The Surrey United Firefighters started off the New Year in much the same fashion as they ended the old one - with a win.
The Firemen hit the road Saturday where they blanked Norvan Pacific 3-0 to run their Vancouver Metro Soccer League premier division win streak to five games.
Playing with just 11 men and no hope of substitution help in the event of an injury, the defending provincial champions knew exactly what to expect from Norvan since the two teams had faced each other two weeks earlier on the eve of the Christmas break.
"It was kind of strange because we had just played them," said Surrey coach Rob Reed. "Playing a team back-to-back doesn't happen very often in this league and it's very hard to win those games because they can still remember what you like to do and what works well against you. So there were a lot of things stacked against us, but full credit to our guys for getting the job done."
Surrey opened the scoring in the 15th minute when midfielder Colin Streckman headed home a pass from Ravinder Jammu.
The score stayed that way through halftime but Norvan came out of the break strong thanks to the insertion of former Vancouver Whitecap Martin Nash. The Firefighters weathered the storm and then doused Norvan's fire when a Streckman shot from 25-yards out found the top corner of the home team's net double Surrey's lead.
United then iced the win with a late goal by Jeff Clarke.
While Surrey United's stock is rising, the fortunes of Newton's Rovers CCBTU continue to tumble. The league's early season Cinderellas have now dropped six games in a row after being thumped 4-1 by visiting Croatia Saturday.
Rizal Ganief opened the scoring for the Rovers on a free kick in the 10th minute but it was all down hill after that as Croatia scored three times before halftime and cruised to the win.
Elsewhere, Newton's ICST Pegasus continued their climb up the standings by passing the Rovers and moving into fifth place thanks to a 1-1 draw with the Hibernians in Richmond.
Javid Khan set up Jag Gill for the lone Pegasus goal in Richmond.
The Delta Hurricanes closed out the weekend with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against powerhouse West Van at John Oliver Park Sunday afternoon.
After a scoreless opening half, West Van finally broke the scoreboard goose egg early in the final frame. The Hurricanes stormed back and created several quality scoring chances that ultimately came up empty. With time winding down in the game, Delta salvaged a point in the standings when playing-coach Steve Millar set up Joey Brar for the equalizer.