MANCHESTER— It was exactly the type of start the Manchester Essex boys soccer team could not afford to have against a team of Masconomet’s stature.
Just over a minute into the contest the Hornets were whistled for a handball inside the box. The infraction led to a penalty kick opportunity for Masco’s Charles Sherman and the Chieftains senior captain did not miss on the opportunity putting his team up 1-0.
That turned out to be all Masconomet needed but it put four more goals on the board, the second coming just eight minutes later, en route to a 5-0 win. Masco remains unbeaten on the season at 9-0-2, sitting atop the Cape Ann League Large. Manchester Essex falls to 3-5-3 with the loss, its second straight.
“It’s always easier to play from ahead,” Masco head coach Dave Mitchell said. “We got the pk and we were possessing the ball well early which led to the early lead. We could afford to tighten up on defense after that but we still played well in the middle of the field and in their end.”
The Chieftains struck again in the ninth minute when Dylan Zernich headed in a beautiful cross from Adam Grammer, who raced past the Hornets defense and delivered the cross to the front of the goal from a tough angle.
Just like that it was 2-0 Masconomet. The Chieftains were in complete control and the Hornets were forced to play the rest of the game on their heels.
“We had a similar situation on Friday against Pentucket where we let up a pk in the first couple of minutes, it was a bit of a rough start,” Hornets head coach Rob Bilsbury said. “We came back pretty well after that sustaining some possession but after they scored again we kind of put our heads down a bit. But they’re a really solid team, unbeaten for a reason.”