Okanagan FC 2-1 Penticton Pinnacles
OFC opened up their home PCSL campaign with a hard fought win over fierce local rivals Penticton. Played on a beautiful sunny day at The Apple Bowl in front of an excited and enthusiastic crowd of around 600 people, the game produced some great soccer, lots of goalmouth action and incident, and a couple of moments of high drama.
Right from the kickoff the home team indicated their intent to attack the visitors with everything they had, and at every opportunity. OFC were unlucky not to take a very early lead, denied twice by the keeper and once by the woodwork in the opening 5 minutes. Boosted by a great atmosphere inside the stadium, OFC continued to press and create chances, enjoying long periods of possession and getting closer and closer to opening the scoring.
They had the ball in the net on 20 minutes, only for Braden Peters’ effort to be ruled out for offside, a very close call. Finally, on the half hour mark, and after relentless pressure, the breakthrough came when OFC striker Randy Hubber fired home bar down from the edge of the box….a great effort, and a great feeling !
Penticton would have felt fortunate to go into the half time break at only 1-0 down. The visitors took the opportunity to reorganize and adjust their game plan, and came out for the second half looking much stronger. OFC still were enjoying lots of time with the ball, but their guests started to look more and more dangerous as the game went on, and began to give OFC some nervy moments at the back. The equalizer came on the hour mark, after a spell of PFC pressure….their striker pouncing on a loose ball from close range.
At this point, the game could have gone either way, and both teams went in search of the winning goal as the game opened up and turned into an entertaining end to end match. Randy Hubber twice went close to grabbing the goal that OFC were desperately looking for, only to see his shot fly inches wide on both occasions. However, he was not to be denied, and in the final minutes…just as the game seemed to be heading for a tie…Hubber fired home the winning goal after Spencer Young’s furious effort came back off the bar.
Jubilant scenes followed at The Apple Bowl as OFC managed to close out the game and seal the 3 points…a well deserved, if somewhat hard fought, victory over a tough and resilient Penticton team.
Next up is Mid Isle Mariners, from Nanaimo, at The Apple Bowl this coming Saturday, 4pm kick off….OFC will be looking for another good performance and 3 more points, as they go in search of a PCSL playoff spot in their first season in the league.
Pictures courtesy of One10 Photography