WOOD RIVER – It may not happen as much as area fans would possibly like anymore, but anytime Roxana and East Alton-Wood River get together, you can expect a lot of intensity on the field.

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Such was the case when the Oilers and Shells took each other on at Wood River Soccer Park Saturday afternoon in a non-conference match, which, thanks to a 38th-minute goal from Zac Lafferty, saw the Oilers take a 1-0 win over their backyard rivals.

The Oilers dominated play for the most part, keeping the Shells pinned in their own end and having a majority of the possession time for the match.

“I would say probably by far we’re a more skilled team,” said EA-WR coach Mike Lawson. “At this point in the season, I definitely have a more older team. I’m not unhappy with how we played; we did what we were supposed to do, we held possession.

“You get unlucky with shots on goal or the boys are firing shot too early because they’re having an easier time of it getting down to the final third (of the field). I don’t think there was a whole lot of the game I was concerned about; we worked hard and it’s a good rivalry game.”

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“They’re a good team; we knew that defensively, we held them to one goal,” said Shells coach Steve Dohnal. “We did give up a no-so-great goal three minutes before the end of the half and it’s tough to come back from when you let in a goal right before the half.

“Our boys played hard today and I was really proud of them.”

The fact that it was a rivalry match caused the Oilers to step up their game a notch, Dohnal felt. “They stepped up their game a bit today and we did,” Dohnal said. “As you know, playing against Wood River, they’re neighbors, they’re friends, they’re buddies, so they like to compete against them. They all know each other, so it’s a good rivalry.

“Today’s result wasn’t what we wanted, but it was a good game.”

The only goal of the match came in the 38th minute, when EA-WR’s Luke Sims had the ball at his feet and managed to get it over to Lafferty, who was coming in on the left side of Shell goalkeeper Brendan Jones. Lafferty moved in slightly and fired wide to his right, where the ball eluded Jones and bounced into the side of the goal. The Oilers, following the goal, kept the pressure up but could not solve Jones and the Shell defense again before the match came to an end.

Next up for the Oilers is a Prairie State Conference clash against Marquette at home Wednesday, while the Shells take on Mascoutah on the road Monday.

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