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Sigma's Allen Gets Three En Route To 3-1 Win Over Junior Reds

05/08/2016, 11:30pm EDT
By League1 Ontario staff

Leaford Allen (Photo: Martin Bazyl)

Leaford Allen (4', 44', 75') led Sigma FC to an early-season away win over Toronto FC Academy at Kia Training Grounds, taking the Mississauga academy to the top of the western conference with two wins in two outings. 

"I honestly thought I did extremely well considering TFC is such a big club and it is such an important chance to play against such an incredible team," said Allen. "Being able to go out there and play my best, it was a great experience."

Allen was a force of nature on a day when nature's forces were apparent; a one hour rain delay in the middle of the second half caused unwelcome downtime for a home side already one goal down. 

"Conditions aside, we obviously saw a few seasons today, but to be honest I thought we were poor for long stretches of the match," said Sigma head coach, Bobby Smyrniotis.

Photo: Martin Bazyl

"Didn't know if that was just the rhythm of the game and the timing of how everything went, but it wasn't our best performance. But in the end of the day you're happy if you can score three goals in a day, when the coaching staff thinks your poor and you come out with three points."

Shortly after the restart, Allen was back at it. Within five minutes he had read some miscommunication between defender and keeper, capitalized on the confusion, stole the ball, and walked into an open net. 

"[Allen] is a key player, a key player to the way we play, having a good strong number nine up top," said Smyrniotis. "He was a guy that was with us many years ago and last year played with one of the other teams in the league and he has fit in quite well knowing a lot of the guys in the past in training here at Sigma so we're happy to have him."

Photo: Martin Bazyl

Despite TFCA's pressing game, Sigma showed a steady composure on the ball, and a steely defensive resolve off the ball. Junior Reds could not penetrate the Sigma lines to create enough high-quality chances. When decent chances were taken, often from distance, Sigma keeper Corey Marques was up to the task. 

Tides appeared to change mid-way through the second half, as the hosts earned a penalty and Dante Campbelle (71') made no mistake about finishing it. However, it was Allen again - only three minutes later - to take his third of the day (fifth in two matches) after some nice set-up play from teammates Alex Halis and Manvir Brar.

TFCA would push to get back into the contest, but Sigma saw out the threat and took home another three points.

"[We're] a young team, so the enthusiasm was positive," said Toronto FC Academy head coach, Stuart Neely. 

"I think we kept possession at good times throughout the game. I think we got into the final third and we rushed it a lot, but in order to get there we had to get a good build up, a good set attack at the opposition half." 

"But outside of that, our ability to finish and even create opportunities and finish those at the end of the day wasn't good enough." 

Photo: Martin Bazyl

Tag(s): News  Sigma FC  TFC III  West  2016 Archive   May