When rivals meet, the stakes are raised. And Dexter proved to be big-time players when the game was on the line, rallying for an impressive 2-1 win over visiting Chelsea on Thursday.
The 12th ranked Dreads improved to 14-4-1 on the season and 7-2-0 in the SEC White Division.
Chelsea opened up the scoring when they took advantage of a Dexter defensive miscue and made them pay with their lone goal, 14:13 left in the first half.
“We had a good amount of play but Chelsea made good on their early possessions and did well to pressure our play out of the back,” said Dexter Coach Scott Forrester.
That pressure took advantage of a Dread defender out of position and capitalized on the break down.
“Chelsea is a good team,” Forrester said. “They have good players and are well coached. This rivalry match will help us grow as a team as the season nears its end.”
The Dreads did well to fight back and were finally rewarded with an unassisted goal by Cole Harreld with 9:36 left in the half.
With the scored tied 1-1, both teams came out in the second half and played some good soccer. Chelsea played more evenly in the second half and created more chances for themselves. But Dreadnaught keeper Cole Harreld came up big in goal while backs Connor Flaherty, Caden Doll, Nick Preuth and Andy Dolan went the distance in the game.
Near the final minutes of the contest both teams seemed to change their formations which created some better offensive options. And that allowed a good run through the defense for Ryan Sanders for his game-winning goal with 2:09 left in the match.
“It was funny,” Forrester said. “Sanders had to come off in the first half because a Chelsea player’s cleats broke his shoe laces. Harreld went on for him because of the equipment issue. Then Ryan subbed on for Cole and scored the game winner.”
Dexter returns to action this Saturday for a home non-conference match up with Parma Western. Kickoff for the JV match is at 3 p.m. and the varsity around 4:30 p.m. This game will be a preview to the Dreads’ first-round District match as they drew Western as their opponent.