East Bladen High School
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RED SPRINGS – Red Springs capitalized on a pair of 1st half penalty kicks to take a 2-0 lead and held off East Bladen 2-1 Wednesday night in Southeastern Athletic Conference boys’ soccer action.

“We were outplaying Red Springs and had our chances in the first 12 minutes,” said Eagle Coach Jay Raynor. “We didn’t capitalize on some great looks early in the game. That cost us. We allowed things out of our control to dictate the game. We played well for spells and had great looks.”

The Red Devils converted the PK’s in the 33rd and 35th minutes to take the 2-0 lead. “I thought the calls were more than questionable,” stated Raynor. “It’s not anyone’s fault but our own. However we were put in a tough position at least with those two calls before half.”

“We made some adjustments at halftime and forced the game on them,” continued Raynor. “I thought they had a hard time keeping up. We were behind them numerous times and on several of those there was heavy contact in the box – more so than what was called in the first half and no call was made.”

East Bladen outshot the Red Devils 10-3 in the 2nd half and 16-7 for the game. “Our guys battled through take-downs, punches, and kicks to the stomach,” noted Raynor. I’m proud of them. They kept their cool. We dominated the second half and they didn’t have an answer.”

Senior Malcolm Bolden drilled in a penalty kick with 4:30 remaining to slice the margin to 2-1. “We were awarded a PK on the 5th take down in the box, and Malcolm put it home,” said Raynor.

“The guys played hard,” added Raynor. “However, there were moments when we weren’t locked in and that cost us. The calls or lack thereof didn’t cost us the game. It was our lack of execution in areas of the game we focus on and put a lot of time on in training.”

Raynor concluded, “We had quality minutes from some young guys tonight. Alex Hildago, Andrew Musclewhite, and Ronnie Covington were great for us when they were on the field. Zac Metz had a great game in the back for us. Give credit to our defense for keeping them shutout. We didn’t give up a run of play goal for 80 minutes. I hate those PKs were the difference because they were more than solid in the back tonight.”

East Bladen, now 1-3 in SAC-7 play and 5-6 overall, will host St. Pauls Monday night.