After all, Reed is scrambling just to hold down the HDL’s fourth and final playoff spot while Spanish Springs is still in the hunt for a league title.
The cross-town foes did indeed play to a 1-1 tie, but it was the Reed contingent that was infuriated in settling for a deadlock while the Spanish Springs squad probably felt pretty relieved walking away Wednesday.
All of that’s because Spanish Springs was awarded a penalty kick in the 78th minute of play. That led to an Irvin Somera goal that got Spanish Springs into the 1-1 tie after it had stared down the prospect of an upset loss for much of the second half.
“For 79 minutes we outplayed them. Shoot, for 80 minutes we outplayed them and they’re one of the better teams. We won that game,” said Reed’s frustrated coach Jeff Valentine.
“I thought our guy got all ball,” Valentine elaborated, referring to the official’s decision that led to the SSHS penalty kick. If the ball changes directions, that usually means it’s a good play … I thought we played our best ever, last weekend at North Valleys, but this takes the cake. We played composed, for 80 minutes.”
The two teams battled through a scoreless first half. Reed broke the scoring drought when Dylan Valentine scored at the 59-minute mark, thanks to a Gonzalo Arellano assist.
“I thought Reed played better. They have improved,” Spanish Springs coach Rob Moreland said, alluding to the previous meeting between the two schools, a 4-1 Cougars win last month. “Dylan’s about all they have offensively, and he got their one goal. He walked right through our defense. He’s a solid player. He is fast.”
Reed, even playing a man down for the final 15 minutes, looked like it had the victory in hand until the late penalty kick was awarded.
After knotting the score at 1-1, Spanish Springs got off two open shots on goal, one from inside the box and one from just outside it, but sent both shots high over the crossbar, keeping the 1-1 score intact.
Spanish Springs (6-2-2) is in action again Friday when it travels to Douglas for a 7 p.m. meeting. Reed (4-5-1) goes to Galena Saturday for a 1 p.m. affair.