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Rough Riders Fall Short To Jersey Express

The Long Island Rough Riders recently fell 3-2 against the Jersey Express in their final home match of the 2013 PDL season.  In a back and forth game, the Rough Riders created many attacking chances but did little to capitalize. Based off of their regular season play, the Rough Riders now depend on other improbable results in the division and need to win in Ocean City to have any chance of moving onto post-season play.

In the opening minutes of the game, possession switched back and forth as both the Rough Riders and Express were trying to set the tempo. After a few unsettling attacks by the Express, the Rough Riders began to push forward and create chances.  Express defender Clint Caso played a lazy ball back to keeper Jon Dawson but Rough Rider forward Dominick Sarle intercepted the pass. What could have been the first goal of the game ended in a save after Sarle attempted to dribble around the keeper.

The Rough Riders attack showed considerable promise, though they struggled to find the back of the net. At 20 minutes, Danny Kramer crossed the ball into the box where Sarle connected with his foot but went inches wide left.  Just minutes later, a Rough Riders corner landed on the foot of Stephan Barea who nearly missed the net after attempting a crafty bicycle kick.

It was Jersey Express defender Walter Hines who broke the stalemate in the 29th minute. He settled the ball down on his foot, took a soft touch and placed a shot in the lower left corner to give the visitors the important 1-0 advantage.

The Rough Riders had several clear goal scoring opportunities in the last 15 minutes of the first half but were unable to connect in the final third as the first 45 minutes came to a close with the Express leading 1-0.

The home team came out aggressively in the second half and pushed forward for a goal they desperately needed. Their persistence led them to their first at 48 minutes when Kramer’s cross-found Sarle’s foot in the six yard box. Sarle netted the ball to even the game.  Happy to have finally tied the game, the Rough Riders lost their concentration for so much as one minute. Express got a leg up once again after quickly countering. Forward Christopher Karcz connected on a dangerous strike and fired the ball into the back of the net, giving Rough Rider keeper Marco Joergensen little opportunity to save.  

The attendees were excited to watch the game as it continued to go back and forth. The Rough Riders battled from the one goal deficit when Kramer dribbled down the line, slotted the ball to Sarle who cut the ball away from goal and passed to Stephan Barea. He took his time and calmly shot under the Express keeper to tie the match up at two a piece.

Once more, the Express had the immediate answer. Defender Christopher Lebo sprinted up the right wing and struck the ball in the upper left corner of the net in the 77th minute. Lebo’s goal proved to be the game winner as the Rough Riders could not convert their chances in the final minutes.

With this loss, the Rough Riders are now in fifth place with 23 points in the Mid Atlantic Division.