Clinton’s soccer team welcomed the Bulldogs from Dixon into Darkness Soccer complex on Monday night for a non-conference match, but it didn’t take long for the visitors to wear out their welcome, as they dominated the young Dark Horses early and left town with a 5-1 victory.
It took less than six minutes for Dixon to open the scoring when they knocked in a goal at the 5:34 mark to take a 1-0 lead. The Dark Horses continued to struggle defensively when they allowed a second goal at the 7:22 mark, falling behind 2-0. The Horses seemed to settle in a little more and held the Bulldogs scoreless until just before the half when Dixon sent in their third goal of the half at the 35:39 mark. At the half the score remained 3-0 with Dixon capitalizing on its five shots on goal and 5 corner kicks while Clinton could only muster 3 shots and a corner during the opening half.
The second half opened with a flurry as Clinton took the opening kick deep into Bulldog territory and had their best chance to score off a Spell Carr corner kick to the back post, but the shot was deflected away by Dixon Defenders thwarting the scoring effort. The Bulldogs quickly regained possession and drove the ball down the field scoring their fourth goal at 41:57 to give them a commanding 4-0 lead. The two teams settled into a defensive struggle for much of the rest of the second half with Clinton making adjustments and stepping up their intensity and physicality. Dixon would add another goal off a corner kick at the 55:50 mark to push the lead to 5-0.
The Dark Horses finally broke through when Connor Bass scored on a penalty kick, resulting from a hard foul on Andrew Warren as he drove the ball into the box at 66:22. The last fifteen minutes of the contest saw Clinton get several other runs on the Bulldog goal but they were never able to convert on the opportunities. In the end the Dark Horses were only able to get shots on goal with 4 corner kicks spending much of the evening playing defense against a very strong Dixon squad.
After the game Clinton coach Brad Spell commented, “we got manhandled, this was the first team we have seen that brought this kind of tough minded attitude to the game and we just were not ready for it.” I was proud of the way our boys came out and played in the second half, playing them basically even with the exception of the early goal.” “I think we realized what it was going to take to play against a team that plays this physical, fast brand of soccer.” “I think we can learn a lot from this game as far as being prepared every game and what it takes to be successful against a good soccer team.”
The Dark Horse JV team also took a tough loss, being blanked by the Bulldog JV, 6-0. Coach Mitchell Brewington said, “I was pleased with our effort, but we were just outplayed by a better team tonight. We will continue to get better, we are young, have lots of players still finding their places.”
The first loss of the season brings the Dark Horses record to 2-1-1. Clinton returns to action on Wednesday afternoon when they host Wilson Beddingfield in another non-conference bout.