GNP's midfielder Justin Derkach meets the ball from a throw-in before Adam Pearson has a chance to challenge during Sunday's semifinal at Kinsmen Field, which Roma won 4-1. Herald photo by Gary Pearson
--PRINCE ALBERT-- Roma played some inspiring two-touch soccer yesterday, putting FC GNP to the sword with a 4-1 victory to advance to next week’s final. “I was pretty happy with our team, we played really well,” said GNP’s Justin Derkach after the loss. "To get to the semis, I think is pretty good.
“It wasn’t a close game, we knew they were way better on paper.”
Roma was led by their staunch centre-back Trevor Hunter, who controlled the match from defence. He also chipped in with the team’s third goal with a splendid half-volley.
Although happy with the result, Hunter would have preferred to keep a clean sheet.
“It could have been tighter at the back, that’s for sure,” said Hunter. “The mid was solid, but there is not much to be disappointed about. There was a bit of miscommunication at the back, but oh well.”
Roma opened the account in the 13th minute and did not look back. Roma’s midfielder Ben Bodnaryk had another splendid afternoon on the pitch, playing bundles of incisive balls, while having an occasional threatening crack on goal.
GNP was often hapless with their passing, giving the ball away needlessly in the midfield. But they played a relentless, tenacious defensive game, and although they had trouble sustaining territorial pressure, went into the break only a goal down.
After the restart, GNP’s Ian Harris sublimely controlled the ball and swivelled in the midfield, maintaining possession. He then played a delicate through ball into Kyle-Smith Windor’s stride, who blasted powerfully over the bar.
Roma doubled their advantage in the 50th minute, when Pat Ince turned a GNP defender and went back the way he came, anchoring GNP’s keeper Phillip Smith to the ground. The goal deflated GNP, breaking the camel’s back.
After Hunter’s wonder goal, Smith was unable to corral a loose ball, which Mitch Pask precisely put away.
Though down 4-0, GNP is not a squad that capitulates. Jeff Wotherspoon scored a scorcher in the 76th minute to obtain the consolation goal GNP searched for, and deserved.
Roma, with its comprehensive 4-1 semifinal victory, has set up an intriguing final versus Dos Equis on Sunday, Aug. 14 at Kinsmen Field.
You can follow Gary Pearson on Twitter: @newagejourno