South Jersey Soccer:
Saturday, July 31, 1999
By Peter C. Boggs
The South Jersey Barons balanced scoring attack continued Saturday night at Carey Stadium, as four different players tallied goals to beat the first place Western Massachusetts Pioneers, 5-3. James Harvey, Matt Brooks, and Craig Wicken each scored once, while the team's leading scorer Matt Miles added two more (his 15th and 16th on the year), to pull the Barons within one point of Western Massachusetts in the standings.
Western Massachusetts got the game's first goal (after a South Jersey goal was disallowed on an offsides call) in the game's 22nd minute. Pioneers forward Chris Legowski scored it on a volley from 11 yards out, beating Barons goalkeeper Paul Royal.
The Barons would tie it with only seconds remaining in the half, when Harvey headed home a Mark Southern free kick from four yards out. Eight minutes into the second half, the Barons would take the lead for good, when Brooks slammed home a penalty kick after Barons forward Majik Agu was hauled down in the Pioneers' penalty area. Wicken's goal was next, scored after he received a cross from Miles, took a touch at the top of the box and shot it past Pioneer goalkeeper Jon Voight. That goal came in the 64th minute.
Western Massachusetts then pulled within one on a head-ball goal rom Ricardo Monje in the 72nd. Six minutes later Miles would answer back, receiving a thrown pass at midfield from Royal, and chipping the ball over Voight's head.
Western Massachusetts defender Brad Miller made things interesting with another head-ball goal, this one coming with 10 minutes remaining to pull the Pioneers within one. Miles removed all doubt five minutes later, however, moving the ball up the left flank and scoring, unassisted. Royal finished with one save on the night, Voight with five, as the Barons outshot Western Massachusetts 21 to five.
The win, witnessed by 1,741 fans, gives South Jersey a league record of 12-2 (14-4 over-all, including U.S. Open Cup Qualification Games) and 53 points in the USL D3 Pro League North Conference standings. Western Massachusetts (now 12-3) received a bonus point in the standings for having scored three goals in the game, giving them a tenuous one point lead at 54 points. South Jersey now has the upper hand, however, owning a game in hand over the Pioneers, with four games to play to the Pioneers' three. South Jersey returns to action next Friday night at Reading, before playing at Carey again, Saturday August 7th against the Eastern Shore Sharks. That game kicks off at 5:00 PM.
Photos by Forrest Robleto
©1999 South Jersey Sports Online