Saturday, June 23, 2012
BELLBROOK, Ohio – Eli Garner scored two goals in a seven-minute span to lead the Dayton Dutch Lions to a 4-0 victory against the Wilmington Hammerheads at Miami Valley South Stadium on Saturday night, earning his side its first victory in USL PRO this season.
Even without two usual starters, with Nixon Dias and Bret Jones out with injuries, Dayton (1-7-5) started strong with Gibson Bardsley striking first in the 11th minute. Midfielder Joel DeLass, from the sideline, passed the ball to Kyle Knotek in the middle who flicked the ball between two Hammerhead defenders for Bardsley to run onto for a shot into the back of the net.
The action picked up as the Hammerheads (5-5-4) began to apply pressure in the Dayton end, but the Dutch Lions were able to score on a counter-attack through Garner in the 33rd minute after a Hammerheads corner kick was cleared. He touched the ball past the last defender and ran 40 yards to go one-on-one against Hammerhead keeper Alex Horwath. A quick touch around the goalie gave Garner an easy pass into the goal.
Garner’s second came on another breakaway in the 40th minute, as he found himself alone on a long run and passed the ball into the goal from just left of center for his second of the night, putting the Dutch Lions up 3-0.
The Dutch Lions did not relent in the second half as six shots were recorded. Garner, trying for a hat trick, had a close shot in the 50th minute but the ball went inches left of the post. The Lions thought they had their fourth goal in the 59th minute as Bardsley had a run on goal, but his shot was cleared off the line.
Continuing to play on the counter-attack as the Hammerheads pushed forward, Eric Kissinger entered the game for Bardsley and scored the fourth goal of the night in the 79th minute. Mikael McNamara played the ball perfectly behind the Hammerheads defense and in front of Kissinger, who fired his shot into the right corner of the net.
“I think we deserved a win," said Coach Ivar Van Dinteren. “The hard work paid off. I told the guys to keep working hard and you will get what you deserve. Garner had a great game and so did Taylor Lord, who recorded his first start of the season. Everybody stepped up today and that’s what it’s all about."
The Dutch Lions will now travel to face Major League Soccer’s Sporting Kansas City on Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup.
"Tuesday’s game is going to be a tough game but anything can happen," van Dinteren said. "Sporting Kansas City plays the same formation we do so I am looking forward to the cup game.”
The Dutch Lions will return home next Friday as they host a doubleheader with the club’s W-League side. The women will face the Northern Virginia Majestics at 5:30 p.m. ET and the men will face league leaders Orlando City at 8 p.m. at Miami Valley South Stadium. For season and individual game tickets, visit the Dutch Lions website.