Week 5 in the ESPL was not quite the excitement machine that week 4 was, but there were interesting bits in each match that kept each fanbase more than invested in the outcomes.
Sporting Black Cats hosted Wordsmiths in the opening match of the fifth week. This one was not quite anyone was expecting but the star player of Sporting, Victor Khrushchev, nearly scored twice but was denied once by the keeper and once by the crossbar. Wordsmiths failed to mount any serious effort for scoring in this draw.
Allen FC hosted Gothica in what was expected to be a slugfest. At 5′ Wade Wonder scored a goal against the “big boys” of the ESPL. At 14′ Hans Mueller scored a second one for Allen FC when he tapped one in from the left of the keeper for a goal. Gothica retaliated when at 24′ Guillermo Martinez shot one in with authority. At 26′ Guillermo Martinez zipped right through the defense to score a second time and evened up the match. In the second half, Allen’s own November Nstinga scored his second ever ESPL goal at 62′, and Allen held on to win 3-2.
“There were many calls that should be evaluated by the league,” said Donovan Righte, leading scorer for Gothica. “We had some costly injuries out there and not once were any of them more than a free kick. It’s ridiculous.”
Shamrock Celtic hosted Naval Armada, still without Patrick Barnes back from his red card suspension. Shamrock Celtic spent most of their time defending as Naval Armada turned up the heat early in the first quarter and never let up. Khan Galaxy, supposed to be the best player in the game, had eight chances throughout the game but was shut down by Celtic’s keeper Ken Broadwell each time. Fans had no shortage of excitement but there were no scores to capitalize on them.
Shazam CM hosted Vulcan FC for the final game of the Sunday games. Duncan McBriar scored the first goal at 14′ to give Vulcan the early lead, which lasted all the way to the second half. Carlos Marcos evened the score at 67′ when the Shazam striker slid a ball right through the keeper’s legs to end the game in a draw.
Emerald United hosted Halo in the first of the two highlight games of the week, giving fans something to cheer for with a plethora of scoring. Hector Cruz scored first for Halo at 6′, quieting the home crowd quite a bit. At 14′ Edge Righte evened things up and the crowd woke up, until Scott Stennon put Halo back in the lead at 21′ with a header off the corner. At 59′ Garrett Parker evened the score with a well placed ricochet off the right post for a goal. At 61′ Edge Righte scored another one, putting the home side up with a solid shot. Scott Stennon got his second goal at 80′ with a bomb from way outside the box to even things up again. That didn’t last long as Edge Righte completed his hat trick at 89′ to secure the win for the home side and giving the home crowd a reason to believe.
Real Olympia hosted Knightsquare in the final game of week 5, without any scores and having nothing much of note happening except Real Olympia managed to have the lone chance in the game late in the second that sailed high over the goal.
|Sporting Black Cats||5||1||1||3||6||8||-2||4|
Shazam CM holds on to the top spot with a draw and a little help from Allen FC, who vaulted themselves into second place with their defeat of Gothica. Naval Armada’s woes continue but with Khan Galaxy having so many chances there is still hope they can salvage the season as a whole.
The top goal scorer in the league is officially Donovan Righte with 5 goals, leading the way even though Gothica couldn’t pull out a win. Tied for second (three way tie) are Calvin Casey for Wordsmiths, Arak Shemin for Shamrock Celtic, and Scott Stennon for Halo… all having 4 goals. There is talk that Patrick Barnes would have been in this group instead of Shemin, or perhaps Shemin AND Barnes would have been at the top and perhaps Shamrock Celtic would be solidly in first place as a result.
Stay tuned for week 6 in the ESPL!