08/21/07 — Wilson Fike edges C.B. Aycock

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Wilson Fike edges C.B. Aycock

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 21, 2007 1:48 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Horton Pittman couldn't believe his luck.

The Wilson Fike senior refused to let Charles B. Aycock's defenders disrupt his charge toward goal in the closing seconds of Monday evening's contest. Pittman worked through the defense and found himself alone inside the 6-yard box.

Golden Falcon keeper Brandon Davis drifted too far off his line and left an open space at the near post. Pittman never flinched as he tucked the ball into the net and lifted Fike to a come-from-behind, 2-1 victory on the Hardy Talton Stadium pitch.

"I knew we needed one and knew it had to be done soon," said Pittman. "I just took it and kept getting breaks as I was going (toward goal). Everything just opened up."

Pittman's goal illustrated Fike's game plan for the second half -- work the ball to feet. The Golden Demons, of the Class 3-A NEW 6 Athletic Conference, controlled possession for nearly 30 minutes.

Aycock struggled organizing its offensive attack and constantly lost possession at either midfield or off throw-ins from the sidelines.

"We just sucked back in and left our forwards out there to dry playing a 40- or 50-yard ball, expecting them to play three- or four-on-one," said C.B. Aycock assistant coach Byron Adkins. "We didn't step out. Our defense was right on top of our midfield and that gives them 40 or 50 yards to play with.

"We didn't keep the shape we needed to keep. We didn't play well in the second half."

The Golden Falcons (0-1 overall) broke the scoreless tie with about five minutes left before halftime. Alex Rodriguez, the area's top returning scorer, faced a double-team near the left corner flag. He flicked the ball between both defenders and regained possession inside the 6-yard box.

Just as Fike keeper Justin Brewer rushed out to challenge, Rodriguez fired a perfect strike inside the near post. The Golden Demons answered less than three minutes later on a corner kick.

The teams entered halftime tied at 1-1.

"The first half was kind of sloppy, but we turned it around," said Pittman. "Coach (Toni Varacchi) said we needed to play to feet and play calm; just do what we had to do.

"We stepped it up in the second half."

Fike owned an 11-2 edge in shots during second-half play. Aycock's Davis, who transferred from Wayne Country Day, notched four saves. He stopped two point-blank shots within a five-minute stretch.

Rodriguez got loose on a breakaway late with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Brewer wandered from goal and attempted a slide tackle. The ball bounced past him, but teammate Tucker Brown cleared the ball over the end line.

Aycock threatened one more time, but Drew Musselman's shot sailed just wide of near post. The Golden Falcons, who return nine starters off last year's team, finished with 11 shots overall.

"I thought, shot-wise, we had better chances to score than they did," said Adkins. "I think the right team won tonight. They had a little more drive than we did.

"The performance wasn't terrible, but 20 minutes of not playing made a difference."