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Royals Keep Marching On With Caughron's Game-Winner

Woodland FC continued their march toward the league title with a decent showing in their rematch against Northland FC. The Royals emerged victorious thanks to the scoring efforts of Brett Jackson, Joseph Caughron, and Brennan Williams.

Northland came into the match in a bit of freefall having lost two matches in a row, one of them being this very Woodland team just under a fortnight ago. Woodland, on the other hand, came into the match with a 4-match winning streak in tact. It was a clash of two teams heading in opposite directions.

Despite that, Northland came out of the blocks ready to play. Woodland came out fairly sluggish, misplaying passes, indecisive, or miscommunicating. Northland was able to generate some shots early, but Naguib Nassir, who made his Woodland FC starting debut, was equal to the task in goal.

"The important quality this team has is that they don't panic when the heat is turned on a bit. We see pressure as a gift, and we must respond rightly. That's why men have broad shoulders--to carry heavy moments," coach Harris said after the match.

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Just before the hydration break from the heat (90+ degrees at kickoff), the Royals were able to strike. The increasingly dangerous Haddon DeMoure was able to break through on the right side, round his defender, and send in a low cross that Brett Jackson was able to tap in from close range. It is Jackson's 3rd consecutive match with a goal, and his 4th in three games.

"He's in form, and his off the ball movement is exceptional. He's made us so much deadlier," coach Harris added.

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Shortly after the restart, another young gun on this Royals' squad would make a contribution. Andersson Obando and Greg Fiorentino forced an errant pass due to excellent pressing. Pierre Bellerice collected the ball, and played a perfectly weighted through ball to Joseph Caughron who took one touch in the box, and calmly slotted it home. It was Caughron's 1st of the season.

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The Royals would get another 3-goal lead in the first half of a match thanks to a spectacular direct free kick from Brennan Williams, his 2nd free kick he's converted this season. The keeper didn't even dive for it.

The Royals would try to add to their lead before halftime, but Northland's keeper Jeremy Skinner made multiple incredible saves to deny Woodland.

"I made a point to tell him after the match that the saves were excellent, and that he should be proud of himself for denying rebounds as well. Our whole bench was talking about how well he played," Harris said when asked about Skinner's performance.

{ Halftime }

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Shortly into the 2nd half, Northland found a breakthrough on the heels of an unfortunate mishap on defense. Johnathan Young lost his footing while trying to turn away from a defender, and in his effort to recover the ball, was adjudged to have brought down a Northland attacker. Northland calmly converted the penalty put the score at 3-1 Woodland.

There was a smattering of chances throughout the 2nd-half for both teams, but each team was unable to find that decisive final touch. Andersson Obando came closest with a half-volley 7 yards from goal, but pulled it inches wide.

This win pulls Woodland to 21 pts (7-0-1) in 8 matches played. They enter the midway point of the season with a 3-point lead on 2nd place, and a game in hand.

Their next match is at home against Liberty FC on Friday, June 21st, at 6PM at Charles J. Stump Memorial Park Field #3.

You can watch the replay of the match here on our Youtube channel.

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