FC GNP wins comprehensively in P.A. soccer action

Gary Pearson
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FC GNP's Kyle Smith-Windsor hammers a 20-yard special,scoring his team's third goal of the match in a 4-1 victory Wednesday night. Photo by Gary Pearson

--PRINCE ALBERT-- FC GNP opened their account only minutes after kickoff, and grew in confidence throughout the game, eventually brushing aside International 4-1 Wednesday night, matching their season total thus far.

An explosive start at Kinsmen field saw GNP crack an opener within a minute of play.

Minutes later, the International defence was further exposed, but for Evan Kopchynski's balloon over the goal GNP would have been two to the good.

International barely got a sniff in the first 10 minutes, with GNP time-and-again, finding gaping holes in their opposition's defence. After a foul highly disputed by International, GNP took advantage of their opposition napping, with a cunning, quick free kick, which led to a great chance, thwarted only by the corner of the bar.

The first booking of the game came after 15 minutes, when the International centre back lunged in, chopping down Justin Derkach, whose fleet-footed dribbling coaxed the robust defender to engage in an ill-advised tackle.

Midway into the first half International drew level with a darting run from their midfielder. He was able to slice through the heart of GNP's defence leaving them lean at the back. Though International was able to get back to level pegging, they still struggled to get a foothold in the match.

A fumble, however, from GNP's keeper almost allowed Inter in on a gaping goal, but for some stout defensive work GNP could have found themselves trailing.

Averting near disaster seemed to spur GNP on, and from another quick free kick, they had their go-ahead goal. Chance after chance came for GNP, whose first-half performance deserved more than a single goal lead.

In the 30th minute - from a half volley - Derkach's effort was deflected by the International defence, forcing the keeper to make a sprawling save after readjusting in mid-air. 

GNP retained their 2-1 lead going into the break. The second half started similarly to the first. Three minute after the re-start, Kyle Smith-Windsor created some space and unleashed a seeing-eye shot from 20 yards, finding the bottom left corner, restoring GNP's two-goal advantage.

"It was a frustrating at the beginning," Smith-Windsor said. "Are practices are all about our touches. "But we played really well at the start of the second half."

International displayed little menace in their attack, but was still only a goal shy of creating a grandstand finish. International's midfield, however, started to part like the Red Sea, another sublime 20-yard incisive pass from midfield sent James Meyers one-on-one with the keeper, who was unlucky not to score his second.

As GNP's keeper, Phillip Smith, continued to work on his tan, another chance was spurned at the other end. International fortified their defence, and with the keeper in no-man's land, managed to block multiple attempts bound for the goal.

International's player/manager, Steve Carlson, said the team needs to train more and results will improve.

"We are a new team," Carlson said. "All we need is more practice."

On the rare occasion that International penetrated their opposition's half, GNP's defence comfortably abated any attempted onslaught. A corner caused more panic for a disoriented International backline, as Derkach's header lashed against the bar, once more saving International's blushes.

Jake Glass' 75th minute goal-bound strike - fortunately for GNP - was inadvertently deflected with five minutes left, expanding the team's lead to 4-1.

With the commanding victory, GNP obtained their fourth win of the campaign, compared to only one loss. The loss for International sends them spiraling down the table with a 1-3 record.

A two-referee system was implemented at the start of the season, which Prince Albert Senior Soccer p

"Most people that have been in the league for six or seven years love it," Hillaby said.

Even though Hillaby is a stout proponent of the new officiating system, murmurs could be heard from the sideline contesting the system's effectiveness. Accurately calling offside is the players' main concern, as either referee is occasionally lured - following play into the midfield - away from the last line of defence creating a deceptive angle from which to flag offside.

Brett Ramage and Meyers scored GNP's opening two goals in the first half.

This evening the PA Silver Pikes do battle with A.M. FC at Kinsmen field. The match kicks off at 7 p.m.


You can follow Gary Pearson on Twitter: @newagejourno

Organizations: PRINCE ALBERT

Geographic location: Red Sea

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