Pelham wins Shelby Derby with shutout of Chelsea

Published 12:27 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

PELHAM – With the regular season winding down, the Pelham boys soccer team picked up an important win on Tuesday, April 18 in the annual Shelby Derby matchup with the Chelsea Hornets.

Entering on the heels of two wins in a row and five in the last six games, the Panthers continued a strong defensive stretch with their second shutout in the last three games in a 3-0 win over the Hornets.

With the win, Pelham improved to 15-5-2 on the season, while the defense has given up two goals or less in all but three games this season with 10 shutouts.

The first portion of the game was closely contested between the two with the Shelby Derby trophy on the line, but midway through the opening half, Pelham got on the board thanks to a big throw in from Ra-Sen Martin.

Martin’s pass found Alejandro Hernandez for a header that put the Panthers in front 1-0.

Then, 10 minutes later, Pelham earned a free kick just outside the box. Radi Richardson took the kick and buried it in the back of the net to put the Panthers in front 2-0 at the halftime break.

Just as stellar as the two goals was the defense played by Pelham, as they limited opportunities from the Hornets in the opening half.

That carried into the second half, while the Hornets were also down their starting goalie due to an injury.

Pelham quickly added to the lead in the second half with a goal from Elder Esquivel, who drilled a long shot from 30 yards out off an assist from Richardson to make it 3-0.

From there, the Panthers let their defense protect the lead to earn the shutout victory.