Ponoka’s representative in the Battle River Men’s Soccer League FC Storm managed to come out with a 3-2 win from their first home game of the season against Camrose on Monday, May 18 despite having been left with only nine men on the field after controversial officiating led to heightened tensions and ejection of two Storm players.
Camrose struck in just the second minute of the game through a free kick and it took the hosts about 10 minutes to reel from the shock and start to control the midfield. 15 minutes into the first half, Eric Eischeid scored from within the 18-yard box and 10 minutes later he added another goal to the scorecard from a corner kick. The visitors equalized in another 10 minutes through a swift counter-attack and that was when the tensions began to build up.
After two consecutive decisions by the referee awarding the ball to the visitors in positions which appeared unjustified, Storm captain Brad Normandeaux disputed both calls and was shown a yellow card in each case and was ejected about eight minutes before halftime at 2-2.
After the halftime break, Storm returned to the game with a determination to control the midfield and managed to hold the visitors at bay although Camrose did find a few shots at the Ponoka net. Midway through the second half, Jason Duddy of Storm was brought down in midfield with a hard foul and when he kicked the opponent out of anger, he was shown the red card.
Despite the declining odds of winning the game with nine men, Storm continued to fight for the ball and both the players and the bench breathed a sigh of relief when Storm’s Gurjit Sandhu scored with a 25-yard shot 15 minutes from the end of regulation.
Camrose put in a great effort to equalize but failed to penetrate the defensive line of the hosts and the game ended with the score of 3-2 for the hosts.