Ocean City win away against title rivals
In a match of two potential playoff contenders, we spoke all week about the importance of this game and earning points on the road.
In a match of two potential playoff contenders, this was a hugely important game for both clubs, but it was the Ocean City Nor’easters who won 3-1 at Jersey Express
The Nor’easters wanted to quickly establish themselves in the game and set the stage for a quality performance. The away side were able to do just that in the first 10 minutes and quickly found two quick goals by Tony Asante, one neatly tucked into the corner in transition as he eluded the Express central defender and goalkeeper on a ball into space by Zoncher Dennis and the second on a set piece from a powerful header by Asante. Scoring goals early can be a bonus but teams of quality, like Jersey Express, will battle back and dominate the ball for phases of the game. Jersey Express came into the game and were able to exert themselves at times throughout the match which kept the Nor’easters locked into their own half at times. However, unlike the Nor’easters last PDL match at Westchester when Ocean City squandered a three goal lead by halftime, the away side were able to go into the locker rooms with a 2-0 lead.
Into the second half it was clear that the next goal was going to be very important as both teams began to feel the tension building. Jersey Express continued to attack directly put the Nor’easters backline under pressure, but we did an excellent job of limiting their quality opportunities until midway through the 2nd half. Once they scored to close the gap to 2-1, it was game on for sure. In a half where the Nor’easters didn’t play particularly well, Brian Billings continued to make some quality saves and keep the Express at bay.
As Jersey Express chased the game, the Nor’easters began attacking more and more on the counter. The third and decisive goal came from a cross by Duke Lacroix after he eluded two defenders and pulled a ball back on the ground backwards for a Frank Tweneboa top shelf blast.
The Ocean City side were able to close the game out and continue their 100% winning record in the USL PDL Mid-Atlantic standings.
"Ocean City Nor’easters went into the game with the feeling that they can outscore anyone in the Mid-Atlantic Division after their 4-3 win over Westchester Flames. This appeared to be the case again as the free scoring Nor’easters came away with a 3-1 victory over rivals Jersey Express."
"The rivalry between the Express and the Nor’Easters is clearly prevalent. While both clubs have tons of respect for each other, we knew the winner of this game would begin to establish themselves early on in the PDL season higher up the division table... which is clearly where we want to be. It was a big road win for us for sure and our 3rd straight away from the Beach House."
"We have played a ton of soccer of late between training and friendlies to prepare, US Open Cup games and PDL games in a short period of time. As much as we have needed to play to get into form and build a level of chemistry with all of the new players that we have brought in for the season on both sides of the ball, we are very happy with our start to the season even though our legs have been a bit heavy. Hopefully, we can put together a quality performance against Baltimore Saturday night and then get a few days to get our legs back and re-group."
"We expect a big time game against the Bohemians over the weekend and we are hopeful the boys continue to handle the travel well as we look forward to getting back to home in a few weeks after a grueling start to the season on the road. There are definitely things that we have to clean up prior to that game and aspects of our play that need to improve, but 3-0 is still 3-0 in league play."
"Baltimore is an excellent team with several dangerous players and many ways that they can find a way to beat you. We have to play at our peak in order to earn 3 more points."
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