PORT HARDY—There was nothing to choose between the two sides as the Port Hardy Secondary and North Island Secondary Schools’ senior boys soccer teams played out a 1-1 draw in the first friendly of the season last week.
Visitors NISS took the lead in the first half courtesy of a Clifford Glendale strike after he dribbled in to convert from a cross.
Thomas Coon evened it up minutes before halftime with a penalty after the referee judged that NISS goalie Brodie Wilson unfairly brought down the striker in the box.
Wilson guessed right off the spot kick but the well-placed strike found the corner of the net to put the sides on even footing.
Both sides enjoyed plenty of chances in a lively second half but neither could find the target.
PHSS coach Mike Cleary thought his side was unlucky to come away with a draw. “I thought we battled hard and deserved a win,” he said. “We dominated the second half in possession but we struggled to find the back of the net.”
NISS coach Casey Mork was unhappy with the penalty decision but felt that the scoreline reflected the game. “It was a good game,” he said, “(1-1) was the right score — there was about 50/50 possession throughout the game.
“I didn’t really like the penalty,” said Mork, “I thought it was a 50/50 between our goalie and their striker.”
The sides will have plenty of chances to settle the score in the coming weeks with a pair of games planned for next week. NISS hosted the rematch yesterday, Wednesday, Oct. 8, after the Gazette went to press — see more next week.
The flurry of friendlies should set the two local sides up for a run at the Island A tournament Oct. 22 in Duncan. To secure a provincials berth, the local sides would have to upset powerhouses St. Andrews or Glenlyon Norfolk.