By Jonathan Deal
Wynn Baker’s header in the third minute was into enough to lift Athens over East Thursday in a heated rivalry game. Athens applied enough pressure in the opening minutes of the game to earn a corner. Devin Hooie sent a curling ball from the corner to the back post, which found the head of Baker and gave Athens a 1-0 win.
“It’s not something we work on all the time. He (Baker) was just at the right place at the right time,” said Athens head coach Ron Oakley.
East settled into possession following the goal and nearly scored in the 10th minute when Zach Craver’s shot from inside the 6-yard box was blocked by Hooie. While East possessed the ball more than Athens for most of the game, chances were few and far between until the closing minutes of the game.
The Indians’ best chance came with eight minutes remaining when East forward Dilan Sayer beat his man to create a one-on-one with Athens goalie Dean Bunnell. Sayer’s shot from close range was parried by Bunnell, and the follow-up shot from Sayer was once again smothered by the Athens keeper.