tiremen fall to Taco Bell
In other 35+ league play, Vernon Kal Tire spotted Kelowna Taco Bell a 3-0 lead before falling 3-2 in a battle of cellar dwellers at Mission #68 Field.
The Tiremen (2-13-2) missed several scoring chances before converting twice in the last 10 minutes. David Broadhurst buried an eight-yarder from the left side underneath the keeper for the first Kal Tire goal.
Broadhurst then crossed a sweet ball to Bryan Lambert, who finished from 12 yards out, left side. Taco Bell improved to 3-12-2.
Eso wins it for Silver Stars
In Capri Insurance Men’s 45+ Soccer League play, the Silver Stars defeated host Salmon Arm McIsaac 2-1 in a key match-up Monday night.
The Stars came out strong and were rewarded when Art Renaud scored at 10 minutes when he picked up a loose ball 25 yards out and hammered it to the top corner with his first touch past a startled Al Bensmiller.
The first half was well fought in the midfield with both teams unable to generate good scoring opportunities.
Wolfgang Bopp showed up late and subbed on with five minutes remaining in the first half, and was immediately rewarded as he ran unchecked to the six-yard box and nodded in a beautiful header just inside the far post. Jonathon Bugden drew the assist.
Salmon Arm dominated the first 20 minutes of the second half with ball possession in the Stars end. Keeper Ted Lurkins held them at bay until the 60th minute when the Stars finally moved the ball up field.
Brian Eso (Beer Banana Bread Man of the Match) stepped up from his stopper position and fed a perfect through ball to Steve Church who finally beat the offside trap. Church moved in alone from 30 yards out and slotted the ball inside the left side of the net past Bensmiller.
The remainder of the game turned chippy as Salmon Arm pushed hard for the tie and the Stars defended fiercely. The Stars moved to 9-5-5, three points ahead of Salmon Arm for the seventh playoff spot. Salmon Arm is 7-10-2 and holds down the eighth and final playoff berth.
Kickers shell Ogopogos 10-0
North Country Appraisals Kickers put together their finest 80 minutes of the season in a 10-0 whitewashing of Big O Tire-Turn-Key Ogopogos at Marshall Field #2.
North Country struck early and struck often opening up a 7-0 lead by the break. Greg Bevandick opened the scoring on a nice pass from Randy Boehm, and then Boehm tallied just minutes later opening the floodgates.
Bevandick finished with four goals, while Sergio Sartori (2), Claudio Dibs, Wil Kruiper and Matt Cherrille completed the 9-5-4 Kickers’ attack.
Dave Rundall had to make a few good saves as the clock was winding down as Big O never quit despite the lopsided score. North Country has just one loss in their past 12 games. Big O was coming off a huge upset the week before when they shocked second-place Kelowna IGA.
IGA blitzes Bosman 9-0
IGA, meanwhile, rebounded with a 9-0 thumping of Bosman Accounting at Mission #69.
Kelowna dominated play with a well-placed header from Lionel Hoffman and a 25 yard howitzer from Donny Brown giving them a 2-0 lead at the half.
IGA’s fluid passing game wore Bosman out in the second half and they added three goals each from Tony Gonzales and Lionel Hoffman, and a historic penalty conversion from Larry Kinakin. IGA moves to 16-2-1, Bosman dips to 4-14.
Bosman keeper Pete (The Heat) Richter made several big stops, including a penalty-kick save on Hoffman in the first half. Striker Henk Bosman struck the post on a second-half PK.
Lakers brush back Cantinas
Lake Country leapfrogged the Ogopogos into fourth spot with a 3-1 win over Cantinas at Beasley Park.
The Lakers (10-6-2) opened the scoring with a heads-up play by Mike Ley, who while everybody watched his shot get stopped by the keeper, followed up by burying the rebound in the corner.
Cantinas’ Julien Vernet put a header past Todd Ryder just before the half.
Lake Country took over in the second half with Bruce McAuliffe getting the winner. Greg Kilmartin put a long ball across the goal, and a Cantina defender trying to tie up McAuliffe, put it in his own goal.
Fred Van der Gaag scored both goals as the Rented Mules 2-1 clipped the Pushor Mitchell Advocates 2-1 at Mission 71 Field.
The Leko Precast Camels won their second straight forfeit game, this time over Rutland Spirit. First-place Penticton United won by forfeit over Brandt’s Creek, who defaulted to the Camels last week. The Camels are third at 13-4-1.
The playoffs will feature the No. 1 seed versus the eighth, No. 2 versus No. 7 and so on with a semifinal and final to follow.
Dates and venues will be announced.