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Frustrated Wings Lose to Sockers

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Sockers have displayed a propensity to frustrate their opponents of late. After losing seven of their first 10 games, the Sockers have now won 19 of 25, the latest coming Friday night at the Sports Arena when they dropped Wichita, 5-3.

Meanwhile, Wichita has displayed a knack to be frustrated. At 13-24, they have hit bottom in the Major Soccer League standings.

All of which may explain what happened as the buzzer sounded, ending the first half.

Socker forward Paul Wright and Wichita rookie Jimmy McGeough came out of the penalty box--they ended up there as a result of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties nine seconds before the buzzer--walked toward one another and . . .

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A scuffle broke out. McGeough apparently started it by head-butting Wright, who retaliated by spitting at McGeough, players said.

Wichita’s Victor Moreland ended it by tackling Erich Geyer, Sockers assistant coach.

Both Wright and McGeough were ejected.

When asked at halftime what happened, Geyer said, “Oh, nothing. We were coming off the field and a brawl broke out. That’s all.”

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It’s what went on during the game that Geyer wanted to talk about.

As usual when Wichita--the most penalized team in the league--plays, the game takes on a physical tone.

Which is OK, Geyer said, considering Wichita’s plight.

“You can’t blame the Wichita players,” Geyer said of the rough play. “They are in last place and they have to work hard. They are earning their pay. You can’t blame the players on Wichita.”

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Geyer blamed the officials.

“This is the referees’ fault,” Geyer said of the loose game being called by Esse Baharmast and Billy Maxwell. “I don’t even think they have seen (the game). My problem is that they don’t call the right game, and that’s a joke when you have a full-time referee working who is making $30,000 to $40,000 a year.”

Sockers Coach Ron Newman echoed Geyer’s thoughts.

“The referees have to take much of the blame,” he said. “They didn’t control it . . .

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“When Dale Ervine swipes David Banks’ legs out from under him, it’s not difficult to blow the whistle.”

Said Wright, “I don’t like to criticize officials, but I think this one did get a little bit out of hand.”

The scuffles--another broke out with two seconds remaining in the game, but no penalties were called--overshadowed Michael Collins’ finest performance of the season.

Collins, only now rounding into form after missing the first part of the season, had a goal and an assist, both coming on plays he conned defenders out of position.

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On his assist, which came 36 seconds into the second quarter, Collins faked Wichita’s Chico Borja downfield, then turned and headed toward the Wichita goal. All alone, he sent a cross to Rod Castro at the backdoor to make it 4-0.

Collins scored the Sockers only goal in the second half after taking the ball into the penalty area, then dishing off to Wes Wade on the right wing. The pass drew Chico Moreira away from Collins, and Wade sent the ball right back to Collins for the easy goal.

That made it 5-2 and subdued momentum that Wichita stole by scoring two third-period goals (by Steve Pittman and Perry Van Der Beck).

Castro ended up with two goals on the night and Wright finished the half with two assists.

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