By Olin Gay/First State FC
Despite an early conceded goal, First State FC fought back and briefly took the lead at Abessinio Stadium on Tuesday night. A missed penalty by FC Frederick saw the home team stay ahead, but it was not enough to keep the lead, and it ended 2-2 at the final whistle.
The game began with very open play in the midfield with deep runs and quick passing resulting in saves from both goalkeepers. Coming off a throw-in, FC Frederick attacked down the right side, and Spencer Hanks scored the opening goal in the third minute. The Midnight Riders responded after the setback and ramped up their pressing to start winning possession. This culminated in a pass out to Rexford Twum on the wing, who darted around two defenders and shot low, deflecting off a defender, and sending the keeper the wrong way for the equalizer.
Both teams applied continuous pressure to the opposing back lines, resulting in several corners and saves before the first half ended. But coming out of halftime, First State FC had most of the possession and could have scored on two different counter attacks after turnovers by FC Frederick in their own half. First State’s Yohan Kim received a pass just inside the away team’s box, made a quick dribble around the defender, and was fouled, earning a penalty. He stepped up to take it and gave First State the 2-1 lead in the 60th minute.
The home team held onto the lead despite conceding a penalty in the 71stt minute on a break into the box on the left side. FC Frederick’s Elias Norris sent the spot kick off the crossbar and out of play behind the net. A minute later, FC Frederick broke towards goal. First State goalkeeper Gianluca Cersosimo came out of his net and stopped the initial shot, but the ball fell amongst three players and Frederick’s Tyler Harry rolled the ball into the empty net to tie the game.
As fatigue set in during the closing minutes of the game, both goalkeepers sent long balls over the top of the midfield, creating several chances. A late corner from FC Frederick was easily cleared, and a low cross by First State FC was caught before reaching two attackers in the box, as the game ended 2-2.
“It’s tough to drop points from a winning position, but we played our best football of the season,” First State FC GM David Holloway said. “The team is starting to gel, and we’re getting better each game.”
Holloway added that the Midnight Riders will “look to continue that momentum this weekend.”
First State FC is sponsored by local Delaware businesses Delaware Orthopaedic Specialists (DOS), IncNow, Gonser and Gonser Law, and Elite PT. The Midnight Riders’ next home game is June 11 against Virginia Beach FC. Tickets for the game are available at tickets.firststatefc.com.
Photo Credit: Type One Photography