Pelham edges Chelsea in soccer match

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Pelham High School boys’ soccer team edged Chelsea in a 5-4 win over the Hornets in an offensive explosion Feb. 22 at Pelham High School.

Early in the contest, Pelham connected on two breakaway opportunities by Cameron Murray and Alexis Diaz to take a 2-0 lead.

Deep into the first half, Chelsea cut the lead to one goal as Travis Mitchell sent a free kick across the goal mouth and Chelsea freshman Shelton Smith scored his first high school goal.

Pelham was able to stretch its lead back to two goals as Phillip Dublin stole the ball in the Chelsea end and delivered a pass to Diaz, who notched his second goal of the night. Pelham led 3-1 at the half.

Twenty seconds into the second half, Chelsea put together a beautiful exchange from five players culminating in a goal by Ashley Page to cut the Pelham lead to one goal again.

Ten minutes later, Pelham struck again as Oscar Peneda fought for a ball in front of the Chelsea goal and willed himself a score to give the Panthers a 4-2 lead.

Midway through the second half, Chelsea’s Dakota Dresbach hit a through ball to Page, who notched his second goal of the night and pulled Chelsea to within one goal again. However, Pelham rebounded as Ethan Savage got free behind the Chelsea line and finished the opportunity to give Pelham a 5-3 lead.

Chelsea wouldn’t go away. With less than five minutes left, Ashley Page got free again and scored his third goal, giving him the hat trick on the night, to bring Chelsea back to within one goal.

With little time left, Chelsea pressed forward and got fouled by a Pelham player about 40 yards from goal with 16 seconds left. After a caution was issued to a Pelham player for delaying the game, Chelsea had a opportunity for a free kick with nine seconds left.

They sent 10 players into Pelham’s box and Jeff Dunkerley’s free kick found Ashley Page’s head, but the deflected ball went over the cross bar and left Chelsea one goal short as Pelham held on for the victory.

Pelham goalkeeper Hunter Payant finished the night with two saves. Chelsea goalkeeper Josh Carpenter had four saves. Fellow Chelsea goalkeeper Trent Tinsley had two saves.