South Jersey Soccer:
Saturday, June 19, 1999
By Forrest Robleto
The South Jersey Barons took back first place Saturday night as they beat the Westchester (NY) Flames 2-1 at Carey Stadium in Ocean City. The Barons were favored to win this one and for a while it looked like they thought they should get the win without playing the game. Eleven minutes into the first half Majik Agu made a perfect centering pass that Michael Hayes headed perfectly into the top of the net past Flames keeper David Popek. The Barons immediately dropped into a lazy kind of play that took the ball down into their defensive end.
Velimir Kovacivec got the ball in close from Freddy Nava, slipped by two Baron defenders and beat Paul Royal low to the left side. Royal, who played a terrific game all night never had a chance. The Barons picked up the pace a little after the Flames' goal, but soon lapsed back into their own defensive end.
In the second half Matt Miles came into the game. He didn't play the first half "... because we have two games this weekend." (The Barons play the Delaware Wizards tomorrow in Hockessin, DE.) He immediately made a sparkling, crowd pleasing play and it looked as if the Barons came out to play, but the burst was short lived and for a while Paul Royal got a good workout.
With ten minutes left, Barons Craig Wicken fed Matt Miles who put in a tough shot on Popik. Popik made the tough save but the ball ended up sitting on the goal line. Miles tucked it in and the Barons led two to one.
South jersey is now 6-2 in league play and 8-4 overall. Westchester, which competes in the USL's Premier Development League - a level below the Barons D3 Pro League - is now 3-5. The points counted toward the standings though, and South Jersey moved to first place with 24 points ahead of Reading's 23.
The paid attendance for the game was 1192. The Barons next home game is July 3rd, 6:00 PM at Carey Stadium in Ocean City, NJ against the New Jersey Stallions.
Photos by Forrest Robleto
©1999 South Jersey Sports Online