|South Jersey Soccer:
SJ Barons Beat Albany and Vermont on the Road
Monday, June 28, 2004
By John Thompson
The South Jersey Barons took sole possession of the Northeast Conference lead this weekend by beating second placed team Albany 2-0. Both teams were tied on 23 points prior to the game. The Barons recorded their third clean sheet in a row the following evening with a 3-0 win at the Vermont Voltage.
The Barons are now three points clear of Albany with two games in hand over them. These two solid wins were important steps toward getting in the play-offs.
The Barons traveled with out midfielder Neil Holloway and defender Leon Brown but benefited from the return of defender Chris Williams who has recovered from a groin strain.
Ryan Heins played excellent in both games as cover for Holloway and should be commended for his work rate.
On Friday night the Barons faced scored two early goals, Byron Carmichael burst through and neatly finished for his 9th of the season after 10 min's. Carmichael then tapped home an easy second after Brian Devlin's penalty was neatly saved by Jordan James, Carmichael followed up for an easy tap in. Albany defender Nick Southwaite was sent off for handball on 32 minutes that led to the penalty.
In the 60th minute the Barons lost Brian Devin who was sent off for a second bookable offence.
The second half was all Albany as they pushed forward in search of an equalizer. Pat Hannigan pushed a shot onto the bar and Albany hit the post in the 85th minute but the Barons defended well enough to limit the Highlanders to long range efforts.
Coming of a terrific win Friday night the Barons had to be sharp to beat a determined Vermont team looking to impress in front of a large home crowd. The Barons again got off to a flying start. Ruben Mingo set up Ryan Heins who side footed a cross into the bottom corner for his first game of the season after only 12 minutes. Seven minutes later Byron Carmichael tucked away another Mingo cross for his 11th of the season.
The second half was dominated by Vermont as the Barons sat back and defended their two goal lead. they managed to get a third through a deflected goal by Tony Donatelli in the 68th minute. Ryan Carr kept a neat goal in this 3-0 win.
The Barons are now 9-0-2 on the season. The top two teams in the conference make it into the play-offs. The Barons have 6 games remaining in their schedule. Four wins from six games should guarantee them play off soccer.
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