Erie Admirals Give FC Buffalo Their First Loss

           The mood was festive at All High Stadium as FC Buffalo took on the Erie Admirals in their fifth match of the season.  Unfortunately, the home crowd would be brought down when Erie scored in only the third minute on a penalty kick and FC Buffalo could not come back with an answer for the entire game, suffering their first loss of the season on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

            The first half was actually bookended by a pair of dangerous scoring opportunities.  The first, at the 3’ mark came off an Erie cross that Buffalo keeper Andrew Coughlin couldn’t quite get both hands on.  The resulting rebound put the ball in Erie possession just on the far side of the six yard box.  As Defender Kevin Kappock came across to try to block the shot, the ball went off of his shoulder/upper arm, resulting in a handball and a penalty kick.  Erie striker Danny Deacon buried the penalty in the bottom right corner of the net putting Erie up for the rest of the game.

            As the half continued, Buffalo pressed well and seemed to control the majority of the first half’s play.  However, though the ball spent a lot of time in the air in a lob heavy passing game, no Buffalo players could quite get the space to convert in the first half.  Then, in what seemed to be a bit of karma, the half ended with a FC Buffalo free kick about twenty yards out.  The kick, taken by center back Kendell McFayden clearly ricocheted off of an Erie defenders hand in practically a mirror image of the foul that led to Erie’s first half goal.  However, there was no call from the referee and no penalty shot for Buffalo, over loud objections from both McFayden and the Buffalo bench.

            In the second half, Buffalo lost much of their momentum and the game played very evenly for much of the half, though as the half went on desperation started to creep into Buffalo’s game.  Eventually, this would lead to Erie’s second goal.  As the ninetieth minute hit and the referee reported three minutes stoppage time, Buffalo started pressing hard with numbers leaving the defense undermanned.  Unable to keep possession in the offensive zone, Erie was able to counterattack with numbers leading to three dangerous opportunities in the ninety-first minute before Erie’s Deacon scored an insurance goal in the ninety-second minute on a breakaway after Buffalo’s back line badly judged his position to be offside.  With opportunities for both teams, this was a fairly even game, but this time it did not go FC Buffalo’s way.

            With this loss, Buffalo is now 1-3-1.  Their next game is tomorrow (Tuesday, June 9th) against the Rochester Rhinos at Sahlen’s Stadium.  Their next home game is June 21st versus Fort Pitt.