Erie hit the road for the Erie County Derby with their most fiery rival FC Buffalo. Everything was set for a huge match under the lights at Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium Friday night. Erie was in a drop of form with one point from the last two matches, and FC Buffalo was looking at a must-win match to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The match started out with Erie controlling most of the possession and putting balls into dangerous areas, in behind Buffalo’s left and right backs. Erie was prepared for a tough battle and looked to pressure FC Buffalo in the midfield looking to play in their half of the field and it didn’t take long for Erie to unlock Buffalo’s defense. In the 12th minute, Fernando Martinez received a ball from Jack Simpson after the Commodores played around the 18-yard box of Buffalo and buried the ball into the back of the net. The Commodores had the start they were looking for.
The pressure from Erie would continue as FCB would have a hard time stringing enough passes together to take the wind out of the Commodores sails. Ten minutes later Erie would strike again, this time Jack Simpson would feed Erie’s Cam Philpot at the top of the goal area and he would turn in the second goal that would double the Commodores’ advantage. The teams would head to the dressing room, with the score line reading 2-0 in advantage of the visitors.
After the break Erie’s game plan would remain the same, and they would continue to look to play and draw Buffalo’s defenders out of position so they could continue to find balls in behind their back line. The second half started to live up to the derby’s reputation as the match started getting choppy with four bookings happening within a span of 20 minutes. After the match settled back down Erie struck again. In the 73rd minute on a bad back pass to the FCB goalkeeper, Simpson pounced on the miss hit pass, lifting the ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
With the scoreline at 3-0 Erie would just have to see the match out to secure the three points and the statement they would be sending the rest of the conference. The Commodores were not finished. In the 77th minute Craig Quinn would find himself, on the byline, swinging a cross in to Jacob Alatorre, his first shot would be saved by the Buffalo keeper, but Alatorre would follow his shot through and turn the rebound into the back of the net making it 4-0 Erie.
The match would finish with the score 4-0, and all three points going home with Erie as well as the clean sheet. Erie will return to action July 5th, on the road to Fort Pitt, with everything still to play for in the conference race.
Contributor: Erie Commodores FC
Photo Credit: Jennifer White/Acacia Studios