The Vernon Square Liquor Store Stars stuffed the Rutland RPM Automotive Spirit 5-2 in an epic mid-table battle for playoff seeding Monday night at Marshall Field #2.
RPM (8-8-3) capitalized on an early error from Liquormen keeper Ted Lurkins as Richard Chapman netted the first goal of the Capri Insurance 45+ Soccer League match.
The Stars (9-7-2) poured it on with some nice passing, cumulating with a Rick (Bubba) Danyluk equalizer. Red-hot John Matejicka put the Stars ahead from a scramble to take a 2-1 lead into the break.
RPM came out strong in the second half with the Stars having to defend in depth. The game turned into a midfield battle before the Liquormen garnered their third of the night with Dave Howes converting a controversial penalty call.
Kevin Roberts of the Spirit responded midway through the half to keep things interesting. Andy Whiston scored against the run of play with a perfectly-timed counterattack before RPM scored their second of the night.
Barry Mackay scored late in the second half after a nice feed from Rob (Toonie) Bauml. Two battleships, one aircraft carrier and several planes later, the battle of mid-table was over. The USS Nimitz Man of the Match was Stars’ sweeper Steve Fitzpatrick.
The Leko Precast Camels brushed back bottom-feeding Bosman Accounting 4-1 at the knee-high grassy knoll also known as Marshall #4.
Striker Gord Howard pocketed his 13th goal of the season in the fifth minute with Bosman playing with just seven runners (they had 13 by the half).
Al Gee made it 2-0 about 10 minutes later with an empty-netter before Bosman speedster Kerry Correia fended off two fullbacks and beat keeper Dave Dutcher low.
Bosman keeper Gerson Betman was sensational, making countless huge saves to keep things close. He got big help from defenders Tom Ouchi, Alex DeBoersap and Ted Sheehan in knocking out shots from close range. Betman, who was rocked hard to the ground by Al Murphy early on, took the Boston Pizza Man of the Match.
Paul Morgan, on a penalty kick, and Steve Milne, rounded out the 13-2-3 Humpbacks’ attack. Morgan ran a marathon as he riverdanced through the Bosman defence and ruled the middle defensively, earning the Italian Kitchen Man of the Match.
The North Country Appraisals Kickers shut down Cantinas 3-0 at Mission 73 Park.
Greg (The Beard) Bevandick, Wil Kruiper and Vincio Delgado supplied the goals, while David Gadd recorded the shutout. The Kickers moved to 12-5-1, while Cantinas dipped to 5-12-2.
League champion Brown Benefits toppled Lake Country FC 5-3 at Parkinson Field #16, while Big O Tire-Turn Key Ogopogos forfeited to Penticton United (game scheduled for Summerland).
Ken Wither, Paul Charlton and Steve Cox counted goals for Lake Country (10-7-1). Browns went to 17-1.
Penticton moved to 15-3, while the Ogopogos dropped to 8-10.
There are two weeks left in the regular schedule and the top-eight playoff teams are confirmed. The quarterfinals go Monday, Sept. 23 with the semis the following Monday. The final is Sunday, Oct. 6 (2 p.m.) at Beasley Park.