Prospects Men claim first PCSL win


Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Men recorded their first Pacific Coast Soccer League victory of the season after a 2-1 win at Khalsa Sporting Club on Sunday afternoon.

Bart Choufour's youngsters had yet to win in the PCSL's Premier Division this season, but with the additions of Whitecaps Residency duo Drew Russell and Marcus Johnstone, and first-team midfielder Stefan Leslie, the Prospects were able to claim their first points of 2008.

Playing in a 4-3-3 formation at Port Coquitlam's Gates Park, it was Ian Clark that struck the first chance of the game over the home side's crossbar on 19 minutes. Six minutes later, Gavin Barrett was unable to take advantage of a poor Khalsa back pass, as he missed the target from close range.

At the other end, Khalsa's Donald Kambere got in behind Whitecaps defender Flo Liu before causing a scare with a dangerous cross on 32 minutes before the home side took the lead eight minutes later through Shev Fortunato's penalty after a Khalsa defender was taken down in the Prospects' box.

The visitors nearly leveled matters just before the break, but the Khalsa goalkeeper was able to stop Russell's close-range opportunity.

For the game's restart, Choufour introduced Johnstone, Milad Mehrabi, and Nat Blaiklock to the action, with the Whitecaps taking the initiative soon after.

On 51 minutes, Johnstone knocked a rebound just wide after the Khalsa keeper failed to deal with Mason Trafford's free kick effort from 20 yards out. On 66 minutes, Johnstone forced a good save from Khalsa keeper with a header off a Ben Hemphill free kick.

Three minutes later, the Prospects drew themselves level. Leslie fed the ball to Blaiklock before he set up Mehrabi to go one-on-one with his marker on the edge of the Khalsa box. Mehrabi turned his opponent before slotting home a fine finish into the far corner of the goal for 1-1.

Full of confidence, the Whitecaps went searching for their first win, with Branden McLean shooting off target before substitute Jordan Whitehead forced the Khalsa keeper into a fine one-on-one save. The Khalsa shot-stopper then denied a Trafford free kick effort with eight minutes remaining, but the visitors would not be denied.

With three minutes to go, Johnstone secured the Prospects first PCSL win after slotting home Leslie's reverse pass for the 2-1 away result.

The Prospects Men now move on to Wednesday night and an away game with Peace Arch United at South Surrey Athletic Park. Khalsa, meanwhile, face Vancouver Thunderbirds next Saturday in their next league game.


Whitecaps Prospects Men - line-up v Khalsa Sporting Club

Coady Nett; Branden McLean, Ben Leggett, Mason Trafford, Flo Liu (Nat Blaiklock 45', Lawrence Buchan 83'); Stefan Leslie, Rhys Volkenant, Ben Hemphill (Jordan Whitehead 77'); Ian Clark, Drew Russell (Marcus Johnstone 45'), Gavin Barrett (Milad Mehrabi 45')