Saturday night saw Master’s Futbol take all three points from their guests at a brisk L’Amoreaux Sports Complex. Masters scored three times while playing with ten men to pick up their third win of the season, 4-1 over Durham United FA.
An Allando Matheson (32') goal gave the hosts the lead at the half before Alex Dimitriu was sent off (54') for violent conduct - a straight red card was shown in addition to a caution he received earlier in the match.
Going down a man only seemed to galvanize Masters as they scored three times - Aaron Massy (56'), Tyrell Rayne (66') and Sherwin Emmanuel (90' + 1') - while shorthanded. This was Masters' third win in 2016, but their second in four matches.
Junior Groves, Master's Futbol’s Technical Director, cited recent form as a positive heading into the off-season.
"They've been playing well, I would say, for the last four weeks they've been playing really well and could have won those games."
He also spoke to the confidence his squad has when they don’t squander chances and score first.
"We got that [first goal] done today… and once we got that done, you could see the belief coming into the players," continued Groves.
Durham United, meanwhile, continues to search for answers to their inconsistent season.
Coach Felix Dirienzo was baffled post-match stating, "if I could explain that [unpredictable season] then I could solve the inconsistencies."
His side could only score once, via substitute Justin Gordon (69'), with the numerical advantage and never quite looked into the match. To that point Dirienzo noted, "no excuses—we were flat. The boys just couldn't get it together." He then summarized the game succinctly and accurately with, "we had a bad day and they had a good day."
It was a physical affair, creating much work for both teams' trainers, especially early on as the players adjusted to the cool temperature. There were three additional minutes added to the first half, mostly due to players writhing on the pitch with various knocks. Durham was forced into a rare goalkeeper swap as their starter (League1 Ontario elder statesman Eugene Alves), had to be replaced at half-time due to swelling around his right eye that was hindering vision.
Both squads still have something to play for during this late stage of the season. Masters (3W-1D-16L) has two matches remaining in their 2016 campaign: October 1 st versus Toronto Skillz FC and October 5 at Aurora United FC. Both teams are a mere two points up on Masters, who currently hold the last spot in the east division.
Durham can still finish a respectable third in the tough east division. They have one match remaining against North Toronto Nitros - a team they could tie for third position (September 30, Kinsmen Park, Pickering).