By Scott Wilson/Erie Commodores FC
A first loss of the NPSL season fell at the feet of the Erie Commodores FC on Friday night as
they were soundly beaten by a rejuvenated FC Buffalo side. Buffalo scored a goal in each half to
sink the Erie side. Erie are now without a win in their previous two games and have failed to
find the net in either of those past two matches. The Commodores never really got going in this
game and really struggled to string together the free-flowing football Coach Dale White has
implemented with this squad. The narrow pitch matched with FC Buffalo’s high and intense
press really got the better of the Erie side who will want to forget about the performance from
The beginning of the game was tight and evenly contested by both sides with the main battle
appearing to be in the center of the park. The first meaningful chance of the game fell to Buffalo
in the 16th minute after a long ball down the center evaded both Erie center backs, leaving
Buffalo’s Nevado Elliot to put it wide from 15 yards. Erie’s first chance came in the form of a
free kick, which was delivered by George Stannard, but his cross failed to beat the first man and
rebounded back to the English defender who unleashed a powerful left-footed strike towards
goal from 25 yards. Unfortunately, that shot flew past the right post.
Buffalo opened the scoring in the 15 th minute with an own goal from Erie. The goal came really
against the run of play as Erie held the majority of the possession up until the goal. It was a 1-0
lead for FC Buffalo.
The next chance of the game fell to Jesus Morinigo in the 31st minute after a superb through ball
from Curtis Stollery on the right side played in the midfielder, who set the ball down perfectly
but couldn’t quite generate enough power into the strike. This made for a comfortable save for
the Buffalo keeper.
Elliot would miss a chance in the 45 th minute after being played in over the top 1v1 with
Alexander Brems in the Commodores goal. The Buffalo forward attempted to chip over Brems,
but it went wide of the left post. That would be the end of the action for the first half and at the
interval it was 1-0 Buffalo.
The second half was one of the very few chances for Erie as it was clear to see that it wouldn’t
be their day in front of goal. The second goal for Buffalo came in the 60 th minute in the form of
a penalty after Andrew Bennett fouled the Buffalo forward in the penalty area. The penalty was
neatly converted by Kieran Toland to the goalkeeper’s left for the 2-0 Buffalo lead.
The best effort of the second half for Erie came in the 73 rd minute when Stannard rose highest
from a set piece, but he couldn’t angle his header into the far post as it flashed narrowly by. Erie
must thank substitute goalkeeper Christopher Ralph for keeping the score line down after he
made four big saves to deny the Buffalo side any more goals in the closing stages of the game.
The final result was a 2-0 win for FC Buffalo.
The Commodores return home when they face Cleveland SC in the return fixture on Friday, June
14 th at Gannon University’s The McConnell Family Stadium at 7:00 pm ET.
Photo Credit: Jennifer White/Acacia Studios