Surrey teams in hunt for first place in premier ranks

It’s getting crowded at the top of the Vancouver Metro Soccer League premier standings and two Surrey teams are in the thick of the hunt for the highest rung on the ladder.

Defending provincial champion Surrey United Firefighters and Newton’s CCB-RT United both posted wins last weekend to join a pack of six teams clustered within three points of first place in the league table.

West Van leads the way with 27 points, one ahead of three teams – including the Firemen – knotted at 26 in second spot. CCB-RT sits three points off the pace in sixth place, one win coupled with fortuitous results elsewhere, could vault United into a share of first.

On the pitch last weekend, CCB-RT posted one of their biggest wins of the season when they knocked Vancouver’s Columbus out of first place with 3-1 decision at Newton Athletic Park.

United seized control of the proceedings with two quick goals in the first 15 minutes of play. Nick Soolsma started things off in the 10th minute when he delivered a crossing pass to Sameer Grewal who launched a hard shot that was too hard for the Columbus goalkeeper to handle.

Five minutes later Soolsma was at it again, this time intercepting a clearance attempt by the Columbus keeper. Soolsma made him pay for the error as he raced in unchecked and tapped the ball into the unguarded net to doubled United’s advantage.

Columbus tried to respond and managed to create several stellar scoring chances only to be repeatedly foiled by United goalkeeper Luke O’Shea.

The visitors cranked up the pressure in the second half and their efforts were rewarded in the 70th minute when they finally put a ball past O’Shea.

Columbus pressed for the equalizer, but United managed to bag an insurance goal late in regulation when Bobby Jhutty finished off a nifty passing play with Soolsma.

Saturday afternoon it was the Surrey United’s turn to pick up three critical points when they prevailed 1-0 against Newton’s

ICST Pegasus in the latest installment of the Surrey Derby rivalry at Cloverdale Athletic Park.

The Firemen scored the only goal they would need in the 65th minute when David Adams collected a well-placed pass from Brad Peetoom and then sidestepped a Pegasus defender before slotting the ball home from the edge of the box.

The Horsemen pushed back late in the game but their best chance ended poorly when Azad Palani’s shot caromed harmlessly off the crossbar.

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