Not a lot of openings were given to the Penticton Pinnacles but when the first one came available, Randy Hubber was all over it.
The Pinnacles forward busted in from the left side and sniped a shot past Chilliwack FC keeper Jake Kubanski during the under-21 men’s team home opener in Pacific Coast Soccer League Reserve Division action on Saturday.
Hubber added a second goal and Ross Rufiange led the Pinnacles to a 3-0 win.
“It was pretty good,” said Hubber of his goal. “I’ve struggled in the past. Last year I didn’t do so well so it was good to get that first one off and continued with the second one.”
Hubber felt the Pinnacles played a strong game that included moving the ball well and capitalizing on chances.
Prior to Hubber’s first goal, the Pinnacles had generated few scoring opportunities with the bulk of the play at mid-field. The young Chilliwack group had pressure on the Pinnacles defence. Strong play by the defenders and goalkeeper Matt Bumstad kept the Pinnacles in it.
“They were all right,” said Hubber. “We could have had three or four more but they are a young squad and pretty skillful. I’m guessing the team is going to be different when we go down this weekend.”
Despite playing in cold, rainy conditions, Hubber felt it was an advantage for the Pinnacles. Who took a 2-0 lead into the half.
The performance of the Pinnacles was to the expectation of coach Tony Munoz.
“There is still a lot of work to be done,” said Munoz, who took his team to Skaha Lake for practice on Monday.
Munoz liked that his players never gave up. While on defence, the Pinnacles showed they are able to keep up with their energetic opponent. However, Munoz wants to see improved play in the mid-field and feels fitness can be better. Also, with the new additions, they must still learn the system.
“That was difficult for the rest of the guys and for me to get the system working,” said Munoz.
In Munoz’s opinion, the Pinnacles had a lull for about 10 minutes before the opening half was over and again in the last 10 to 15 minutes of the game.
When the Pinnacles head to Chilliwack for the rubber match on Saturday, Hubber said they have to move the ball more. There were too many times they just kicked it up the field to create chances.
“We have to work together a bit more,” he said. “Just play our game and we can’t take them lightly. They are going to be coming out and wanting revenge.”
The Pinnacles next home game is May 28 when they host West Vancouver FC at King’s Park for a 6 p.m. kickoff.