By Ian Bolger/Florida Roots FC
The Florida Roots Futbol Club (0-3-1) lost their third straight match on the road in their rematch against Tallahassee SC (1-2-2) 3-0 on Saturday evening at Gene Cox Stadium. The Roots have yet to win a game this season, while Tallahassee picks up their first home win in their team’s history in the NPSL.
The win for Tallahassee effectively puts them just outside of the top four of the Gulf Coast Conference standings with five points. The top four teams from the Gulf Coast Conference will play in a playoff to take home the conference title. The Roots still sit with only one point on the season which came from the tie in their first game against Tallahassee.
This matchup also had heavy implications as to who will win the 850 Cup, which is awarded to the team in the 850 area that has the greatest number of points against each other. Between the three 850 area teams in the NPSL this season, Tallahassee has a win and two draws, the Roots have a draw and a loss, and Pensacola FC only has a draw. The Roots and Pensacola have yet to play each other this season and Tallahassee has one more match left against Pensacola after drawing with them in their first meeting.
Similar to their first matchup this season in Panama City, the action once again started early in this game with Tallahassee scoring in the seventh minute with a goal that went right by the hands of goalkeeper Josh Burton.
Attacker Ricardo Smith had a chance to score within the first few minutes of this game but couldn’t get past the defender with a one-on-one opportunity with the keeper outside of his placement. They also had another opportunity to score off the corner kick in the 28th minute but the ball deflected into the keeper’s hands on a good shot on goal.
In the 32nd minute, Tallahassee faced the same situation but was able to execute by scoring their second goal of the game. The ball went over the hands of Burton and Tallahassee was able to head the ball into the goal to take the 2-0 lead.
In the second half, the Roots came out strong with authoritative attacks to open back up from the break. There were a lot of great passes that were made between Roots’ players, but they just couldn’t get a good shot on goal to break their deficit on the road to one.
In the 61st minute, luck ran out for the Roots to make a comeback attempt. Tallahassee scored on an open goal to take the 3-0 lead and put the game out of reach for the Roots.
The Florida Roots will make their return to Panama City for the first time in over three weeks to face the New Orleans Jesters on Thursday, June 3rd at 7:00 pm. They will look to earn their first-ever win as an NPSL team on their home turf at Tommy Oliver Stadium.
Photo Credit: Paul Kearns