Akeem Garcia and Luis Alberto Perea have earned their place in Wanderers history, after scoring the goals in the club’s first ever win, in front of an inspirational home crowd.
The Wanderers put in a determined display before a sold out stadium of about 6,200 loud fans roaring them on against highly rated Forge FC from Hamilton.
“It was fantastic. Nice to see all the blue, they were loud, my throat is sore because of it. I’m happy for them and my players,” said Wanderers head coach Stephen Hart.
Garcia was first to get his name in the history books after pouncing on a rebound from Kodai Iida’s 30th minute free kick to fire home emphatically inside the box.
“It’s a great feeling, we went out and did our best and I’m really happy we won the game,” said the forward from Trinidad and Tobago. “The crowd was great, they cheered us on and it really motivated us and I want to say thank you to our fans.”
After holding a 1-0 half-time lead, the match appeared to be heading for a draw, after a Kadell Thomas strike levelled things for Forge on 57 minutes.
But Colombian striker Perea — making his debut for the club — produced a fine winner eight minutes from time, finding the corner with a clinical strike as he slid into the box to connect on a loose ball.
“It was a great day for me and the team and also the fans, they helped us a lot and lifted our spirit, so this win is for the fans,” Perea said.
Jan-Michael Williams made the points safe with a spectacular late save at full stretch to push a rasping Tristan Borges drive around the post.
The keeper joked he would have preferred the weather to have been a bit warmer but said the cloudy skies and occasional drizzle was all a part of the experience.
“It was a good one for us, we did enough to warm the hearts of the supporters today,” Williams said.
The players raced towards the Wanderers fans at the final whistle to celebrate a first ever win for the club after an absorbing day in Halifax.
Next up for the Wanderers is an away day in Winnipeg to face Valour FC next Saturday May 11.