Seven tough points from a tough opponent

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Dave Standish

A draw is still not a loss, so the home streak continues and another clean sheet.

A scoreless match in Sunday concluded a tough three game set between Foothills FC and Vancouver's TSS Rovers where seemingly everything happened except a ball crossing a goal line.

Fatigue could be seen on the faces of most players at the end of the 90 minutes where chances galore were created by both teams.

Foothills FC coach Leon Hapgood said his players were too individual in the first half.

"We didn’t connect as a group in our unit works. We addressed it at halftime, then except for a five minute spell we were on the front foot and created more chances in around the box."

Three games in a row against the same team is difficult but he's happy with the seven points, along with three more against Seattle back on May 17th.

"The lads have been brilliant, they’ve worked really hard. We regrouped, put our movements right in our attacking half but couldn't finish."

The Rovers made a lot of adjustments from Friday night to Sunday afternoon, and reorganized their back line where the Foothills forwards, unlike Friday, were not given the wide open space to create against players who were sometimes six to eight inches taller and crosses in the six yard box were a half step too late.

Midfielder Drake Rendle subbed in at the 64th minute and made his presence felt throughout his time on the pitch.

"Drake came on and gave us a bit i=of fire in the midfield," said coach Hapgood. "He's put himself in my thoughts for our games in Portland next week."

Rendle, a returning player to Calgary after playing on the 2016 and 2017 squads, wanted to make an impact when he came on as a midfielder.

"For me, it is working with the team so we are creating things together. It will take a team effort to win the league and remain as champions.

"All of us are winners so zero goals is not good enough for us, (despite zero goals against).

Like on Friday, there were numerous fouls and contentious conversations with the head official. The unusual moment of the match came in the 39th minute when Rovers coach Will Cromack and injured player from Friday Eric de Graff were ejected for continuing to complain to the officials. Ironically the team had shortly before been given a free kick just outside the penalty dot they couldn't convert on.

Vancouver's chances were spotty but critical when they occurred, including a pinching centre back Elie Gindo's header that went over Ben Jackson's outstreched hands, but was called back offside.

The final shots at the goal were counted as 13-1 for Foothills, including 6-1 on the goal. Jackson saw some shots go over the bar, hit the bar and go wide but only one he had to deal with.

The Portland Timbers U23 squad is next for Foothills on Friday, May 31 and Sunday, June 2nd in Oregon. The Rovers enjoy a long break before hosting the Victoria Highlanders on June 7th.

Final Stats:

Corner kicks: Foothills 5 Vancouver 2

Fouls: Vancouver 16 Foothills 10

Yellow cards: Foothills 4 Vancouver 3

PHOTO COURTESY OF STUART GRADON OF TOTAL SOCCER PROJECT

Foothills FC