MOODUS - The Ancient Warriors traveled an hour and a half to Moodus for the opening game of the 2012 season. This being the Ancient's 6th year in the league (and the 4th in Top Division), they were anxious to get off to a good start for the season. Winning the league in 2009, then finishing 5th and 3rd in 2010 and 2011 respectively, the Warriors have strengthened in the last year and a half, and have their sites on the Championship.
Arriving in Moodus, 11 of the team tumbled out of the van (comandeered by Andrew Stewart-Jones for a proper road trip) they stretched their legs, wondered up the hill to the field and found the smallest pitch they've seen since watching their boys play U8 Rec Soccer. The match started brightly with the Warriors applying continuous pressure into the Xara half. Wilton outshot the home team 4 or 5 to 1 (on target) with the opposition goalkeeper making a string of spectacular saves. Not the least of which was when Captain Greg Monaco pivoting 180 degrees to catch a ball mid-air with a volley. The ball exploded off of his foot straight toward what would surely be a goal. A fraction of a second later and everyone was dumbfounded as the Xara keeper was able to palm the ball over the cross-bar for one of the best saves the Warriors have seen. The only chance the home side had in the first half was valiantly cleared away by newest addition Chris Tinnesz. The half ended 0-0 and found Wilton shaking their heads at how that could be so.
Into the second half and the home team got someone free down the right side, and in the confusion and congestion of the small field his cross found a lone Xara player who was able to (far too easily) tap the ball into the goal to take the lead. Wilton continued to apply pressure, throwing man forward, time and time again only to be thwarted by the opposition keeper. Ultimately Xara got a direct kick at the top of the box which was expertly curled into the far side netting to take the fixture out of reach for Wilton.
At the end of the day, Wilton out-possessed, out-shot and out-hustled the other team, but came away 2-0 losers in a disappointing start to the season.