READFIELD — One game, for certain, but two winners emerged from Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams on Tuesday night.

On the scoreboard, the Lewiston boys soccer team took a 2-0 victory of Maranacook, the Blue Devils’ second of the season over the Black Bears. Of the moral victory variety, though Maranacook head coach Don Beckwith isn’t much for those, the Black Bears scored the win.

Already facing a tall task against the perennial Class A powerhouse Blue Devils, Maranacook played the final 60 minutes with only 10 men yet still managed to keep Lewiston from finding the back of the net after the halftime break until the very final minute.

“We can definitely take this as a win,” said Maranacook captain Tim Worster. “We played the best game we have all season, a man down half the game, against one of the best teams in the state — if not the best team in the state.”

Romano Bassa slotted home the game-winning goal in the 34th minute.

Khalid Hersi’s brilliant cross to change fields found Bassa on the right side of the box, and the attacker went off-shoulder on his defender to make a straight run to the goal for what would prove to be the deciding tally of the night.

“They were talking a lot and they were ready to play,” Bassa said. “I think they were the best defensive team we’ve played this season. You do get frustrated when you don’t score, you don’t get balls, but you just have to keep trying.”

Black Bear goalkeeper Brayden St. Pierre was outstanding, helped by a pair of posts in the second half and having turned away Bassa just a minute prior to his game-winning goal.

“I knew (Hersi) was going to play that,” Bassa said. “He does that all the time.”

St. Pierre was helped by the work of his backline anchored by Worster, particularly over the final 40 minutes.

Maranacook striker Eric Vining was sent off via a red card issued in the 20th minute. While the Black Bears were game for the remainder of the opening stanza without the full complement of 11 on the pitch, they were too compressed and started tire in the second half.

Lewiston was much more composed in possession with the additional space in which to work, though the Blue Devils couldn’t add some welcome insurance until very late on. Instead the time on the ball added up and the Black Bears were afforded only a few journeys across the midfield line while trying to chase an equalizing goal.

“We’ve taught patience,” Lewiston coach Dan Gish said. “We just try to make it tough for defenses, but (Maranacook) is organized and they didn’t take the bait sometimes, so we just had to wait it out and get into the gaps or try and stretch them out. It’s just that patience thing.”

Maranacook came close in the 72nd minute, when Worster’s free kick from distance found the noggin of Eljas Bergdahl inside the six-yard box. Bergdahl put his chance narrowly wide right of the woodwork in Maranacook’s only dangerous second-half opportunity.

Lewiston answered with Leandro Auger’s goal only a few seconds prior to the full-time whistle to kill the game for the Blue Devils.

“They’re tough,” Gish said. “I wish they were in our class, because it’s always fun to play them. Regardless of class, they’re an excellent team. Games like this is what we need. We’re an attacking, possession-type team. A team that’s organized defensively can frustrate you.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.