Rafters claim inaugural Texas Trail Classic 2-0 on aggregate
The Fort Worth Vaqueros had plenty of chances to climb back in the inaugural Texas Trail Classic after losing 2-0 at Shreveport Rafters FC in April, but were unable to find the net in a 0-0 draw at Martin Field on Tuesday night.
In a physical game that saw over 30 combined fouls, the Vaqueros held steady at the defensive end, but couldn’t break through Rafters’ defensive shell and score the two goals necessary to even the cup tie.
Still, Fort Worth head coach Mark Snell said he was pleased with the way his team performed.
“Our goal was to not give away an early goal,” Snell said. “We just wanted to be solid at the back, and I couldn’t ask any more of the guys.”
The defensive effort was keyed by the return of holding midfielder Akeem Leaman, who missed the match against San Antonio last Friday after earning a red card. Snell said Leaman was “fabulous” and that he was the “glue that holds everything together.”
Fort Worth controlled much of the first leg of the Texas Trail Classic, but the Vaqueros gave up two goals after being forced to play with ten men and a position player in goal after substitute keeper Zak Downes received a red card.
In the second leg, Fort Worth’s best chance of scoring came when a Hilton Ngwa shot was deflected off the keeper and rattled around heads in the box before Shreveport was able to clear.
The Vaqueros return to NPSL action on Saturday, May 28, when they head to Missouri to take on the Joplin Demize.