Leland & Gray boys blank Mill River
They were the only ones in the vicinity that could have possibly kept up with Patrick McDonald.
The midfielder showed off his speed on four occasions, making a long run along the sideline each time, as the Rebels zipped visiting Mill River 3-0.
"This is a good group," said Leland & Gray coach Chris Barton, whose team has won six of its last seven games. "They did a better job of talking and switching fields in the second half."
McDonald was in on all three goals. His hard shot in the opening half turned into a rebound chance for Riley Barton, who tapped it in with 10:22 left before the break. He made a nice crossing pass with 27:27 remaining in the game that Barton finished off. And he tucked a penalty kick inside the right post at the 24:14 mark.
"Those two work well together," the Leland & Gray coach said of McDonald and Barton. "They are highly technical players. They always look for each other."
The hosts also got a standout performance from keeper Quinn Kelloway.
"He's a young goalie who is coming along and learning the position. He is very athletic," the Rebels coach stated.
Kelloway denied Mill River's Bryce Duncan twice in the second half — first on a blast from 15 yards out and then on a breakaway. And with 26:25 left to play, he went to his right to rob Austin Corey on a PK.
He also became more vocal over the last 40 minutes, often shouting to his teammates to "push up" or "get it out."
The Rebels put on a passing clinic early on. On one series they sent the ball from the left sideline across to the right, with Liam Towle, Matthew Emerson, Patrick Meyer and McDonald all touching it. Lucas Newton made two nice stops in the back and then found McDonald up ahead. And the fans were treated to a pretty give and go between Nathan Claussen and Barton.
Defensive highlights for the hosts included a steal and shot from McDonald, along with hustle takeaways by Grayson VanHendrick, Colton Bush, Riley Faulkner and Towle.
The 6-3-1 Rebels will host Woodstock, who they tied 2-2 earlier in the season, on Saturday.
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