JOHNSTOWN - Although it didn't count in the Foothills Council standings, it was still a game between Johnstown and Gloversville, with the physical play and animated emotion that goes along with that.
The result, also, was the same as the league meeting between the two teams Sept. 24, with the Dragons scoring three first-half goals on their way to a 4-1 non-league victory, their second win over the Sir Bills in Johnstown.
"I thought it was a great team effort," Gloversville coach Paul Ligon said. "I thought we pressured the ball well. I thought we dominated possession in the first half and got the result we needed."
Gloversville’s Thomas Kirk (15) battles Johnstown’s Colin Dalmata for the ball during Monday’s non-league game at Johnstown High School. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
Gloversville dominated possession and put Johnstown goalkeeper Andy Camarra to work right away, and all game. Camarra made seven saves, while allowing four in. But without his effort in the net, it could have been far worse.
"Without Andy it would have been real ugly," Johnstown coach Mike Hill said. "Andy played a great game. A couple of guys played a great game - Jon Heroth, Alex Hollister, Andy Camarra - they don't take plays off."
The Dragons (3-8 overall) put the game's first goal on the scoreboard in the 13th minute, when Juan Dador collected a loose ball that had bounced off Camarra and pushed it the other direction.
"We've been struggling with stringing passes together and finding combinations," Ligon said. "Tonight, I thought we did that well. We're still working on the buildup piece."
One of those combinations put a score together in the 26th minute. Gloversville scored the game's deciding goal when Skyler Deming brought the ball down toward the right-side goalpost and set a perfect cross into the box, where C.J. DeVito was able to set up his shot and blast the ball inside the top-left corner of the goal, out of Camarra's reach, giving the Dragons a 2-0 lead.
About eight minutes later, Vinnie Scott took a pass from Dador and blasted the shot past Camarra, just under the crossbar for the Dragons' third goal.
"We've been trying to get the ball wide and serving, and we haven't been able to do that," Ligon said. "Tonight, we found a couple of holes behind their defense and guys got behind the right spots and finished with them."
The Dragons took a 4-0 lead in the 49th minute, as the Dragons looked to maintain their offensive attack through the rest of the game and not let the Sir Bills back in the game. DeVito scored his second goal of the game when a shot by Alessandro Ciuci deflected off Camarra and he was in the right spot to put the loose ball into the back of the net.
"We knew Johnstown was going to come out harder and try to get one early and try to take the wind out of our sails," Ligon said. "We had to keep the course and stay aggressive, and I thought we did that."
Then as the Sir Bills (3-8 overall) tried to push harder to get on the scoreboard, the game got a little more chippy between the two teams, as some yelling and pushing between the two teams transpired during the final 30 minutes.
It even cost the Dragons a penalty kick when goalkeeper Nick Cirillo was penalized for kicking a player in the penalty box.
However, the keeper redeemed himself by blocking the shot by Sam Hoover.
Johnstown finally got on the board in the 69th minute when the Sir Bills were able to catch Cirillo out of the net. Austin Vogel was the last Johnstown foot to get on the loose ball and pushed it into the back of the net for Johnstown's only goal.
Then with about four minutes to go in the game, Johnstown's Brandon Spaid's shot sailed over the goal for a harmless opportunity.
"We were unlucky tonight," Hill said. "That's kind of been the story of our season so far."
With two losses to Gloversville behind them, the Sir Bills will face Queensbury today. The Dragons will host Queensbury on Friday.
"We have two kids that have had any kind of playing time from last year's team, so we're young," Hill said. "I don't know how good we'd be if some of the kids who couldn't play last year could be in, but from the beginning of the year to now, we're just not mentally there because of that fact that we're young."