West beats Central in overtime
Thu. October 04, 2012 at 12:44 a.m. | By Mike Duprez
Central Davidson's Trevor Nanney (left) and West Davidson's Collin Denton collide while competing for the ball during the first half of their soccer match Wednesday night. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)
TYRO | West Davidson and Central battled each other all night with throw-ins and corner kicks. But it was a booming, NFL-like boot that ended up making the difference in their Central Carolina Conference match Wednesday night.
The Green Dragons’ David Monk, rebuffed on a long free kick seconds earlier, saw the ball bounce back to him, lofted another long kick and this time an unmarked Richard Gilbert headed it in with five minutes left in the second overtime as West rallied for a 2-1 victory at Tyro Middle School.
“David can put the ball high in the air and a lot of players don’t want to head the ball when it’s like that,” said West coach Chris Brown. “We were just looking to put it in the box and redirect it in there. It’s a big win for us.”
West, 7-2-3 overall, improved to 3-1 in the CCC and remained in a tie for first place with Salisbury.
Central, which led 1-0 at halftime, fell to 5-5-2 overall and 2-2 in the conference.
“On that last one, David took a nice kick, we headed it out right back, he kicked it again and we didn’t hit our marks,” said Central coach Chad Hench.
The Spartans’ best chance to pull even was foiled when West keeper Adam Schofield came out of the box to grab the ball before the Spartans’ Charlie Killebrew could get to it with about three minutes left.
“Both teams left it on the field tonight,” Brown said. “It was a good, clean match. My hat’s off to them. They’re really good.”
West had the advantage of it in terms of possession but Central keeper Andrew Curry, who just became the starter last week, faced a barrage of shots and made numerous difficult saves.
“There wasn’t anything he could have done on the two goals,” Hench said. “Andrew has stepped up and done a great job under very difficult circumstances.”
Brown readily concurred.
“Their kid did an outstanding job tonight,” Brown said. “You have to give him props. He kept them in the game tonight.”
The Spartans had to deal with a strong West attack in the first half. Curry made the save on a Gilbert free kick in the 26th minute and then the Dragons just missed out on a goal when T.J. Eller got loose behind the Central defense, forcing the keeper to make another difficult save.
The tide started to turn for Central in the closing minutes of the half and the Spartans nearly took the lead when a Charlie Killebrew shot hit the crossbar. Central finally went up 1-0 in the 37th minute when Spencer Snider headed in a Killebrew corner kick.
West persisted with the offense in the second half, with long throw-ins by Eller continuing to give the Dragons opportunities. They finally broke through with the equalizer in the 68th minute when Monk headed in an Eller throw-in.
“When you’ve got a guy who can throw it like T.J., anything from within 35-40 yards, it’s like a corner kick,” Hench said.
Both teams are back in action Thursday night, with Central visiting Thomasville and West going to East Davidson.
Mike Duprez can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.