Boys soccer: Rain forces suspension of Spring-Ford and Methacton standoff



ROYERSFORD – A thick wall of slate gray thunderheads was building on the southern horizon, symbolic of a season that had begun under a dark cloud for Spring-Ford.

The Rams - defending Pioneer Athletic Conference boys soccer champions - had opened with a lopsided 5-1 setback to Boyertown, losing one its top players in the process. Senior midfielder/forward Josh Dishman suffered a dislocated toe in the loss to the Bears and is expected to miss between four and six weeks, so the Rams were looking for any signs of clear skies ahead.

They got it, too, controlling a long stretch of play at the end of the first half to forge a 1-1 tie with visiting Methacton when Will Kelleher headed a crossing pass from Dillon Dufor into the back of the net just 2:50 before intermission.

But then the rains came, in buckets, and after a delay that lasted nearly one hour and 30 minutes, the contest was suspended. It will be resumed Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Coach McNelly Stadium, the start of a soccer doubleheader that will conclude with Spring-Ford hosting the Methacton girls at 7:30.

“We were fortunate we got that goal,” said Spring-Ford coach Doug Landis, whose club took the decision out of the hands of the officials with the timely strike. If the Warriors had held the lead when the weather turned sour, they could have been awarded the victory, according to PIAA rules.

There were other reasons for optimism on the Spring-Ford sideline.

“We had a lot of kids in their first varsity game against Boyertown,” Landis said. “They were nervous and anxious. Today, we worked on a few things and we were starting to click and jell. I was pleased with how we were playing.

“With Dishman out, I threw a sophomore in there and he did well. All of the kids responded well.”

Methacton, which dropped its opener 2-0 to Souderton, had responded well at the start. The Warriors broke on top off a free kick from 20 yards, with Josh Tagland assisting on Tony Rajabi’s goal.

“It was a tale of two halves,” said Methacton coach Brian Robbins. “We scored and it seemed to fire them up. We were hanging on for dear life. I was hoping somebody saw lightning before they actually did.”

The real lightning was being generated by Spring-Ford’s electric attack. But to their credit the Warriors, who dropped a pair of one-goal decisions (1-0, 2-1) to Spring-Ford last season, weren’t looking over their collective shoulders – expecting to get struck down.

“I thought we stepped up today,” said Robbins. “We love playing against Spring-Ford. It’s a good rivalry. We have six new starters and some good returning players, but most of them are playing in new spots.”