League1 Ontario Men’s: Blue Devils Hit Darby For Five
Sunday action in League1 Ontario Men’s Division from Sheridan College saw home side Blue Devils defeat Whitby-based Darby FC 5-0. The Oakville-based Blue Devils remain unbeaten in what has been an impressive start to the year for them.
Having drawn their last game scoreless at Alliance United, the Blue Devils were looking to get back on track. The same could be said for Darby, who lost their last three games going into the match.
The hosts nearly found the goal just a few minutes in. Adam Czerkawski broke through, but was denied by Darby keeper Matt Zaikos. That came minutes after Brandon Duarte also had his effort denied.
Darby’s best chances in the game came in the opening quarter of the match. Christopher Badibengi was found in the box by Jayden Doyle, but the striker’s attempt was easily saved by Lucas Birnstingl.
The visitor’s best chance fell to Dylan Campbell 23 minutes in. He was also thwarted by Birnstingl.
Less than a minute later, Darby was made to pay: A long ball played over the top found Czerkawski, who smartly lobbed Zaikos to put the Blue Devils in front.
The Blue Devils had more control of the game, winning the majority of first balls and looking more threatening. While Darby did well to keep them at bay, there was only so much that Hermann Kingue’s team could do.
With five minutes to go before the interval, the home side doubled their advantage. Duarte slipped in Czerkawski, who made no mistake in netting his second goal of the game.
The game started to get a bit chippy in the second half as Darby did their best to get back into the tie. Several yellow cards were dished out, but the visitors failed to create meaningful chances.
Czerkawski and Duarte would change roles on the third goal, as the former did well to keep a solid counter attack into play. The ball was played back across to Duarte, who converted his chance to put the game out of reach.
The Blue Devils made it 4-0 with 15 minutes to play after a mistake in clearing across allowed for substitute Damola Akanni to slot the ball home.
Things reached its boiling point after that: while trying to retrieve the ball to restart the game, Darby’s Guedei Djimi allegedly caught James Lima, resulting in a scuffle. When the dust settled, the referee brandished both players yellow cards.
However, Lima was insistent that the Darby substitute should have seen red for his actions. He ended up going too far with his complaints, as the ref sent him off before the game was restarted.
Despite going down to ten men, the Blue Devils looked comfortable holding on to their lead. In stoppage time, they would get a penalty. Czerkawski was again involved, as the versatile defender was fouled by Abdul Hamad in the box. Taking the penalty he won, Czerkawski made no mistake, striking his spot kick just past Zaikos.
The match finished 5-0, taking the hosts to 14 points from six games. They will be at home again next Sunday for what will be a top game against Sigma FC.
As for Darby, now losers of four straight, they remain on six points from as many games. The Whitby club will be in it tight to be in the League1 Ontario Premier Division next season. Their next game will be on Saturday away to North Toronto Nitros.
Header Image Photo Credit: Dion Smith