YORK REGION – While there was some disagreement over which side was the better on the day, there is no disputing who will be taking the three points.
Forge FC came to York Lions Stadium on Saturday afternoon and, following a lengthy delay, are heading back down the highway with a 2-0 win, handing York9 FC a defeat in their home opener.
The visitors strolled into the second edition of the 905 Derby and looked to take advantage of their fresher legs early, but York9 worked their way into the match, coming on strong at the end of the first half and the start of the second, only for the inclement weather to force a halt to the action.
“The last five minutes in the first half, we were losing control a little bit, the spaces in the midfield were too big. Then we start again the second half, stop with rain. It’s difficult for both teams,” said Forge assistant coach Peter Reynders.
“For me, the best team won today.”
His opposite, Jim Brennan, felt differently.
“We felt, just before that delay, we had them on the ropes, had plenty of chances, lots of opportunities, we felt it was coming,” Brennan said. “That delay took the wind out of our sails. The second half, our momentum kept on taking us forward, had some good possession, plenty of shots today – 20-something shots – just we couldn’t find the back of the net.
“They break on the counter and they score on us. That’s the way the game goes. So we’re frustrated, the way it came about. We felt we were the better team today.”
Objectively, both Forge goals were excellently constructed.
“The first goal was fantastic counter-attack, three, four touches and the ball was in the net,” recounted Reynders. “The second goal, that was to enjoy.
Chris Nanco netted the first in the 70th minute, having come on as a substitute early in the second half.
“It was a good play, a counter-attack,” explained Nanco. “We had to attack quick in that moment. Throughout practice this week we’ve been working on that: getting the ball to the offside and attacking as quick as possible. I knew once (Kyle) Bekker got outside, I just had to get myself in the box and he’ll pick out a player.
“I was screaming for the ball and he put it right there, perfectly on my feet.”
And Tristan Borges added the second in the 78th minute with a perfect bit of trickery.
“To be honest, that wasn’t something that we worked on. I have to give a lot of credit to (Bekker), he called the play,” praised Borges. “We were doing well on the corners, kind of saw something leading into the play.
“Bekker told me a play that we wanted to do, when I transferred the message to Chris (Nanco), he understood, the ball was played, he let it go and it was a good finish.”
With the goal, his third of the season, Borges takes sole spot atop the goal-scoring table.
“A counter and a free-kick,” lamented Brennan, but with a sharp turnaround and a tricky away trip to Halifax there is little time to nurse any ill feelings.
“You keep learning as you go along,” maintained Brennan. “If we take away the two goals, we look at our performance overall, we think: we’re alright, we’re on the right track here.”