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Match Recap: North Mississauga Panthers 2 - 4 Oakville Blue Devils

08/31/2017, 6:00pm EDT
By League1 Ontario staff

A second half brace from Oakville Blue Devils' Connor McNamara (69', 74') settled an intense end-to-end contest with North Mississauga Panthers, as the Devils rode to a 4-2 away victory and a six point lead at the top of the men's west division.

"Our focus and intention today was to try and maintain some consistency and I think we did that," said Oakville Blue Devils head coach, Duncan Wilde. 

"We set off really well and took a well-deserved two nil lead in twenty minutes and had no danger whatsoever, and then we became complacent."

The Blue Devils did start on form, with team top goalscorer Mathew Santos (9') finding himself alone at back post for a tap-in within ten minutes, and Khody Ellis (19') running onto a low cross at back-post to finish only ten minutes later. 

But North Mississauga had their share of possession and attacking chances too, and both Doryan Botelho (30') and Jonathan Jebbison (37') tucked away goals of top quality to level the score and set-up a tense second half. 

"We switched off and gave away two very weak goals from our point of view," said Wilde.

"However, the two goals were excellently taken, I must say, by the two North Mississauga players."

"We had to refocus at half-time. We made some changes to try and play in a different way, trying to get the ball wider, sooner. It worked for us and we created six or seven really good chances and took two of them."

The late game certainly belonged to Oakville's Connor McNamara, whose physicality, positioning, and composure in the finish proved unplayable upfront, and equally indomitable in the back - where McNamara marshalled a back-line that could not be breached in the second frame.

McNamara connected well on two set-pieces - the first deposited in the bottom corner, and the second powered in off the head after out-muscling his marker - to give the Blue Devils a commanding lead and the final result. 

"Falling behind early obviously wasn't the ideal start but the experience came into play once we settled on the ball and we were able to tie it up and really start playing our game," said North Mississauga's assistant coach, Patrick Guirguis. 

"It was unfortunate that in the second half, maybe the final twenty minutes, we began to play a little more deep, giving them the opportunity to push and attack us and it cost us on two set-pieces that they finished and capitalized on." 

"Overall it was a good turnout in terms of our fan support," he added. 

"I saw they had some fans here too but it was good to see the support on our end, especially in a game like that - we knew it would be intense. We knew it would be physical, but the players really came out today and showed what we are capable of doing." 

North Mississauga Panthers will next play Sanjaxx Lions on September 10 at Monarch Park, Toronto. 

Oakville Blue Devils will next play Pro Stars on September 10 at Bronte, Oakville. 

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