York9 FC Wins 905 Derby In Five Goal Thriller
The only 905 Derby of the Island Games’ regular season unfolded on a sunny Wednesday afternoon, with the explosive game seeing York9 FC edge out rival side Forge FC in a hard-fought 3-2 game.
The result sees York9 FC jump back up to third place, while Forge FC retains its second place position in the table despite today’s derby loss.
Jim Brennan started three players brand new to the 905 Derby, with left-back Fugo Segawa filling in for Abzi due to injury, youngster Ijah Halley getting the start in midfield, and Real Madrid Academy producer Alvaro Rivero leading the attack.
Forge FC would see Bobby Smyrniotis hand Monti Mohsen his first start (and appearance) in the Island Games, with the 20-year-old joining a tried-and-true defensive line of Krutzen, Edgar, and Samuel. CPL-U SPORTS Draft pick Gabriel Balbinotti started up top, with Cisse and Choiniere on the flanks.
Forge FC would probe early, with Segawa tackling well inside the box in the game’s opening minutes to avoid the tournament’s eleventh penalty, and Sabak finding space for tricky footwork inside the box before being dispossessed by Doner.
A moment of magic from Joseph Di Chiara forced Henry into a fine save, showing that the Nine Stripes were well up for the derby, too.
The midfielder would continue to be a tricky problem for Forge FC, earning a freekick right outside the box in the twenty-sixth minute. An absolute rocket from from team captain Manny Aparicio struck the post, with Kyle Porter then redirecting the rebound back into the net with a tidy finish to give the Nine Stripes the lead.
Back and forth action would then see both goalkeepers called into action, with Ijah Halley continuing to show the same fearless runs on the ball that he demonstrated during his debut against Atletico Ottawa.
Another set piece opportunity would see a curving delivery from Kyle Porter fly to Joseph Di Chiara, who’s backwards header slotted perfectly into the opposite corner of the net to double the lead for the York Region side.
Forge FC would show it had the quality to fight back late in the first half, with a close header from Balbinotti going just wide of the net, and a header from Edgar forcing a stop from Ingham minutes later.
Half-time would see Smyrniotis bring on Novak for Bekker and Nanco for Balbinotti in an effort to spur on the hammer’s offense, with Chris Nanco immediately bringing his side’s deficit down to one goal with a great run and clever finish in the fiftieth minute:
The Nine Stripes would suffer an utter collapse moments later, with a set piece opportunity seeing Ingham make two saves but watch helplessly as the third immediate Forge effort found Achinioti-Jonsson, who’s first-ever goal for the hammers made it all square in the 905 Derby:
The eleventh penalty of the Island Games would come minutes later after centre-back Roger Thompson headed the ball right into the outstretched arm of Daniel Krutzen, with the referee immediately pointing to the spot. Up stepped Joseph Di Chiara, firing left for a derby brace that now places him as a golden boot leader alongside Jordan Brown:
There were grave looks of concern from the Nine Stripes bench as goalkeeper Nathan Ingham went down in the eighty-third, with teenager Ezequiel Carrasco immediately getting ready to step in – though Ingham proved able to stay on the pitch.
Moments later, astounding footwork from Paolo Sabak saw the Belgian midfielder drift beyond several defenders with the hammer unable to ultimately to finish the chance. Nanco headed the resulting corner kick agonizingly wide of the net, with the Hamilton-based side dominating the game’s final minutes.
York9 FC was able to hold on for the final whistle, securing a vital 3-2 victory for a side which had previously drawn all three of its matches.
Nine Stripes gaffer Jim Brennan had said he wasn’t worried about his side missing the group stage, of which only the top four sides from the regular season will enter. Today’s win sees York9 FC climb back up to thirdd in the league table, with their next test coming against the Halifax Wanderers on Saturday.
Forge FC remain in second place, with Bobby Smyrniotis perhaps taking some solace in the fact that he was finally able to build up some of the required youth minutes for his team – though he made it very clear after the game that he was unhappy with the today’s refereeing. With his side facing expansion side Atletico Ottawa on Sunday, the reigning champions will be expecting to bounce back with three points.