Wedensday morning and early afternoon the Hamilton FC Rage, both men’s PDL and women’s W-League teams, visited Toronto to take on the Lynx. Hamilton FC opened up its inaugural season in a somewhat disappointing fashion, battling hard with the Toronto Lynx but eventually falling 2-0. The game was played at Centennial Stadium in front of a crowd of about 150.
Both Toronto goals came in the first half as the Lynx took advantage of some early Hamilton FC nerves and tentative play. Leigh Veidman put the Lynx on the scoreboard after only 8 minutes. Hamilton was able to settle down following the early goal conceded and enjoyed much of the run of play in the first half forcing a wonderful high-flying save from Lynx keeper Michael Watkins on a shot from Josh Bennett. Another HFC effort was scrambled off the Lynx goal line at about the 30 minute mark. A Lynx counter-attack combined with a Hamilton defensive mix-up gifted Toronto a second goal though Jelani Smith at the 40 minute mark.
The second half was entertaining as Hamilton moved the ball around nicely and applied pressure to the Toronto Lynx goal. HFC defender, Dominic Bell made a great run through the Lynx defense only to have his shot saved by Watkins. Toronto defended well throughout the second half and hit Hamilton a couple of times on the counter attack, only to have their shots go wide of the target.
William Grocott and Dominic Bell had three shots while Josh Bennett had two shots for Hamilton. Khody Ellis, Scott McCoubrey, Adam Bond and Sean Pike all recorded one shot a piece. Alex Mitchell made three saves in the contest.
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In the afternoon the women’s teamor of the W-League took to the pitch. Much like the men’s game the Toronto Lady Lynx would take a 2-0 lead on HFC, but Hamilton retaliated with two goals of their own. Diamond Simpson scored the first goal in the 45th minute and Olivia Mbala scored the second, tying the game 2-2 in the 51st minute.
Toronto’s Christine Exeter would put one more goal in the net to clinch the match 3-2 in the 82nd minute. Justine Bernier made eight saves for Hamilton.
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Both teams will have home openers this coming Sunday afternoon at Ivor Wynne Stadium. The ladies play at 2pm followed by the men’s team at 6pm. Adult tickets for both games are just $10 and can be purchased on www.hamiltonfc.com or at the stadium on gameday. Both games will be televised live on Cable 14.
Special thanks to Hamilton FC for the detailed recap of the men’s game.