By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 10, 2009 10:36 AM
Eastern Wayne had North Johnston staggering.
Nick Baker delivered the knockout punch.
Baker's header into the back of the net off a cross into the 18-yard box on Leslie Cox's corner kick in the 72nd minute put the finishing touches on the Warriors' 3-1 non-conference victory at Little Big Horn on Wednesday evening.
"2-1 is a very uncomfortable score to play with," said Eastern Wayne head coach Jorg Wagner. "After they scored, I thought we handled it fairly well. They had to push numbers up and we were able to sneak one in. It was a very well taken corner and an even better header.
"Nick was wide open in the middle and there was nothing the keeper could have done."
The Warriors led 2-0 midway through the second half until Harrison Grady scored on Hunter Brame's assist in the 62nd minute to pull the Panthers within 2-1.
"The goal they scored was a well-taken shot," said Wagner. "If that's all we're giving up, I felt good about our effort defensively. We're slowly starting to understand that we can't spot anyone three, four or five goals and hope to win the game."
Eastern Wayne threatened in the first half when Baker's point-blank shot was turned away by North Johnston keeper Jake Whitton. Brame appeared to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute after scoring on a header but the goal was waived off on an offsides call.
Eric Suncin put the Warriors in front 1-0 after his bending corner kick in the 28th minute beat Whitton.
"This one everyone apparently was under the impression that it was going to hit the side net which it didn't," said Wagner. "The keeper let it go and Eric comes out with his arms raised. I don't think he even knew whether it was going in."
Sang Kim stretched the margin to 2-0 after sticking a shot in the bottom right corner of the goal in the 33rd minute. Eastern Wayne finished with a 12-7 advantage in shots on goal, but was also whistled for being offsides six times.
"I thought they probably had more chances in the first half, but we probably had one or two more solid chances," said Wagner. "On another night, a little hop and the ball is in the back of the net and you can go into halftime up 4-0 and the game is over."
The Warriors (3-3-1 overall) entertain state-ranked Rocky Mount on Monday.
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