A win in the Canadian Premier League remains elusive for York9 FC.
Facing yet another stay away from the comforts of home, the Nine Stripes took a valuable point out of HFX Wanderers FC on Wednesday night, with Rodrigo Gattas’ penalty and an equalizer by Peter Schaale keeping the two teams on level terms.
That’s how this latest away trip tale goes, but for York9, the wins-and-losses talking point remains unavoidable.
“I think we’ve been a bit unlucky if I’m honest – especially tonight,” Y9 defender Luca Gasparotto told reporters after the match, of the result.
“We’ve had the chances. Overall, throughout the 90, we were the better team. We had a lapse in concentration which cost us a goal against, but we’re coming together.”
Coming together: It’s been the main theme of York9 since the league kicked off on April 27, and the theme once again after a misty evening in Halifax, as York9 looked to take another step forward as one united group.
So much of Y9 head coach Jimmy Brennan’s game plan comes down to that concept of unity – how well his team can connect with one another, doubly important as the diminutive nature of most of the team’s midfielders, coupled with wide players like Kyle Porter and Ryan Telfer, require team chemistry well ahead of physicality or individual brilliance.
It seems to be a challenge unique to York9, but it’s still hard not to fixate on the W column of the table.
“It’s frustrating, not having that win yet,” Gasparotto admitted. “But I think people can see that we continue to get better, and that’s what this is. We’re still learning about each other, to see what’s working and what’s not. We’re still growing.”
He added, when asked how his team can improve: “We have to be more clinical and tighten up the little things.”
York9 is now the only team in the league without a victory to celebrate.
But Brennan knows that good things come to those who can wait for it … and work for it.
“It’s tough. There’s a lot of travel, but we’re all in the same boat,” Brennan said after the match. “For us, this is our fourth away game. Ideally, we would have liked a couple of wins out of that, where we came close, and again tonight, but coming away with a point on the road is never a bad thing.”
Silver linings aside, Brennan has plenty of cause for optimism, despite the circumstances his side has faced: The Nine Stripes continue to challenge in front of goal, remain in possession when needed, and have a deep roster of talent to draw on.
And, as Brennan pointed out, there’s a nice little home stretch coming up, too.
“We’re picking up these points on the road, but we’re looking forward to June and July – that’s when all our home games are coming,” Brennan said. “We’ve only been at home once now, so we’re looking forward to that next spell where we have three, four games in a row at home. That’s where we really need to start picking up our points.”