Campbell Strike Decides Intense 905 Derby
For the second week running, Forge claims a crucial away win courtesy of an early goal. This time, it came against local rivals York United.
The hosts made four changes from last weekend’s reverse against Atletico Ottawa: it was a new central defensive pairing as Roger Thompson and Paris Gee partnered up. The Nine Stripes were forced into an important pre-game switch-up, as former Forge player Mo Babouli did not feel right after taking a shot. The Syrian was replaced by Osaze De Rosario in the lineup.
The Hammers came into this one with five changes from Sunday night. After failing to start the last two games, Tristan Borges returned the starting eleven, playing the midfield. Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson moved into his preferred defensive midfield role, replacing Alessandro Hojabrpour. Dominic Samuel stepped into central defense to accommodate the Swede, who also had the armband today.
The first good chance of the game came 12 minutes in, as Borges had a sight at goal from just outside the box. His effort was awkardly saved by Niko Giantsopoulos. Moments later, York had a glorious chance at the other end. In the second phase off a corner, Max Ferrari’s cross was met by De Rosario. Triston Henry did well to thwart the York United striker.
Twenty minutes in, the goal that would ultimately separate the two teams came. Terran Campbell did well to hold up Manjrekar James’ long ball. The striker got it to his strike partner Woobens Pacius, who played it back to him. Hitting it first time, Campbell’s shot curled away from Giantsopoulos, who could not keep it out despite getting a piece of the effort.
The guests would nearly double their lead in the 34th minute, as Noah Jensen picked off Kevin Santos in York’s defensive third. The Forge midfielder picked out Campbell with his cross, but the goalscorer could not nod the ball on target. Moments later, Kwasi Poku and Borges combined in the York United penalty area, but the former was denied by Giantsopoulos to keep the home side in the game.
The hosts had another big moment just minutes after the restart, as Santos had an effort on goal, but was denied by Henry. That was one of York’s 14 shots in the game (three on target), and their best chance in the second period.
Forge seemed to always look dangerous when attacking in this one, as many of their 13 attempts (five on target) giving the York defense something to think about. While they were outshot for the second successive game, it was the Hammers who had the better of the clear cut opportunities.
As one would expect, this 905 Derby was quite chippy for large parts of the game. A total of seven yellow cards were brandished. Yet, the match would not end without one more piece of drama as Forge substitute Ashtone Morgan was given his marching orders in stoppage time for violent conduct towards Ferrari.
Still, the left-back’s dismissal late on would not deny Forge the three points. The Hamiltonians move into sole possession of first place for now, though they could be dragged back down to second if Valour defeats HFX Wanderers on Saturday. Bobby Smyrniotis’ side will host Valour in their next league game, but not before welcoming Atletico Ottawa to Tim Hortons Field on Tuesday in their Canadian Championship quarterfinal. It will be the pair’s first meeting since Forge won their third North Star Shield at Ottawa’s expense last October.
York, losing their second game of the season, welcomes MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps in their Canadian Championship clash which will take place on Wednesday. The Nine Stripes’ next league game will be at Starlight Stadium in BC against Pacific FC.
Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques