TOWAMENCIN — The North Penn boys soccer team caught a second wind in the later half of Monday afternoon's tight, physical Suburban One League Continental Conference match with Central Bucks East. But twice on chances right in front of the goal, East keeper Dan Chilson came up big to deny the Knights.
Abdul Mohamed, however, made sure North Penn did not come up empty on its third opportunity. The senior midfielder made a run through the center of the CB East defense then let loose a shot that found the lower left corner to break the sides' scoreless deadlock.
"I just felt the momentum,' Mohamed said. "I wanted to go straight up the field, and then I saw the left side of the next open. Took a shot, and God helped me.'
The tally proved to be enough for North Penn to maintain its undefeated record. The visiting Patriots push for an late equalizer required a late save from goalie Jordan Katz, but the Knights held on to claim the 1-0 victory.
"I feel great. I hope we can keep this streak going,' Mohamed said. "We're all working hard, we all played our hardest out there. Everyone was dying, we had to get quick subs in. But I feel great, I feel good about the win.'
Central Bucks East came up empty despite have a few dangerous chances from free kicks and corners. The Patriots were also very unlucky in the second half, as Evan Vare's shot smacked off the crossbar.
After its escaped being down a goal, North Penn (5-0-0, 3-0-0 conference) finally created some chances. A Dylan McMahon throw-in into the East 18-yard box was headed then tipped towards goal, but the effect went directly to Chilson. The Knights looked poised to go ahead when Kevin McKenna's low cross from the right side found Carlos Benetiz, but Chilson denied Benetiz at the opposite post.
North Penn, however, continued to pressure, with Mohammed finally able to get a shot past Chilson.
"I though the first 20 minutes in the second half they had some great chances, of course they hit the crossbar. I mean the game could of changed right there. It clearly changed right there,' Knights coach Paul Duddy said. "We were a little bit fortunate it hit the crossbar. And then Jordan made a couple great saves, I thought — right place, right time type of stuff.
"And then Adbul made really a hustle play. Saw the ball, got to it and then came forward at pace. And I don't know if their keeper thought he wouldn't shoot the ball or not, but no doubt in his mind what he was doing.'
Katz was tested in the final minutes, but NP's sophomore keeper came up big as he parried a East shot over the crossbar. In the last seconds, the Patriots earned a corner kick, but a shoot at try was sent wide.
The win by North Penn was its third consecutive by a goal, while East (3-2-0, 1-2-0) dropped its second-straight game, both by 1-0 scorelines.
"Our goalkeeper deserves a better fate,' CB East coach Mike Gorni said. "Chilson has great been for us. Ryan Vare and Ryan Gleason have been terrific. We're not getting enough production inside right now. The game was probably deserving of a tie, if someone had to win today, it could either way just with a finish. Credit them for a really good finish.
"But the reality is we missed six shots inside, in the box, makeable goals in the second half and you can't miss six shots and expect a team like North Penn not to score.'
The Knights have not lost in their last three meetings with the Patriots (2-0-1) and have gone 4-1-2 in their past seven matches against their conferenece rival.
"They're a great team. They had a great coach, good program. We always have problems with them every year,' Mohamed said. "It's always a good game. And they're a good team — they got those great set pieces, free kicks.'
North Penn tries to keep its unblemished record Wednesday when its hosts Quakertown for a SOL Continental game at 3:45 p.m.
"We can't look past Quakertown,' Duddy said. "They beat us up at their place last year 4-1. What can you say, that was first time in some years, but they beat us. Fair and square.'
Central Bucks East, meanwhile, also stays in conference as it visits Souderton 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
North Penn 1, CB East 0
Central Bucks East 0 0 — 0
North Penn 0 1 — 1
Second Half Scoring: Abdul Mohamed (NP).
Follow assistant sports editor Mike Cabrey on Twitter @mpcabrey.