Jeffersonville, IN (July 2) The Dayton Dutch Lions FC (3-3-4 13 points) travelled down south to take on the third place Derby City Rovers (5-3-2 17 points). The home team scored twice in the opening 15 minutes and convincingly beat the Lions 4-1. The loss ended a two-game losing streak for the Rovers and a four-game non-losing streak for Dayton.
The Lions squad, beset with injuries, were missing numerous starters as they took the pitch. The Rovers were attack minded from the beginning and were able to get several chances in the opening minutes. At the 10 minute mark, they got their first goal and doubled the score 4 minutes later.
“The PDL style is played at a very high tempo, very direct and physical. Unfortunately, that isn’t easy to manage for less experienced players. Our roster has good talent from top to bottom, but the experience level drops a bit for us and that is something that you just cannot hide,” stated Club Director Ric Campbell. “Being only 10 games into the season, some of our men just have not gotten enough minutes to have the experience to deal with the pressure that comes in our matches.”
“The good news is that we will grow from playing in games like tonight.”
The Rovers added another goal prior to the halftime whistle and led 3-0.
At halftime, Head Coach Sid van Druenen instructed the players to be more aggressive, do not give them so much space and to play with greater pressure. The first half was not the level of soccer that Lions have shown all year.
The Dayton players took the instruction and used it on the pitch. The front five were pressing the ball at every opportunity and the back five were eliminating space and aggressively winning the 50-50 balls. The Lions were controlling the play and had several good chances to score. Twice they hit post and the Rovers keeper was forced to make two brilliant saves.
In the 62nd minute, the Rovers were very opportunistic and stole a goal against the run of play to take a 4-0 lead.
“I am pleased with the pride in which the boys played in the second half,” said van Druenen. “I asked them to play in the manner we have all year and they changed. We were getting quality chances and should have had 2 or 3 goals. Hit the post twice, their keeper makes a couple great saves and then they sneak a goal. We could have just gave up, but they did not. They played hard the remaining 30 minutes, got a goal and can be pleased with the second half.”
“The Rovers are a good squad and they took it to us in the first half. I like how we responded and if we play with the same effort and intensity on Wednesday, I believe we will have a much better result.”
The Lions continued to push after the goal and in the 70th minute got on the scoreboard. They had earned their fourth corner kick of the half and the ball was crossed into the box. The Lions headed on goal, but the ball was knocked down by a Derby defender and handball was called. Eric Lynch stepped up and hammered the penalty kick home to make the score 4-1.
As Coach van Druenen shared, the Lions were a different team in the second half and gave a strong 45 minutes.
Dayton has their final two home matches of the year as they host the Rovers this Wednesday, July 6th at 7:30 pm. The game will be at the Doc Stadium on the campus of West Carrollton high school.
They will be part of a doubleheader on Saturday, July 9th when the play the Kokomo Mantis at 7:30 pm. This will follow the Lady Lions 5:00 pm match versus FC Pride.
Tickets for all matches are available online at www.ddlfc.com or at the ticket gate one hour prior to kickoff. Adults $8.00 and youth $5.00…..5 and under are always free.