DAVID SMITH - Monday, July 11, 2011
Josh Wicks and Mariehamn held off ten-man Haka to extend their unbeaten streak to four games while Jeremy Vuolo and AC Oulu lost ground in the promotion race with a home loss to Ykkönen leaders PK-35.
IFK Mariehamn 2 - 1 Haka Valkeakoski
Josh Wicks played the full 90 minutes in goal for Mariehamn as they took advantage of shorthanded Haka for their fourth straight without a loss.
Mason Trafford and Giuseppe Funicello were both in uniform for the Islanders however watched the game from the bench.
Mariehamn were given an early gift when Haka forward Sam Obi Metzger was given his marching orders in the ninth minute for an elbow on Fernando Abreu, however the Islanders needed all the way until four minutes into the second half to capitalize.
Jarkko Värttö knocked in a cross towards the far post which Sebastian Strandvall headed in to put his team up 1-0.
The Islanders doubled the lead midway through the half, after a shot by Hendrik Helmke was parried by Haka keeper Saku Pesonen directly into the path of Toni Lehtinen, who buried it from close range.
Haka did pull one back in the 70th minute as Pekka Sihvola was on the receiving end of a long ball and swiftly put it past Wicks to cut the lead to a single goal, however the Mariehamn defense held strong, earning all three points.
Mariehamn remain in fifth place with the three points, now just one point behind Turku PS, who they will visit on Sunday.
FC KooTeePee Kotka 3 - 1 PS Kemi Kings
Daniel Stevens found his way onto the scoreboard for Kemi Kings on Saturday, however they were unable to hold off KooTeePee Kotka on the way to a third straight loss.
Kotka took an early lead as Johannes Laaksonen redirected a 14th-minute free kick into Kemi's nets, however the bulk of the action took place in a five-minute span just past the hour.
Stevens temporarily pulled Kemi even in the 63rd minute after being set up by teammate Sami Hyvärinen, however Kotka needed just three minutes to pull back into the lead, with Beka Tugushi making it 2-1 in the 66th, and Marko Tyyskä putting the final touches on the win two minutes later with a blast for his team's third and final goal.
Kemi fall to tenth place, however are still three points clear of the relegation zone. They will next take on Jeremy Vuolo and AC Oulu on Thursday night.
AC Oulu 1 - 2 PK-35 Helsinki
Jeremy Vuolo and AC Oulu were unable to fully recover from an early defensive mistake, falling at home to PK-35 Helsinki on Sunday.
Oulu were put into the hole early, as Juho Meriläinen made a diving attempt to clear a diagonal ball into his team's penalty area, and succeeded only in placing the ball into his own goal for the 1-0 gift to PK-35.
The visitors returned the favor in the 18th minute, as their keeper lost track of a long probing ball which floated towards their goal, with Matias Ojala pouncing on the loose ball and powering it into the net for the equalizer.
The afternoon would belong to the visitors from Helsinki, as they grabbed the winning goal after Raimi Kim smashed the ball past Vuolo after the American parried a header from a corner kick directly into his path, securing the victory for PK-35.
Oulu remain in third place despite the loss, however are now five points back of both Lahti and PK-35 in the fight for the division's two spots for promotion. They will try to regain momentum when they visit struggling Kemi Kings on Thursday.
Etchu Tabe has struggled as of late with a hamstring injury did not take part on Monday evening as RoPS fell 3-0 on their visit to JJK Jyväskylä.
Kellan Wilson is on leave for personal reasons and was not on hand for HIFK's 2-1 loss at home against Oulu PS on Sunday.