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Halifax Wanderers Daniel Nimick Goal

The Wanderers Recap: Forged In The Fire

By on July 3, 2023 0 888 Views

Forge has had the HFX Wanderers number for the entire history between the two teams. Halifax has won only three (as of Friday night) matches against Forge in their entire history, and the Hamilton club has given Wanderers fans more heartache with last-minute goals than any other club.

On a foggy night in Halifax this Friday, it seemed like the script would stay the same, but out of nowhere, some magic was found at The Grounds. Let’s dive into it!

Game Recap:

For 99 minutes, the Wanderers were perfectly in control, and for a single minute, it seemed like Kyle Bekker stole a result for Forge (as he has done so many times against the Wanderers).

Massimo Ferrin was direct, aggressive and relentless, for which he was rewarded with a superb goal that was started by a ridiculous cross-field ball from Dan Nimick (more on him later).

The goal was not against the run of play, as the Wanderers looked compact and efficient in defence and had quite a few sustained offensive efforts that Forge barely got away with. From minute 25 to 88, the Wanderers defended staunchly, and you can argue that they didn’t make a mistake leading to a goal; it was just an excellent hit from Bekker, and sometimes those go in. You can defend well and still get scored on.

Historically, Forge would have gone on and scored another to break the hearts of every Wanderers fan in existence, but once again, Patrice Gheisar’s side showed that this is a VERY different Wanderers squad in terms of mentality. They pushed forward and tried to reward the fans for their fervent support throughout the night – and reward them they did.

Multiple attacks with probing crosses, inverted runs from defenders, and Riley Ferrazzo covering every blade of grass in just a short appearance off of the bench. In fact, he was the player that drew the penalty (Even as a Wanderers faithful, I am unsure of if that penalty should have stood, but that is an argument I don’t want to take part in), and it was all due to his relentless work and willingness to invert from his wing position.

Photo Credit: Trevor MacMillan / Halifax Wanderers FC)

Now, to my favourite player in the squad, Daniel Nimick. This was by far his best game. On the ball, way clear of the CPL level. His passing was inch perfect and was spraying passes across the pitch like a painter stroking their brush the length of the canvas. I seriously cannot praise him enough. He balances physical dominance with technical brilliance, and the Wanderers should fight to the death to keep hold of him for as long as they can. He started the move that created Ferrin’s goal with a pass that will not get enough credit because of Ferrin’s work, but let me tell you, it was world-class. And then, he was absolute nails to step up and crush Forge with the last-minute penalty to open his professional goal-scoring account. He is the real deal, and I can’t wait to watch how big his career becomes.

Halifax, Nova Scotia – Jun 30, 2023: Canadian Premier League match between the HFX Wanderers FC and Forge FC at the Wanderers Grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Trevor MacMillan/HFX Wanderers FC)

There has been a lot of talk around the Wanderers fanbase about players moving on from the club (due to positive performances), and while I certainly agree that it seems likely, their performance on Friday night showed that they are 100% focused on this season, fighting for the badge, and understanding that a big move will happen if they continue putting in performances with every ounce of their heart and soul. This is the bittersweet thing about supporting smaller leagues. You get to see players jumpstart their careers and move on to greener pastures.

Still, you also lose players frequently, so your heartache can linger season after season, regardless of how you finish in the league table. And as you can see from some of the images taken at the Wanderers Grounds, these guys love playing for the Wanderers and the fans!

Halifax, Nova Scotia – Jun 30, 2023: Canadian Premier League match between the HFX Wanderers FC and Forge FC at the Wanderers Grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Trevor MacMillan/HFX Wanderers FC)

Standings:

Winning is a cool thing because it moves your team up the standings (something Wanderers fans have only become used to in the last few weeks). After their win against Forge, they moved into fourth place but could stand in second place due to the games they have in hand over Forge and York United. While it will all shake out, it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that this Wanderers squad could challenge for second place in the league (or even first if Pacific loses key players to the transfer market).

Current Record: 3W – 7D – 2L – 16 PTS

Halifax, Nova Scotia – Jun 30, 2023: Canadian Premier League match between the HFX Wanderers FC and Forge FC at the Wanderers Grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Trevor MacMillan/HFX Wanderers FC)

Milestones:

As mentioned above, Dan Nimick opened his professional goal-scoring account. He also had his first assist. Congratulations, Daniel; here is to many more.

As a club, the Wanderers set a new record, as they have now won three home matches in a row. With the majority of the Wanderers’ home matches coming later in the season, they will hope this momentum can carry them into a high-seed playoff spot.

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