Ponoka FC surges ahead in men’s soccer league

Ponoka FC, the leaders in the Battle River Men’s Soccer League, have handsomely beat their closest follower

Ponoka FC’s Eric Escheid (17) scores the fourth goal of the local squad against Manluk in the second half of the game with a midrange shot on the high school soccer field on Sunday

Ponoka FC’s Eric Escheid (17) scores the fourth goal of the local squad against Manluk in the second half of the game with a midrange shot on the high school soccer field on Sunday

Ponoka FC, the leaders in the Battle River Men’s Soccer League, have handsomely beat their closest follower, Manluk of Wetaskiwin 5-1 on home turf on Sunday, June 15 consolidating their lead and improving their chances of finishing the regular season at the top of the table.

It was a slow start to the game on the part of the local squad, testing the visitors’ defenses with efforts to sneak through with short passes and with taking shots from outside the 18-yard area.

But the first goal game through a counter attack when Josh Simons used his dribbling skills to get close the Manluk net and open the scoring from right outside the six-yard box.

It was in the second half, though, when Ponoka guys stepped up their offensive effort and scored one after another, including the fifth goal in the final minutes of the game by Gurjit Sandhu. Other points were scored by Elzard Visscher, Jordan Vogel and Eric Ehscheid.

“We focused on defense in the first half and then we got into our rhythm in the second half,” said coach Rich Evans of the Ponoka FC.

Evans appreciates the value of a rich roster on his team with up to 20 players ready to dress up for a game.

Asked about the reasons for the successful performance of the Ponoka FC so far in the league, Evans said they were always thinking and acting like a team.

“We always prioritize defense, but we never stay back when it comes to taking our chances,” he said after the 5-1 win over Manluk.

Ponoka FC still has eight games to play, four of them at home before the start of the playoff season.

Next week’s game is away with Diablo FC.