City's loss to Windsor a 'nightmare'

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

There was one good thing that came out of London City's dismal 5-0 loss to Windsor Border Stars last night.

The Rogers Television production truck that stores the equipment needed to show the game, broke down and left early in the first half.

The station normally tapes the games and shows them the next day. There'll be no tape of last night's game.

The Canadian Soccer League team had a night to forget at Cove Road last night.

Aaron Byrd blitzed City for three goals, while Dadek Dapiez and Gino Berardi scored the others.

It was a disappointing performance considering City had played so well against Toronto Croatia a week earlier in a 1-1 tie.

City saw first hand what can happen when they use players who are also signed to other teams. A number of players who were part of last week's effort were missing because of commitments to their club sides for the Ontario Cup.

With so many players missing, Mike Sawchuk, who played well on the backline, wound up having to play a striker's position.

He was clearly missed.

"You can't keep changing players all the time," player-coach Gentjan Dervishi said. "We represent London in a higher league. We can't play like that.

"Mike is a forward who last week played at the back because we had no stopper. Tonight, we had no strikers so he had to play up front. We can't play with the players we have. We need players."

The quick-strike Border Stars ran through gaping holes in the City defence, creating all sorts of opportunities.

"Can you say nightmare?" City manager Ryan Gauss asked at the end of the first half.

It took the Stars seven minutes to open the scoring and it came on their third good chance. Byrd took advantage of a bad clearance at the top of the City penalty area, stepped into the ball and drilled it into the top of the net. City keeper Tommy Bianchi got a hand to it but couldn't turn it over the bar.

Byrd did it again in the 23rd minute. This time City gave the ball away at their own three-quarter field near the sideline. By the time they knew what was happening, Byrd and Dadek Dapiez had exchanged a quick one-two pass that sent Byrd in alone. He steered the ball past a hard-charging Bianchi.

In the 32nd minute, the defence collapsed again, this time on the right side. Dapiez made it 3-0.

City was fortunate. It could have been a lot worse. Twice they had to kick a ball off the line with Bianchi beaten.

"We made mistakes. They are a professional team that waits for the chances and scores," Dervishi said. "I'm not blaming anyone but we have to play better, starting with myself."

In what can't be a pleasant prospect, City has to play Border Stars again tonight in Michigan.


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