Bermuda - June 18th 2012
Spartans bring 3 points back from Bermuda
The Central Jersey Spartans took the 1.5 hour flight to Bermuda on Saturday morning knowing that they needed to end their poor away form if they were to pick anything up against the Bermuda Hogges. Having played 4 straight home games and picking up 4 points the Spartans were desperate to pick up all 3 points in Bermuda to start climbing the table.
The first half was a game of few chances as is becoming the trend with the Spartans play. They are very well organized and make it hard for the opposition to get into any rhythm and are dangerous on the counter attack. The Spartans chose to leave leading scorer Claude Tahi on the bench for this game with Ockford and Louisignau providing the attacking thrusts. The closest either side came to opening the scoring was when Bermuda midfielder Lewis cut in from a wide position and crashed a long range against the Spartans cross bar with goalkeeper Daniel Louisignau helpless.
In truth the game was physical with the referee making a number of cautions throughout. This trend continued into the second half and resulted in a scrappy game. The Spartans made an adjustment at half time bring ing Chris Wysocki off to be replaced by cultured midfield player Precious Iloka. Illoka almost made an immediate impact by scoring straight after half time but couldn't keep his shot on target. The Spartans began to see much more of the ball and press the Bermudan goal far more than the opening 45 minutes. They got the all important breakthrough after 68 minutes when Ryan Tessler broke free down the right hand side and the full back found an open Precious Iloka inside. Iloka played a beautiful give and go with Evans Asiamah before slotting the ball under the goalkeeper to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
The joy was short lived as just one minute later the visiting side were reduced to 10 men when James Ockford recieved a second yellow card and was sent from the field. A slight reshuffle to a 4-4-1 meant the Hogges had much more of the ball but in truth never created an open opportunity on the Spartans goal. The visitors saw out the remainder of the game to secure a valuable 3 points and ensure they left Bermuda with a vital win.
After the game Spartans Head Coach John Newman reacted by saying "I thought we were well organized and very hard working all over the field. We are not a free scoring team but if we can keep things tight at the back then I always think we can be in with a chance of winning games and that is how it worked out this evening. Bermuda won the statistical battle in terms of the number of shots and corners etc but in truth our keeper wasn't overly worked and was well protected. Precious provided us with that little bit of magic together with Evans and it was a calm finish. We are delighted to win!".
The Spartans are next in action when they take on local rivals the New Jersey Rangers at Morris Catholic High School on Wednesday June 20th with a 6.45 kick off.
Bermuda Hogges - Bell (GK), Burgess, Cox, Darrell, Ming, Swan, Lewis, Castle (L.Simmons), Bascome, Russell, A.Simmons (Dill) Subs Not Used - Hall (GK), Deshields, Lee
Central Jersey Spartans - D.Louisignau (GK), Tessler, Farrell, Makowski, Whalen, Christiansen, C.Wysocki, B.Wysocki (Iloka), Asiamah (Blackburn), J.Louisignau, Ockford Subs Not Used - Tahi, McCormick, Butcher, Ballo