Aycock hangs on, sweeps EW in regular-season play
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 11, 2012 1:48 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock hung on for dear life.
Eastern Wayne nearly pulled off an improbable comeback.
The Warriors scored two late goals, but the Golden Falcons survived for a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night at Hardy Talton Stadium. Aycock swept both regular-season meetings in Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play.
The win helped keep the Golden Falcons' slim playoff hopes alive.
Both teams generated possession early on and Aycock cashed in a scoring opportunity in the 14th minute. Kyle Powell settled keeper Brandon Merritt's long goal kick and out-raced multiple Warriors' defenders before firing a shot past Eastern Wayne keeper Brad Makdad.
"These are must-win games," Golden Falcons' assistant coach Byron Adkins said. "To get that first goal kind of settles us down, and takes the pressure off us and puts the pressure on them."
Merritt made a fingertip save on Preston Daly's shot in the 23rd minute. Eastern Wayne squandered a golden scoring opportunity in the 29th minute by being offside. Ethan Zadrozny's shot in the 34th minute missed just wide.
"I thought in some of the more decisive situations that it is difficult if we don't put the ball in the right spot," Warriors' head coach Jorg Wagner said. "If we have a dead ball sitting there we've got to put the ball on the back post that's our only chance. It ends up going hard and low, and we can't do anything with it."
Aycock extended its lead to 2-0 in the 38th minute as Tim Naughton scored on a header off Bailey Lynch's throw-in. Naughton headed home another throw in from Lynch in the 43rd minute.
"Those throw-ins were what I learned from Coach Wagner at Eastern Wayne," Adkins said. "I used exactly what he had taught us when I was there as an assistant coach, and when you have someone as tall as Tim you throw it to the near post and good things happen."
The Golden Falcons continued to create scoring chances until Eastern Wayne appeared to flip a switch with roughly 10 minutes remaining after Aycock made wholesale substitutions.
Victor Kokiko scored off Preston Daly's assist in the 72nd minute to pull the Warriors to within 3-1. Joe Herlihy added an unassisted goal in the 78th minute and Eastern Wayne's last offensive opportunity came on a free kick in stoppage time
"Unfortunately, it took us 70 minutes to get going," Wagner said. "We were able to put some extra pressure on them and bridge the midfield a little bit. Both goals were right well taken. This might have been one of our better shots at a win in the conference."
The Golden Falcons (5-8-3 overall, 4-6-1) visit Wilson Hunt today. The Warriors (2-11-0, 0-10-0) play host to Triton on Monday.
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