June 16, 2007 CSL London City vs Italia Shooters (from London Free Press)

Italian Shooters spank London City

Sat, June 16, 2007


There's an old saying that sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better.

One can't imagine it getting much worse for London City.

On their heels of one of their worse home performances in years, a 5-0 loss last week to Windsor Border Stars, the Canadian Soccer League team laid another egg, this one of ostrich-size variety.

International Division leading Italian Shooters came to Cove Road and spanked London City 6-1 last night.

There really wasn't much that could be said. City actually had a chance to take the lead when Miguel Knox, in his first game back this year, earned a penalty when Shooters' Fitzroy Christie handled the ball in the penalty area in the 12th minute.

Knox took the penalty but Shooters keeper Camilio Benzi guessed correctly, diving to his left to stop the shot.

Things went downhill quickly after that.

The floodgates opened in the 17th minute when Sean Myers found himself with an open header in the middle of the penalty area. He popped it into the corner past a helpless Tommy Bianchi in the City net.

The Shooters scored pretty much every which way after that. They took advantage of mistakes by the City backline as well as gaps in the midfield.

Myers had one more goal in the half. It was a happy homecoming for former City player Kaidian Lecky. He scored three goals in the first half, using his quickness and ability to find the openings.

As bad as the final scoreline looked, player-coach Gentjan Dervishi said he was happy with how his club played.

"You've got to start somewhere," he said. "We created some chances. We have a young team, tonight we had three under-16 players. We're learning. I think the penalty shot changed the game."

City continued looking for some sort of combination that worked. Dervishi, who last week played in the midfield, played as a sweeper last night. Mike Sawchuk, a striker last year, was on the back line. At the start of the second half, Sawchuk was back up front.

Even with Isu Bluku, Jager Hassan and Eris Tajfi back after missing the last home game, this is a team that needs a lot more help. Up front City does create the occasional chance but they haven't been able to finish them.

But it's at the back that London City is suffering. Opponents attack them with balls down the side, stretching the defence and them ripping them open in the middle.

The second half was a different story.

"We dominated. It was 1-1 in the second half," Dervishi said.

Whether the Shooters took their foot off the gas in the second half or City managed to find some pride and energy in their game, is open to debate.

City scored in the 82nd minute when Gesi Commisso did some good work along the end line and found Sawchuk in front of the net. Sawchuk had no trouble slamming it past Benzi.

It was scant consolation.

"I know people are frustrated because they are looking at results," Dervishi said. "You have too look past the results. We're building. Look at what we did. The final score didn't mean anything to me. I thought we played well in the second half."

The loss dropped City to 0-1-5, with their next home game Friday against North York Astros.

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