UPPER DUBLIN >> Neither head coach was jumping for joy following Tuesday afternoon’s 1-0 win by the Upper Dublin boys’ soccer team over Wissahickon.
Trojans head coach Stuart Malcolm was bemoaning the lack of a goal scorer while Cardinals head coach Derek Priest was grousing about what he called “the worst first half” his side had played all season.
But ultimately it was Priest’s charges who were celebrating victory after Anthony Wisdo found the net in the 65th minute to give the home side the victory.
“In the first half we played very poorly,” said Priest. “Wissahickon outplayed us, and it was one of the worst halves I’ve seen us play in a while.
“We weren’t winning any 50-50 balls and when we did get the ball we threw it away. Credit Wissahickon for playing so well, but we just made too many bad plays.”
Despite that, the Cardinals seemed to have the better of the scoring opportunities, most notably by Wisdo, who was robbed by Trojans netminder Jun Yuh, Chris Tocchet, whose shot was batted over the net and Jose Palomeque, whose free kick was corralled by Yuh.
At the other end, Wissahickon’s Brad Schwartz was blunted at net off a strong move up the right wing, but Malcolm felt the Trojans were just not in sync offensively.
“I thought we competed well, overall,” Malcolm said. “But we don’t have anyone who seems to want to finish right now.
“What it’s coming down to right now is scoring, and we don’t seem to have the player who’s looking to the net.”
At the half, Priest went away from his team’s normal 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 alignment to get better ball rotation. And while it didn’t produce all of what he wanted, the Cardinals did play marginally better.
And when they got the opportunity to score, Wisdo didn’t miss.
The scoring play was set up by Tocchet, who got the ball to Wisdo on the right side.
“Coach put me on, and told me if I got the opportunity, to go hard,” Wisdo said. “I thought I was offsides, but I wasn’t, and when I got my chance I opened up my hips as if I were going far post and then got it past him on the short side.”
The goal wound up the Cardinals, and they were able to kill off the remaining time, although the Trojans did have a dangerous free kick in the closing seconds.
“It was a nice win for us,” Priest said. “When you don’t play and win, that’s always a plus. But our goal is to win by playing well.”
Meanwhile, Malcolm was left shaking his head over his side’s lack of goal production.
“If you come out and watch us play you’ll think we’re playing well, and we are,” Malcolm said. “We’re just not scoring, and you have to score to win.”