By Ted Waddell
JEFFERSONVILLE September 24, 2004 The Dragons of Cornwall looked like they were going to romp to a 4-0 blanking of the host Sullivan West Bulldogs in Tuesdays non-league boys varsity soccer game.
During the first 68 minutes of play, the Dragons appeared destined to shut out their short-staffed opposition as they racked up four unanswered goals.
But in the final 12 minutes of the match, SW (3-4) registered a couple of goals to get in the scorebook. Despite those late tallies, Cornwall held on to record a 4-2 victory.
In the first half, Cornwall scored two goals. Andrew Prokop kicked the ball into the Bulldogs goal net at 12:35 and Sean Freeman scored with 10:59 left on the clock.
In the second half, it looked like Cornwall (2-1-1) was on its way to a win as the team scored two more goals. Prokop netted his second goal of the contest at the 19:34 mark and at 15:59, a shot by Jerret Benton beat the SW goalie.
As the game clock ticked down towards a SW defeat, Bulldog junior Kevin Brewer stepped up and fired two goals past the Dragons substitute goalie. Brewers goals were recorded at 12:00 and 2:00.
In the second half, Dragons starting goalkeeper Tim Rush was red-carded after the referees decided the play was a little too rough on a scramble for the ball in front of the net.
That call and others caused Cornwall Coach John Mandia to describe the match as the worst officiated game hed ever seen.
But in the final analysis, it doesnt pay to argue with the guys in the striped shirts no matter if youre on target or if youre off the mark.
With about seven and a half seconds remaining in the game, SW junior goalie Joe Layman made a diving, feet-first defense of his turf and quelled the Dragons hopes of adding a goal at games end.
His move brought the small contingent of SW fans, who made up in vocalness what they lacked in numbers, to their collective feet.
It took us a good 30 minutes to get loose, Mandia said. Were historically a slow starting team, but an hour and 45 minute bus ride didnt help things either.
SW Coach Joe Ebeling said his booters played hard, but his team didnt have the depth of the substitute-rich opposition.
They had a whole other team on their bench, he said rather wistfully.
After Bulldog junior Will OBrien was sidelined for a bit with an ankle injury, SW backup goalie Kevin Pinkel was pushed up to play the forward position.
Noting that his team is always out there scrapping for every goal, Ebeling said, Its been tough
the kids are playing hard, and thats all I can ask of them.