Following a September to remember, Newton's Rovers CCBTU were no doubt sad to see the calendar page change to October last Monday.
As the new month began, Surrey's newest team was sitting atop the Vancouver Metro Soccer's League's premier tables with three wins and a tie to show for four outings.
More impressively, all of those results came against traditional VMSL powers. The Rovers' latest victims were the defending Provincial Cup champion Surrey United Firefighters, who were unceremoniously dispatched 3-0 at Newton Athletic Park on Sept. 29.
"We're really happy with the way we're playing right now," said Rovers coach Ted Hans. "We've faced three of the traditional top teams in the league the past three weeks and we beat them all. When I looked at the schedule at the start of the year I thought it was pretty tough but the guys have all stepped up to the challenge. The guys are all really excited about how we're doing and that makes it a lot of fun. The most important thing now is to keep it going and not let success go to our heads."
The Firefighters final tune-up before heading to Winnipeg for the national club championship was a forgettable affair. Surrey fell behind early when Dever Orgill collected a pass from Jonas Fritcsh, sidestepped a Firefighters defender and then deposited ball in the back of the Surrey net.
Rovers' goalkeeper Chris Beck stoned Surrey from point-blank range in the 15th minute and five minutes later, his teammates added a second marker when former Firefighter forward Rizal Ganief scored from long range.
Ganief had a chance to put the Rovers up by three in the first half but Surrey keeper Paul Shepherd stopped his penalty kick.
Bobby Jhutty iced the game for the Rovers when he connected on a penalty kick after Orgill was fouled midway through the second half.
Elsewhere, Newton's ICST Pegasus doubled their goal total for the season in a narrow 2-1 road win over premier newcomers Vancouver Olympics on Sept. 29.
The Horsemen opened the scoring late in the opening frame when Gurj Dhaliwal was fouled in the Olympic goal area. Niko Marcina converted the ensuring penalty kick to put Pegasus up 1-0 at the break.
Marcina struck again midway through the final frame with a curling free kick into the top corner of the Vancouver net.
The Olympics answered with a goal off a penalty kick of their own but were unable to draw any closer before time expired.
On Sunday at John Oliver Park, the Delta Hurricanes were happy to be ungracious hosts by taking three points away from the Metro Ford Wolves with a solid 3-1 win.
Delta opened the scoring in the 15th minute when Phil Lenskey scored on a first half breakaway following some crafty passing by Gurj Sandhu and Harp Khakh.
The Wolves answered quickly with a goal from former Vancouver Whitecap Alfredo Valente to level the count at 1-1. Metro Ford continued to press only to be repeatedly foiled by the outstanding play of Hurricanes goalkeeper Drew Smiley.
Delta regrouped at the break and quickly took over the contest for the final 45 minutes. Khakh put the Hurricanes back on top in the 65th minute with a diving header off a crossing pass from Pavi Dhillon.
Shortly afterward, the Wolves had a midfielder sent off with a red card, cutting the visitors ranks to 10 men. Delta was quick to capitalize on the opportunity as Khakh one-timed a pass from Amar Mander to put the game out of reach.
"Metro Ford is a better team than their record," said Delta manager Billy Dhaliwal. "That game was much closer than the score indicates and, thanks to Drew, we were probably fortunate to be tied 1-1 at halftime. The possession time was probably even in the first half, but they had more of the Grade A scoring chances. Drew kept us close in the first half and then we kind of took over in the second half."
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