By J’Mar Smith/FC Baltimore Christos
FC Baltimore Christos looked to go 5-0 on the season back at home as the team faced Philadelphia Lone Star FC. Both teams were looking to continue their winning streaks heading into the matchup. Philadelphia is coming off an NPSL win over VBCFC, while Baltimore is fresh off a fourth consecutive league win against Northern Virginia. This is the first matchup between these two conference rivals this season.
In the early stages things were going how you would expect. Both teams jockeying for position with a chance to score for their team. Most of the first half had everyone shouting from the fans to the players and even the coaches. There were moments where the tie could have been broken, but the bounces were not on FCBC’s side early on.
Alex Stevenson looked to have opened the scoring in the sixth minute on a shot from the left flank. After initially awarding the goal, the officials decided to disallow the left back’s effort, as they believed it entered through the side of the net. In the aftermath of the overturned call, Christos looked to push the ball every chance they got. This led to an astounding amount of chances in the offensive third, however, nothing was falling. Finally, Taylor Calheira did well to draw a penalty for the hosts, and Kelan Swales buried it into the bottom left. This gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead that seemed to get the team going.
FCBC would quickly double their lead right before the halftime interval, and the lid seemed to be lifted off of the net. Nifty passing from Calheira once again to Spencer Hanks led to the easy goal and a 2-0 lead.
Baltimore was able to carry the momentum gained at the end of the first half into the second. Baltimore quickly added two more, as Swales grabbed his third of the season with an excellent solo goal. Swales to Hanks appeared once again as the duo combined for the fourth of the night.
Hanks believes that the competitive nature of the game is what made this game so physical.
“I think it’s a competitive league, we’re all competitors so you know tough games like this [trying] to go 5-0 it’s going to get chippy,” said Hanks. “But I think we kept our heads well and got the points, that’s the most important thing.”
In the wavering minutes, Baltimore was able to quickly turn defense to offense. Goalkeeper Mike Zierhoffer was able to spark the counter attack after a comfortable save, which eventually led to “Super-Sub” Matthew Brummet finding fellow midfielder Peter Mangione to give Christos their highest goal total since the first game of the season. Philadelphia managed to get on the board late with a penalty kick to finish the game at 5-1.
Hanks and Swales finished with two goals apiece, while Zierhoffer and Jailon Gillespie had a save as well. The FC Baltimore Christos go back on the road on Saturday against FC Frederick with a chance to get closer and closer to a playoff spot.
Photo Credit: FC Baltimore Christos