Butler Nips NA In Overtime, 1-0
by Brian Jewell
The NA Boys Soccer Team traveled to Butler to take on the Golden Tornado on Tuesday night. The weather was perfect for a 7:30 start on a long grass field.
NA came out quickly with an early hard shot by senior Duncan Riding followed shortly thereafter by a hard free kick from 35 yards by senior Nick Jewell stopped at the far post. Junior defender Steve Binnig added to the offence with a defensive overlap run, pushing up on the left with a nicely paced through ball to junior Sam Conti. His shot on goal was stopped by Butler keeper Boyer. Minutes later Binnig connected with senior Andy Earle who unleashed a curving 22-yard hit just over the post. Jewell then crossed hard to the mid goal with another Duncan Riding shot just high.
Strong play by Senior Peter Tobias and Andy Earle in the offensive half kept the Butler attack at bay early on. Along with a firm defense they kept the majority of 1st half play in the Butler side.
In the 25th minute a very close scoring opportunity was thwarted by the Butler keeper when Steve Binnig connected on a free kick with Sean Dickerson for a header aimed downward.
Five minutes later a a good run down the right wing by Nick Jewell allowed a deep cross to Peter Tobias for a close hard shot just cleared once again by Butlers hot goalkeeping.
Into the 33rd minute NA keeper Luke Nolan was likewise up to the defensive task also as he stopped 2 shots with the 1st heavy pressure mounted by Butler. NA then returned the offensive threat with a series of long crosses to Duncan Riding almost connecting. The 1st half NA boy’s offensive efforts unfortunately ended with a 0-0 tie at the half.
The second half continued with occasional Butler pressure but mostly with solid NA play into the 60th minute. This was thwarted by a chippy Butler defense and midfield, producing lots of fouls and an increasingly physical battle, decreasing the effectiveness of the NA attack. Few opportunities were seen for better than twenty minutes as the game bogged down.
As the game continued as a mostly midfield struggle in n the 70th minute a strong breakaway by Butler was very nicely shut down by senior defender Zack Nimmo.
The last few minutes of regulation saw seniors Sean Dickerson and Nick Jewell connect for two headers Dickerson with good stops again by Butler. The score remained 0-0 at the end of regulation.
Into overtime an early cross from Nick Jewell found junior Sam Conti, who nicely passed back to Andrew Earle for a header cleared by Butler
Disaster struck minutes later when a Butler player passed a ball in the box. The ball was not on goal and struck an NA defender on the upper arm region, which was, from this writers view against his body. The referee saw this as “handling”, although the ball was not on goal and a “ball to hand” event. Unfortunately he awarded a penalty kick which was converted in overtime for a 1-0 Butler win.