Hammers knock off Force in Bellingham

The Hammers are now 2-0-0 at Civic in front of their supporters.

BELLINGHAM, WA— Bellingham United (2-0-0) tallied their second win in as many games to go top of the Evergreen Premier League table on Sunday at Civic Stadium with a 3-1 win over the Olympic Force (1-1-0).

(This report supplied by BUFC)

bufc-clearUnited got off to a flying start in the second minute of the match, when Christian Caro’s long ball found Kyle Witzel, who calmly slotted the ball past Force goalkeeper Shaunte Smith.

The relentless pressure from forward Nick Cashmere was too much for the Force defense, and he was able to find Richard Henderson 12 yards out who slotted the ball home putting United 2-0 up inside the half hour mark.

Despite being behind, Olympic continued to push forward forcing goalkeeper Tyler Vistin into four saves in the first half. Eventually, they made their breakthrough to cut United’s lead to one.

Brendan Quilici (left) battles Kyle Johnson. (David Willoughby)

In the midst of a frantic scene inside the Hammers’ penalty area, Force players were irate when they believed one of their shots had crossed the goal line. Their worries were ultimately quelled when defender Kyle Johnson was able to nod the ball in the net from six yards out.

Olympic_Force_Logo_2Just before the end of the half, Richard Henderson made one final lung-busting run down the wing. His cross took an awkward deflection off a Force defender and left the goalkeeper helpless as Nick Cashmere finished to restore Bellingham’s two goal advantage at halftime.

The second half saw an increase in intensity from both teams, particularly United. Challenges started flying in from all angles, forcing the referee to issue three cautions in the last quarter hour of the match.

After the whistle: Force and Hammers players shake hands.

Olympic was forced to play roughly 10 minutes down a man after midfielder Miles Nelson went off injured and their side had used all of their substitutions.

The Hammers used the man advantage to mount several threatening attacks, but efforts from substitutes Mo Marenah and Conlon Kiffney went begging, and the match ended 3-1 in favor of United.

Next Sunday, the Hammers travel down Interstate 5 to visit Vancouver Victory, the only other side in EPLWA to have won their first two matches of the season. The Force return to Bremerton for their first home match of the season on Saturday against the Spokane Shadow.

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