On June 10th, the Elm City Express took on Greater Lowell NPSL FC on a beautiful summer evening under the lights at Southern Connecticut State University’s Jess Dow Field. On the second day of a back-to-back, following Saturday’s thrilling victory over TSF FC, the 1-1-0 Express looked to continue their winning ways against the 3-2-0 Greater Lowell.
The game started off evenly, with both sides creating scoring opportunities. Greater Lowell looked to shoot early; however, Elm City goalkeeper Oscar Acosta proved more than capable dealing with their threats.
As the halftime whistle neared, the Express gained momentum; passes found their marks and more chances were created up top. The momentum continued into the second half; in the 46th minute, Elm City drew first blood. A well-played attacking possession for the Express culminated with a cross deflected by a defender into the path of Elm City midfielder Miguel Carneiro, who took a few deft touches to find an open window before curling it past the keeper to the far post.
“There was a lot of space in the middle today, and so eventually I got my chances to score,” said Carneiro.
It was Greater Lowell NPSL FC who struck next. On a fast-paced counter attack, Greater Lowell got the ball to Andre Simmond in front of the Elm City goal. Rather than allow Simmond to score, Elm City defender Mike Semido obstructed him and was subsequently sent off with a red card. Greater Lowell was awarded a penalty kick, which was coolly finished by Simmond in the 51st minute to knot the score at one.
At this point, the fans increased their volume and the game started to take on a chippy tone, with the Express down to ten men. In the 60th minute, on another counter attack, Greater Lowell’s Jhonata Batista found teammate Kyle Moore for an easy finish in front of an open goal. Three minutes later, a Greater Lowell cross was deflected to Batista, who smashed it in at the back post to make it 3-1 in favor of Greater Lowell.
Elm City moved the ball well and created solid chances, but the combination of being a man down and having no days off since their last game made it difficult for the Express.
“We just didn’t have the legs to do what we usually do,” said Elm City Head Coach Ted Haley.
Nevertheless, Elm City never gave up: in the 65th minute, Miguel Carneiro made a wonderful dribbling run with the ball at his feet, evading numerous Lowell defenders before calmly slotting the ball into the far corner for his second goal of the game. Down 3-2, Elm City kept attacking, searching for the equalizer, and nearly found it in the 80th minute with Anthony Asante hitting the crossbar on a driven shot from outside the box.
“I liked the fact that we kept fighting,” said Haley.
The Express kept pushing, but, unlike the previous match, there were no late game heroics in store for them.
Elm City dropped the 3-2 defeat to Greater Lowell, falling to 1-2-0. The Express look to bounce back this Wednesday away against the 2-2-0 Brooklyn Italians at 8:00 pm.
Contributor: Jack Dove and George Kosinski/Elm City Express
Photo Credit: Elm City Express