It feels good to get a win, but at times it feels even better to do in a convincing fashion.
The Dalton Red Wolves defeated the Charlotte Eagles 7-2 on Sunday at Christian Heritage School. It was the second consecutive victory for the first-year USL League Two franchise, and the first which saw the team score more than one goal.
Dalton Red Wolves coach Drew Courtney said it felt good to finally see the attacking talent show itself.
"We have so much ability going forward, we're just really dynamic," Courtney said. "I think it was good for us to open up those flood gates, if you will, for scoring goals. We needed it and it was a good night for us going forward."
The match began inauspiciously for Dalton (3-1-1) after Charlotte (0-3-2) scored on a quick counter just six minutes into the game. With a light rain falling through the entirety of the first half, the Red Wolves slowly began to pick apart the Charlotte defense and at the 37-minute mark forward Fuad Adeniyi got Dalton on the board. After left winger Pierre Groutchov beat his defender around the left side, he played a low ball through the six-yard box where Adeniyi scored with a one-touch finish with his left foot.
The goal was Adeniyi's third of the season, and lifted the lid off a Red Wolves offense that seemed primed for a breakout performance. Groutchov, a Haitian international, said it felt good to start seeing the ball hit the back of the net.
"Every game is a new game, and you have to approach each game in a different way," Groutchov said. "I feel in this game we started off really badly, and we needed to get those three points. Everybody felt like it was an obligation to win this one."
Following the goal by Adeniyi, the Red Wolves scored three times in the next seven minutes. Goals by Adam Zayed, Groutchov, and a second by Adeniyi made the score 4-1 at the half, and the Red Wolves seemed on cruise control for the remainder of the match.
Adeniyi finished his hat trick with his third goal of the match early in the second half, and was followed by goals from Schimiliguen Castin and Abdel Kuku for Dalton. After the match, Kuku said the chemistry continues to build for the first-year club.
"For a brand new team I feel that we're all coming together pretty nicely now," Kuku, an Australian international, said. "We're playing together, working together, everyone is working hard in training. Especially for a squad of 40 players, everyone is battling for a spot. You have to perform week in and week out or you'll lose your spot."
Through the first four games of the season the Dalton Red Wolves scored four goals. On Sunday night, the team exploded for nearly double that amount, but after allowing a second goal late, Courtney said there was still room for improvement.
"Defensively, our organization isn't great," Courtney said. "We've got to do a better job of being on the same page. We need to be less reactionary. Still, when you win by five goals against a good side who hasn't necessarily got the results yet, that's what you want to see."
Dalton will play next at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Discoveries SC in Rock Hill, South Carolina.