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After playing a game South Oldham coach Kenny Burke described as “chippy,” South and North Oldham don’t have to wait long for a rematch.
The Mustangs and Dragons will battle at 7:30 Saturday night in Goshen, one week after South recorded a 2-0 win in the teams’ first meeting.
“It’s going to be an interesting round two, for sure,” Burke said.
The Dragons recorded the win last week with two Davis Ferriell second-half goals. Ferriell’s first goal came on a rebound off a set piece. His second came on a headed attempt off a corner kick.
From there the teams were called for several fouls and yellow cards were issued – including two for Alex Benson, who will have to sit out this Saturday’s rematch.
The Dragons were able to hang on for the shutout, despite playing a man down for much of the second half.
“No matter who you play in this district you have to be able to protect the lead,” Burke said. “You have to be able to play with the lead once you get it and not quit… So many times these guys get reluctant and complacent and the other Oldham County team takes advantage of it.
“You see it every single season… So I was very proud of our guys for getting the lead and holding, especially with a man down.”
First-year North coach Chad Niedert said he thought his team was out-played at times in the first meeting, but also fell victim to some tough fortune.
“I really think they genuinely did beat us on the first goal,” Niedert said. “And on their second goal they happened to be in the right place at the right time.
“That’s all you really need in a rivalry game, as close as that one was. I’m not calling their win lucky, but I’m just saying we were unlucky.”
Niedert also said South’s ability to control possession and win balls in the air were keys to the outcome.
For Burke’s Dragons, beating North a second time will require shutting down some of the Mustangs’ best scorers, including David Cottrell and Hunter Wafford. Cottrell and Wafford have seven goals apiece this year.
“This is my fourth year at South, and I can remember seeing some of these (North) kids play as freshmen,” Burke said. “We’ve had to try and defend some of these guys for years now and they’re getting bigger and stronger and faster and they can make you pay.”