It was a county matchup with a twist Wednesday night as Hobbton and Lakewood battled it out in Wildcat territory, with the home team getting the 4-0 shutout.
But the winning coach wasn’t pleased with the way his boys played Wednesday while Lakewood’s coach said his team played the best soccer they have in the last four games.
“My guys played sluggish,” said Hobbton coach Bryan Martinez. “They certainly weren’t at their potential at all. I don’t know what it was, they weren’t talking, they weren’t into the game a lot, not at all.”
On the other hand, Lakewood coach Jay Faircloth saw great promise in his club. “I couldn’t have been prouder of them; Hobbton is a very physical team and we played right with them.”
Lakewood got off to a bad start, having thought, Faircloth said, that the game was at 6 p.m. when, in fact, it was at 5. “Nobody let me know it wasn’t at 6, so we only got to Hobbton a few minutes before 5. We basically got right off the bus, stretched a little bit and went right to playing. We didn’t have a chance to warm up.”
But despite the start, Lakewood, Faircloth said, went right to work.
“Physically, I think we beat them, I really do,” Faircloth attested. “It is the best these guys have played all season, even though we didn’t score.”
Hobbton scored only one goal in the first half. Eber Gomez hit the back of the net with about 10 minutes left in the half.
The Wildcats roared back from the break, finding the net three more times before game’s end.
Scoring for Hobbton was Jonny Velardo, who hit pay dirt on a free kick; Jonny Ramos and Ivan Ramon.
Martinez said the Wildcats played fair but not nearly as strong as they have in the past nor as strong as they need to when they go up against powerhouse Wallace-Rose Hill next Monday.
Hobbton is currently ranked 2nd in the Tri-County conference behind the Bulldogs, who they lost to earlier in the season.
“Monday’s game is very, very big,” Martinez stressed. “We’ve got to be ready and we’ve got to want it. There’s got to be lot of good passing and a lot of talking out there. And, most importantly, we’ve got to play up to our potential.”