By Ryan Eakin
BARRIE - The Simcoe County Rovers drew the Blue Devils FC 1-1 on Sunday afternoon to begin their 2022 season with a 0-1-0 record.
After conceding the opening goal in the 46th minute on a goal by Taha Ilyass, the Rovers tied the game a minute later on a goal from Leaford Allen off a corner kick.
Goalkeeper Daniel Buckley was outstanding in net for the Rovers.
BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: After allowing a goal in the first minute of the second half, Allen's header salvaged one point for the home side on Sunday.
BY THE NUMBERS…
5: There were five yellow cards handed out in this game. Three to the Rovers and two to the Blue Devils, with one of the yellow cards against the Blue Devils going to their head coach Duncan Wilde.
47: Allen's goal, which was the first goal in Rovers history, came in the 47th minute.
INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM…
Rovers head coach Jason Beckford on what he liked most about his team’s performance: “I thought we showed good fight and resilience against an elite League1 team. We were very direct and did well in taking a point. We scored at the right time – right after they scored – so I am impressed. It was the first game, so to come away with a point, I am okay with that. Of course we always want to get three points but the way the game played out today and the way Oakville played, I thought we handled it really well.
Beckford on if today went how he expected it to go: “Pretty much,” he chuckled. “The game was about second balls and there were plays that forced us to understand what we were up against. The game also got very stretched in the second half and I think we put a little bit of pressure on ourselves when it comes to our ball making decisions. But I think as we continue to play more games and continue to understand this league, we will learn how to manage the game better.”
Beckford on what he wants to see from his club the next time out: “I want us to express ourselves, as we are an attack-minded team. That is the number one thing I want to see from us in the next game.”
Beckford on the fan support: “It was great to see people actually come out and support the team. Hopefully they will be here every week, because we believe that we are going to play a brand of football that will be entertaining”
LOOKING AHEAD: The men travel to L'Amoreaux Sports Complex to face Master’s FA (1-0-0) on Saturday (8:00 pm) for their first road game of the 2022 season.
From there, the Rovers return home on Saturday, May 7 against Burlington FC. Kick off is set for 7:00 pm.