Pitchside: Trinity Western Spartans v FC Edmonton

A largely first choice Edmonton side took the lead early and never looked back as the Rabbits clashed with the Spartans at Rogers Field on Wednesday night.

The first half was a tense affair, with the Spartan keeper, Andrew Hicks, pulling off some impressive saves. The opening goal was conceded during a messy goal mouth scramble, which included shots from Mike Banner, Albert Watson, and finally, Frank Jonke.

"I'm certainly not displeased with our effort," said Spartans manager Pat Rohla. "We were under pressure for most of the game but I thought we held our back line together quite well."

In the second half, both sides made significant changes, with the Rabbits featuring an entirely new line up. And while the second half saw Edmonton score two more goals, the play was far more balanced than in the first half.

FC Edmonton's Massmio Mirabelli takes a throw-in against the Trinity Western Spartans in the second half of a 3-0 victory at Rogers Field on 19 March 2014.

"It was a good performance against a quality NASL side," added Rohla. "This is a seasoned pro team and we knew we would have to defend and that’s what we did. Our keepers played exceptionally well and overall I'm pleased."

In the 50th minute, Horace James converted a cross from Carlos Patino, and seven minutes later, Daryl Fordyce buried a Edem Mortotsi through ball to seal the victory.

"I'm very pleased with the 90 minutes," said Edmonton manager Colin Miller of the 3-0 result. "The first half group had a fantastic attitude and credit to the first half Trinity Western keeper on making a number of great saves."

"This is a fantastic base and we're looking forward to the next games already." He also wanted to give "a big thank you to Pat Rohla and the Spartans for providing great opposition to us on our first game."

The Spartans return to the pitch Saturday at noon when they will play the British Columbia Thunderbirds in the Keg Cup Semifinal. The Rabbits visit the Simon Fraser Clan next, this Saturday at Fox Field. Click here to open our fullscreen slideshow.