Bridgetown wins U16 boys soccer playdowns in shootouts

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
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A 3-0 first half lead should be enough to win a soccer game. If not, then seven out of nine shots from the dot should be more than enough to salvage things.

Sadly for the Digby U16 boys, Bridgetown tied the game in the second half and then made eight out of nine dot shots to win the Valley playdowns Wednesday night, Aug. 20 and advance to provincials.

“We had three goals first half, they had three goals second half and then you flip a coin,” said Digby coach Oliver Janson. “They played hard, they didn’t give up and neither did we. Nathan had a breakaway and his shot went just wide.

“That would have been 4-1, at that point that would have been a game changer.”

No one expected Digby to need a game changer at all, after they charged out to a 3-0 lead in the first half.

Digby striker Nathan Janson had the first two goals on back-to-back plays about 30 minutes in.

The first was a clever curving chip to the far post, and then, when Digby’s defence stole possession off the Bridgetown kick off, Janson launched a long hard shot over the surprised Bridgetown keeper.

With five-minutes left Brandon Sullivan, sharing striking duties with Janson, made the most of lead pass taking the ball at full stride before pulling it back and cutting to the centre, his signature move.

Two steps into space and he knocked the ball easily but accurately into the corner of the net.

You have to give Bridgetown credit, they came right out and scored barely two minutes into the second half.

The two teams exchanged chances for most of the rest of the game – Janson alone had four shots at the Bridgetown net and a Bridgetown goal near the mid-point of the half was called back for offside.

A minute later though Bridgetown had another breakaway and scored one that counted to bring them within one.

Another three minutes and a textbook perfect cross from a Bridgetown winger found a teammate in front of the net to tie the game with 20 minutes left.

And that’s how it stayed till the final whistle.

The Valley soccer league decides all week-day play off games with five dot shots and both teams scored four of the five.

After that they go one for one dot shots and both teams made the next three.

Bridgetown made their ninth and Digby didn’t.

The Bridgetown goalie had guessed the wrong corner but was able to stick his leg back to make the save and send Bridgetown, who has yet to lose this season, to provincials next weekend in the city.

Geographic location: Bridgetown, The Valley

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