09/25/12 — Saints ground Golden Falcons, 3-2

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Saints ground Golden Falcons, 3-2

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on September 25, 2012 1:48 PM

Messenger Sports Writer

DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne learned a lesson in perseverance on Monday night.

The Saints played most of the second half with just 10 players on the field and still managed to rally past Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference rival Charles B. Aycock 3-2 at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex.

"I could not be happier for my guys because I know how hard they had to play tonight to win," Southern Wayne head coach Mario Aguilar said. "We took a step forward in the conference and I hope that it pays off for us in the second half of the season."

The Saints took an early 1-0 lead when Ulyses Ramirez collected a loose ball, and a pair of C.B. Aycock defenders collided and left a clear path to the net.

The Golden Falcons answered in the 28th minute when Bobby Hampton collected a rebound and beat the Southern Wayne keeper. Aycock took a 2-1 lead in the 38th minute when a turnover by the Saints gave Juan Pina an open look at the net.

Southern Wayne tied the game just seconds before halftime when Cesar Benitez collected a pass from Billy Gonzalez and fired a 20-yard shot over the outstretched hands of the Golden Falcons' keeper.

"We had a chance to get to halftime with the lead and we gave up a late goal that kind of gave them the momentum back," C.B. Aycock assistant coach Byron Adkins said. "We are not playing well enough to give away goals and expect that everything will be fine."

The second half was characterized by physical play as both sides drew the referees' attention and cards began flying.

Southern Wayne (7-4-1 overall, 4-2-0 ECC) went down to 10 men in the 50th minute when Victor Velazquez got his second yellow and subsequent red card, and was ejected.

Despite the disadvantage, the Saints maintained their aggressive play and managed to create a critical scoring chance in the 74th minute. After a Golden Falcon foul, Ulyses Ramirez took a free kick and fired a long shot into the box. Somehow the ball eluded the keeper and two C.B. Aycock defenders, and bounced to Anuar Ramirez.

Ramirez made a sliding play and deflected the ball into the net for the game-winning score.

"When we went down to 10 guys we had to move one of our forwards back into the midfield," Aguilar said. "I didn't know how we were going to create a scoring chance, but Anuar made a nice play and the ball went in."

The final minutes featured significant pressure by the Golden Falcons, but only one shot on goal that sailed high over the crossbar.