Valour FC got their revenge against York United on Sunday evening at IG Field with a convincing 3-0 win, their third straight clean sheet and sixth in seven games played.
Rob Gale alluded to changes to his lineup with just two days rest between matches as four starters from Thursday night were swapped out with Kevin Aleman, Moses Dyer, Tony Mikhael and Rodrigo Reyes all drawing into the XI against York. For the Nine stripes, it was the exact same team to start on Sunday that faced Cavalry back on Wednesday night — Dominick Zator was fit enough to make the bench in this one which is a huge positive going forward with Jimmy Brennan forced to field natural fullbacks and midfielders in the heart of defence due to injuries of late.
Gale was making alterations to his side quicker than he may have anticipated once the action got underway as Andrew Jean-Baptiste was forced with what appeared to be a knee injury after just 14 minutes with Andy Baquero coming on in his place.
The last time these two played back on July 7 it was Jean-Baptiste who headed home early but it was fellow Valour defender Stefan Cabrera who provided the crucial aerial touch in his absence on Sunday as Cabrera found the back of the net in the 18th minute after some shaky defending from York on a corner kick.
The Nine Stripes looked to have a set piece response of their own as Jordan Wilson was deemed to have been fouled in the Valour area but Osvaldo Ramírez was denied from the spot by keeper Jonathan Sirois to preserve the home team’s 1-0 lead in the 35th minute.
Moments later Ricci provided Valour with some insurance heading into the break as Sean Rea slipped the centre forward through with a lovely pass before Ricci beat Nathan Ingham at the far post with a composed first time finish on his left foot — a 42nd minute strike which made it 2-0 at halftime.
Lowell Wright looked to get his York team back into it shortly after the interval with a powerful strike from outside the box in the 53rd minute only for Sirois to parry it wide in acrobatic fashion.
Despite a decent pushback from the visitors, it was Ricci who was the only one to find the net in the second half in a very similar goal to his first, Moses Dyer playing provider for the brace while Ricci opted for the right foot this time around to see Valour up 3-0 in the 73rd minute.
From there, Valour showed the sort of defensive resilience they’ve demonstrated regularly so far in 2021 as they kept much of the York threat to the outside and limited looks for Sirois to face to shots from distance.
18′ — Stefan Cebara (Valour FC)
42′ — Austin Ricci (Valour FC)
73′ — Austin Ricci (Valour FC)
26′ — Yellow: Jordan Wilson (York United)
54′ — Yellow: Raphael Ohin (Valour FC)
57′ — Yellow: Moses Dyer (Valour FC)
62′ — Yellow: Rodrigo Reyes (Valour FC)
72′ — Yellow: Max Ferrari (York United)