The boys in red defeated Rundle FC 6-3 during Sunday’s (July 25) Bow Valley Soccer League's matchup at Millennium Field in Canmore after pouncing on their opponents right out of the gates.
“We started really strong,” said Jack East, Pump and Tap's manager/player. “We played balls in behind the defence and we got three quick goals and that really set the tone for the game.”
Pump and Tap scorers were John Kilmartin, East, Ravneet Singh, Zeb Abraham, Alex Flekander and Joe Phillipson.
Just as the audience was showing up and finding their seats for Sunday morning's showdown, Pump and Tap held a three to nil lead in the first 10 minutes of play.
A header found the back of the net from Kilmartin to get things rolling early for the Banff club, which was followed up seconds later by East, who beat Rundle FC’s goalkeeper Cristian Mena in a one-on-one to go up two. Pump and Tap went up by three for the first of three times in the match when Singh buried another one against the struggling and overwhelmed Canmore club.
A hand injury following the third Pump goal forced Rundle FC’s goalkeeper Mena out of the game and Damian Torlop stepped in to replace his injured teammate in net, bringing a much-needed intensity and vocal presence to the toiling club.
Rundle FC's bleeding stopped and after some adjustments to the lineup, Makeil Gonzalez found offensive success when a perfectly placed pass from Alton Green landed on his foot on a fast-break as he blasted it past Pump’s goalie to get the team on the board.
Pump and Tap re-captured a three-goal lead heading into half time after Abraham slipped one past the keeper from a corner kick.
Missing three key defensive players, Rundle FC adjusted its lineups again in the second, placing talented scorer Manuel Riquelme in a forward striking position, and it didn’t take long for him to turn the momentum of the game.
The determined Riquelme scored twice in the second half to bring Rundle FC within one and threatening to complete the comeback.
However, the pair of goals didn’t come without controversy as one assistant ref called Riquelme offside each time, but the callings were both overruled by the head referee.
With all the momentum and another clear sight on net, the striker went for a third-straight goal and a tie, but Riquelme’s shot went low and straight into the waiting arms of the Pump goalkeeper.
That was as close as the battling Rundle FC would come in the game.
With time quickly ticking down, the Canmore club put more players forward to look for that elusive tying goal, but after successfully weathering the storm, the resilient Pump and Tap squad was ready to strike back.
Flekander would score in less than five minutes remaining to make it 5-3 and then Phillipson’s deep lob shot from another area code beat gambling keeper Trolop, who was playing well out of net, to make it 6-3.
“In the second half, they definitely played more direct and they kind of abandoned their game plan, which is just a testament to how well we were doing,” said East following his team’s first win of the early season.
"We gave away a few sloppy goals, but in the end when they pushed more men forward, we got a couple goals and I think the score line was the fair score. I think we just build on this one. We play Canmore United on Thursday (July 29) and we take it game-by-game."
After going down 0-2 this season, Rundle FC’s player/manager Cesar Maldonado said the team playing in its first season in the Bow Valley Soccer League “still needs to improve” to get its first win.
“We were down three main defenders and right as we started, we see that weakness in the first 10 minutes; we have three goals [against us] right away,” Maldonado said. “Our players around, we can still do something. We need to improve, and we need to work hard for success.”