Thursday, 13 June 2013 00:00
The Long Island Rough Riders hosted their toughest opponent yet in the PDL season, Reading United AC. The game saw the two teams fight for control of the midfield, not allowing the opponent many opportunities to score. The Rough Riders’ determination and hard defensive work earned them a point in the 0-0 tie against the Mid-Atlantic Division leaders.
The Rough Riders and Reading United met each other at eye-level early in the first half. Two strong defensive lines did not allow the opposing attack to break through. After 20 minutes, Reading started to turn up the pressure when they had a series of corner kicks and goal scoring opportunities. Rough Riders goalie Brendan Lafferty made a speculator diving save when Larry Ndjock broke free from the defense and fired a low shot to the right corner.
The game was impacted by the mutual respect both teams had towards each other based on the previous close meetings. Despite intense efforts, neither team was able to score before the half time whistle.
The second 45 minutes started with the Rough Riders creating several opportunities. At 52 minutes, the Rough Riders had their best chance of the game when Danny Kramer took an ideal first shot into the penalty box and played a through ball to Dominick Sarle. Sarle beat Reading’s goalkeeper McCarthy but his attempt was denied inches before crossing the line.
The game started to open up more in the 60th minute. Both teams’ offensive lines created a competitive high-paced match, seeking their chances to score. Rough Riders midfielders Dakota Barnathan and Stephen Roche moved the ball quickly to lead their forwards to several opportunities. It was in this dramatic phase of the game that Stephen Roche took on a dominant role in the midfield, winning several balls but also receiving a yellow card for a hard tackle.
When Reading continued to attack late in the second half, it was Tom Wharf who led the Rough Riders’ defense to their first shutout of the season. In the end both teams settled for a hard fought point in an even battle.