(ANTIGONISH, NS) A pair of UNB Reds goals midway through the first half were the difference as the Reds defeated the St FX X-Men 4-1 on Sunday afternoon.
UNB Keeper Evan Barker (Winnipeg, MB) was tested in the opening minute as Josh Read (Bath, UK) delivered a low shot which was turned aside.
In the fifth minute, the Reds capitalized on their first scoring opportunity.
Ben-Orel Mugisha (Ottawa, ON) brought the ball down the wing and crossed to the front of the net. After a brilliant toe save by Seamus MacDonald (Antigonish, NS), the ball ping-ponged around and Maximus Coore-Manhu (Markham, ON) was able to control it and bang the rebound in, giving the visitors an early 1-0 lead.
William Warren (Windsor Junction, NS) had a pair of shots early on for the X-Men. One translated into a hand-ball inside the 18-yard box. Veteran striker Dan Hayfield (Exeter, UK) made no mistake on the ensuing penalty kick to tie the game in the 11thminute.
The Reds then scored a pair of goals within two minutes to take a 3-1 advantage.
After a couple defensive miscues in the X end, Lewis Dye was given a yellow card for a tackle inside the box. Tristan Nkoghe (Sherbrooke, QC) blasted the penalty shot high past MacDonald.
Nkoghe then set up Mathew Quigley (Chester Basin, NS) in front of the net, and he redirected the ball past an outstretched MacDonald.
The Reds took the 3-1 lead into half-time.
Both teams came out hard in the second half, in a physical match. Hayfield missed on a scoring chance early on, then the Reds had consecutive chances denied. Nkoghe, by the post, and Ben Gorringe (Mount Uniacke, NS) on a blocked shot.
In one of X's best chances of the half, in the 81stminute, Warren crossed a nice ball to Logan Harrington (Halifax, NS), but he was unable to convert the pass.
The Reds then took the wind out of the X sails with a fourth goal. In the 83rdminute, after bringing the ball down field, Tom Pheulpin (San Antonio, TX) crossed the ball towards the X-Men net and Gorringe scored on a header.
For his strong play in the game, fifth-year midfielder Gorringe received Subway Player of the Game honours.
Both teams are back in action next weekend.
The Reds will host Memorial on Saturday, UNB's home opener. Game time is 3:15pm.
The X-Men travel to Halifax, on Sunday, to take on Dalhousie.
RECAP BY: Krista McKenna/St FX Athletics
PHOTOS BY: Bryan Kennedy/for St FX Athletics