Taylor McNamara (1') got the Oakville Blue Devils off to the start they have been used to with a very early goal, while Khody Ellis (40') added an insurance marker before the half-time in a must-win match for the Blue Devils as they look to stave off Sigma FC in the race for first place in the west.
But nothing was easy for the men's west division leaders in Matchweek 22 as FC London stormed back with a goal from Matthew Albert (74'), signalling a tense late period that threatened the result, but the Blue Devils hung on to get the 2-1 win.
"Another difficult game today, which we thoroughly expected once we saw their gamesheet," said Oakville head coach, Duncan Wilde. "They came today a lot stronger I think than they have been in previous weeks, which surprised us a little bit. Credit to them, they put on a good game."
"I thought we started really well and deserved our early lead before backing off a little bit. I think both teams struggled in the heat. It must have been close to forty degrees in the middle of the field and that took its toll mid-way through the second half. We thought it was important to get to the sixty-five, seventieth minute in front, because we knew that both teams would need their bench and it proved to be so."
"I thought we could have scored three or four in the second half, but we were very good value second half. We're pleased with the points, it puts us three points closer, and another week closer to the end of the season."
London again showed a quality crop of youth mixed in with their established senior quality, and gave Oakville a hard time for much of the match with their workrate and stamina.
"Overall you saw again today that we played with many young players and overall if you looked at the difference in physical size between the two teams, Oakville is clearly superior in this," said FC London assistant coach, Eddie Schmidt.
"Oakville played a style that focused on long balls and second balls and with that I thought we did exceptionally well today. It was also our plan to force a certain type of long ball that is not as dangerous for us, because when they can overload our box this is where they are the best team."
"If you remove the Windsor game from Oakville's record, you can see that after the seventy-fifth minute, which is sixty per cent of the playing time, Oakville has scored over thirty per cent of their goals," he explained.
"It shows that usually Oakville is the team that can stay until the end. Today I think we showed with our physical preparation that we were making them struggle in this period and this for me is a success."
Oakville Blue Devils will next play Sanjaxx Lions on October 1 at Monarch Park, Toronto.
FC London will next play Windsor TFC Stars on October 1 at University of Windsor, Windsor.