By Pensacola FC
Port City FC came back from being two goals down to put Pensacola FC under pressure in an exciting final 10 minutes at Ashton Brosnaham Stadium on Tuesday night, scoring a goal in the 87th minute to fall just short in an intriguing NPSL U-19 pilot matchup.
Pensacola FC started strong for the second game running, seeing some good chances early and consistently causing problems for the visitors’ defense. Logan Harrelson and Kendrick Hernandez both had solid chances blocked as the home team forced a few saves from the Port City goalkeeper. Harrelson had his best spell of the season as he unlocked the Port City defense on a few occasions with intelligent passing and some late runs into the box to keep the visitors on the back foot.
Michael O’Leary followed up his excellent game last week by again opening the scoring for Pensacola in the 38th minute. Cole Allen joined in the attack from left back and delivered a perfect cross to the far post for O’Leary to head into the net.
Both teams raised the intensity to finish the half with some intense physical play that resulted in yellow cards for Kieran Robbins and Ty Ferguson.
The second half didn’t disappoint as Pensacola FC enjoyed some good possession of the ball to put Port City under pressure. In the 61st minute, Anthony Chicarello surged forward between two Port City defenders to finish off a nice sequence of play for Pensacola, and was brought down just inside the box to earn a penalty kick for the home team. Harrelson finally got his goal as he stepped up and calmly slotted the penalty kick home to extend the lead to 2-0.
As the contest swung back and forth, Port City started to get a hold of the game but a resilient John Michael Guidroz produced his best performance of the season in the goal for Pensacola to keep the lead at 2-0. He was finally beaten in the 87th minute by a thunderous low strike from William Hernandez Sexton following a perfectly weighted through ball.
The goal set up a tense final few minutes of corner kicks, free kicks, and tackles flying in all over the pitch from both teams. Pensacola rode out the storm in an exciting finish and very competitive game that was a fine example of the high quality play found in the NPSL U-19 pilot.
With the victory, Pensacola FC won their second game in a row, improving their record to 3-1-1 on the season. They will host the New Orleans Jesters on Saturday, October 24th to complete the home portion of their schedule.
Photo Credit: Chris Freckman