RECAP: WEEKEND NORWEGIAN ACTION
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Sunday, November 1, 2009
Clay Goodson capped off his 2009 Eliteserien with a goal helping pace fellow American Hunter Freeman and Start over compatriot Troy Perkins and Valerenga while Jay Needham and Alta split the points with Nybergsund.

Start 2 - 0 Valerenga

Start ended their Eliteserien on a high note with a shutout of visiting Valerenga at Sor Arena in Kristiansand on Sunday.

Hunter Freeman and Clay Goodson went the distance for the hosts while Valerenga goalkeeper Troy Perkins spent all 90 minutes between the pipes for the visitors.

Goodson also netted his third goal of the season with a late strike in the 87th minute.

A scoreless first half saw an even number of chances betwene the two clubs including a golden opportunity for Start right before halftime when Freeman played in a ball that ended up at the feet of Mads Stokkelien who was unable to find the target.

The first goal of the game did not arrive until the 73rd minute when Espen Borufsen took Solomon Owello's pass down the left side and squeezed a shot inside the near post and Perkins.

The Ohio native was anticipating a cross into the area and was caught leaning the wrong way. Perkins could only watch helplessly as Borufsen essentially banked his shot off the back leg of Perkins and into the goal.

Goodson got his goal three minutes from time when Cristian Bolanos sent a corner kick into the area which was never cleared out by the Valerenga defense giving the Virginia native an up close shot which he sent past two defenders and Perkins.

The win for Start gives them 40 points on the season and a ninth place finish while Perkins and company's final standing is seventh, also with 40 points.

Alta 1 - 1 Nybergsund

The faithful at Finnmarkshallen Arena in Alta paid homage to their captain with a standing ovation as Alta and Nybergsund battled to a draw on Sunday afternoon.

Jay Needham started at central midfielder for head coach Aasmund Bjorkman in what may have been his final match in an Alta uniform.

Needham's contract with the club has now expired upon Sunday's conclusion of the 1. Division season and the native Texan will have the option of pursuing other playing opportunities.

The home fans recognized Needham, who has served as the team captain all season long, with a standing ovation in the 69th minute when he was substituted out for Haukur Pall Sigurdsson.

Meanwhile fellow American Connor Tobin did not see any action for Nybergsund. Tobin concludes his first season at Nybergsund with a total of 19 appearances. The Colorado native has started the bulk of the season before being relegated to the bench in August.

The match started with Alta having the bulk of the chances including a goal that was disallowed in the 19th minute. Needham played in a cross to forward Jan Tommy Haugli who leaped up and swung a half-volley into the net.

The referee ruled the play was offsides thus stripping Haugli of one of the league's best goals of the year.

Just seven minutes later Haugli once again acted as playmaker as he took in a ball and made a move towards goal prompting a foul by a Nybergsund defender in the penalty area.

Team leading scorer Vegard Braaten slipped the penalty shot just between the goalkeeper and the left post to put Alta ahead. The conversion gave the future Tromso man a total of 18 goals on the campaign.

Nybergsund equalized one minute before haltime as some shoddy defense from the Alta back line readered its head.

Similar to the 2-1 loss they suffered three weeks ago at Tromsdalen, the hosts' defense turned the ball over deep in their own area and Nybergsund's Morten Christiansen was there to take advantage.

With the ball pinballing around the area, Alta failed to clear and Christiansen sent a rolling shot just inside the left post for the goal.

Neither team were able to find the back of the net in the second half sending the teams to a splitting of the points to cap of the season.

Alta wrap up their 2009 1. Division in a very solid sixth place with 42 points while Nybergsund finished ninth with 40 points.

Notes

Brian Waltrip recovery from a fractured ankle kept him out of Molde's 3-0 victory over Lillestrom.

Aalesund reserve goalkeeper Adin Brown watched his teammates battle to a 1-1 draw with Stromsgodset.

Mikkel Diskerud ended up playing with Stabaek's U-20 team in a Cup encounter versus the Rosenborg U-20 squad and did not factor on Sunday versus a Matthew Allen-less Sandefjord.

Tyrel Lacey was probably glad he was not in goal for FC Lyn on Sunday as the relegation bound club from Oslo got drilled by Fredrikstad 0-5.
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