Clinton’s men’s soccer team hosted James Kenan on Thursday night in a non-conference soccer match. The match was added to the schedule recently to fill a void left by a game that was cancelled due to weather earlier in the year. The Dark Horses got out of the gates slowly but stormed back to post a 6-2 win over the Tigers in their last pre-conference match.
James Kenan came out with a flurry, attacking Clinton at every opportunity and posted the first score of the game at the 10:31 mark of the match. The Tigers kept the pressure on the Dark Horses who seemed to be a little out of cinch in the opening minutes of the contest.
The Dark Horses finally settled down and got the offense rolling when Skylar Cannady took a long pass over the top, and lobbed a shot over the Tiger goal keeper for the equalizer at the 24:30 mark. The goal seemed to energize the Dark Horses as it took less than three minutes for Clinton to strike again. This time Parker Norris took a long pass from Ivan Ponce, drove the ball inside the box and slipped a perfectly placed pass to Skylar Cannady who hammered in his second goal of the night for a 2-1 Clinton lead at the 27:09 mark.
The Dark Horses found the back of the nets once more before halftime when Reid Taylor’s corner kick found a streaking Turner Wells on the right post. Wells headed the ball across the face of the goal, finding Logan Spell who punched the ball past the Tiger keeper for a 3-1 lead at 39:30.
Skylar Cannady completed the hat trick with his third goal of the night at the 44:20 mark when he picked up a rebound in traffic and knocked in Clinton’s fourth score of the match. Ivan Ponce got into the book at the 58:23 mark when he nailed a shot from 25 yards out to increase the Dark Horse lead to 5-1 and all but put the Tigers away.
The Dark Horses added an insurance goal in the last five minutes of the match when Nick Brewen hit a shot from 30 yards out that sailed just under the crossbar and over the outstretched arm of the Tiger’s goalie to move the Dark Horse lead to 6-1 at the 75:26 mark. The Tigers added a goal at 77:01 but it was too little too late as Clinton played keep away for the final three minutes to close out the win.
After the game Clinton head coach Brad Spell commented on the win saying, “this was a different type game. They came in strong and aggressive, and for the first ten minutes I thought they had us. They were controlling the midfield and taking us out of our game. We finally settled down and started moving the ball better and got a couple of goals. This was a good way for us to get ready for the conference schedule. Monday’s game against Pender could be very similar. They are undefeated and play a very physical brand of soccer.”
The win moves Clinton to 5-1-1 on the season. The Dark Horses begin conference play on Monday when they travel to Pender to face the Patriots in their Four County Conference opener.