The Midway Raider soccer team visited Clinton on Thursday night to play a match that was previously scheduled for Monday. The two Four County Conference rivals treated the large crowd on hand to a well played soccer match, with Clinton opening an early lead, then holding off a Midway charge before pulling away with a late second half surge to put the Raiders away by the score of 6-1.
Clinton got an early goal from Zach Darden just 6:48 into the match when he fired a shot inside the box that handcuffed the Midway goalie for a 1-0 Clinton lead. It only took four minutes for the Dark Horses to add to their lead. Logan Spell ran down a long pass over the top of the Midway defense, going deep into the right corner to gain control of the ball. Spell then fired a perfect pass into the box that a streaking Ivan Palencia made an athletic play on to give Clinton the 2-0 lead at the 11:13 mark.
The Raiders settled in on defense and held the Horses scoreless the remainder of the first half, going to the break trailing by 2 goals and it appeared the Raiders had seized the momentum. The Dark Horses stemmed the Raider’s confidence by adding a quick second half goal. Palencia scored his second goal of the night when he took the ball into the box and slipped a well place shot past the goal keeper. The goal lifted Clinton to a 3-0 lead at the 43:30 mark of the second half.
Ivan Ponce scored his fourth goal in two games when he took a Darden pass near midfield, dribbled past several Raider defenders and fired a laser past the goalie, moving the Clinton lead to 4-0 at 44:51, seemingly putting the game out of reach. The Raiders had other ideas as they continued to attack and finally found pay dirt when they scored off a throw in deep in the Dark Horse end of the field to cut the lead to 4-1 at the 52:25 mark.
Clinton answered the Midway score at the 61:25 mark when Turner Wells headed a corner kick off the left post that bounced across the face of the goal where Luke Byrd guided the rebound into the goal for a 5-1 Dark Horse lead. Less than 2 minutes later Parker Norris capped the Dark Horse scoring when he fired a beautiful shot from 20-yards out that snaked over the goalie’s outstretched arms to give the home team their final margin of victory at 6-1.
After the game Clinton head coach Brad Spell, said “I’m really happy with our effort tonight, we moved the ball well, we executed really well. Our first touch was better tonight and that is something we really concentrated on tonight. Midway came in and they fought and fought and would not give up. They have a couple of players on their team that are really crafty players and played really tough tonight so my hat is off to them for their effort.”
The Dark Horses improve to 4-0 in Four County Conference play and 9-1-1 overall. The Dark Horses travel to West Bladen next Monday to face the Knights. Midway falls to 3-7 overall and remains win-less in Four County play at 0-3. The Raiders will travel to Trask on Monday night for a conference match against the Titans.
JV still perfect
The Clinton JV remains unbeaten, moving to 10-0 on the season with a 9-1 win over the Raider JV. Clinton got goals from Sam Holloman, Manuel Murrillo (2), Obed Gallegos (3), Ashton Tyndall, Sammy Sutter, Ryan Bass and Jared Stephenson.
JV head coach Mitchell Brewington commented on his teams play saying, “The boys played well tonight, we gained a big lead and when you get a big lead you can lose focus a little bit. We went in at halftime and got our focus back and played pretty much the way we wanted to play in the second half.”
The JV Horses improve to 10-0 overall and 3-0 in conference play with the win over the junior Raiders.