WALKER - Central forced the issue from whistle to whistle in its 3-0 defeat of Walker on Thursday, moving the ball nearly at will and stopping the Wildcats’ attacks before they could develop.
The match was originally scheduled to be played at Central, but heavy rains necessitated a move from natural grass to Walker’s artificial turf field.
Central (7-4) dominated possession in the first half, with most of the game spent Walker’s side of the field.
Central took 11 shots and placed three of them on frame, taking four corners and free kicks.
Walker (2-6) was held without a shot all the way up to the 63rd minute and took only two free kicks and a corner.
However, Central didn’t have anything to show for its effort and struggled to put a shot on target for the most part of the first half.
“We weren’t moving as fast as we normally do,” Central’s Dax Bourgue said. “And I guess you could say we were kind of hesitating, not putting pressure on the ball. It was a hell of a game.”
It wasn’t until the 33rd minute where Bourgue headed in Central’s third corner of the match to break the scoreless deadlock that gave the visitors a well-earned lead.
Bourgue was camped out on the far side of the box and directed the ball downward, bouncing it into the goal.
“I was aiming for the back corner,” Bourgue said. “I was running in because normally Hector (Elias) puts it in always at the right spot. I just happened to be there. I saw it coming and jumped and aimed at the back corner.”
Central coach Wes Melton said: “I honestly felt like if we came in playing like we’ve played early on, then this would be a fun game for us.”
Central registered its second goal in the 48th minute when Walker’s goal-keeper slipped trying to play a loose ball into the box. He overshot the ball with it bouncing off the post.
Tahj Bowen was there to pick up the ball and escort it across the line.
“The conditions don’t help at all when it’s wet and slick,” Walker coach Todd Wall said. “This turf is very fast the ball can get up on you and eat you really quick.”
Walker gave a goal to Central in the 59th minute when the visiting Wildcats took a free kick from range, resulting in a lofty kick into the box.
The try wouldn’t have gone in, but Anthony Parden jumped to impede the shot’s trajectory. The ball landed on the inside of his body and went directly into the unguarded portion of the net for Central’s final score.
The loss continues a tough slide for Walker and comes as their fifth loss in six matches. Part of Walker’s problems stem from a lack of depth where injuries have completely depleted its bench. It’s not an ideal situation, one that Wall hopes his team can outlast.
There’s good news on the horizon where a handful of players will return for Walker after the start of the new year.
“When you have 11 players and no subs on the bench, it’s difficult,” he said. “When the other team can run some fresh legs in there, it wears you down. This sport is all running and physically and mentally its hard on the kids.”