DUDLEY — The West Johnston Wildcats defeated the Southern Wayne Saints 4-0 on Wednesday to end the Saints’ five-game winning streak.
Early on in the match, the Saints and Wildcats appeared evenly matched, and neither team was able to hold on to possession of the ball for long.
Both teams struggled to create meaningful chances as both defenses did a good job of stopping the ball before the attacker could enter the penalty box.
The only real chance in the first 30 minutes of the match was a header from a West Johnston attacker who rose above the Saints defense to connect with the ball. Although his header was on target, it was saved by the Southern Wayne goalkeeper.
The first goal of the game came in the 34th minute when West Johnston forward Sam Langness was illegally tackled in the penalty box by one of the Southern Wayne defenders.
The illegal tackle gave midfielder Chris Cardenas a penalty kick which he converted to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
The penalty kick only gave West Johnston a 1-0 lead, but the Saints started to lose their intensity after the goal.
The second half of the match was all Wildcats, and the Saints struggled on both ends of the ball. West Johnston defender Ryan Flegel started off the second half by scoring a long shot goal that was almost from half field. The goal gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead in the 44th minute.
Flegel scored again later in the half on a shot that the goalkeeper let slip through his hands to give West Johnston a 3-0 lead.
The last goal of the game was scored by West Johnston on a shot from Ryan McClymonds to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead. After the 80 minutes of play was up, the score remained at 4-0 in West Johnston’s favor.
Southern Wayne head coach Luis Ramirez said that although he was disappointed at the loss against West Johnston, at least his team will no longer have the pressure of trying to remain undefeated.
“I hate losing, but we know it is part of the game,” Ramirez said. “I told everybody to pick their head up, and that we still have a long season. We take this first loss and we will get that off our chest because I do feel like it was a little bit of pressure with that five-game streak.”
With the loss, Southern Wayne falls to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the Quad County 3A conference. West Johnston improves to 3-2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Quad County 3A conference with the win.
Southern Wayne will play again on Monday when they take on Hunt in Wilson at 6 p.m.