Ocean City, NJ - The Nor’easters welcomed fans to Carey Stadium for the first time in their 2014 PDL campaign but were unable to pull out a victory in a physical match riddled with fouls and cautions. The Ocean City attack wasn’t able to apply consistent pressure on the Rough Rider defense during this Mid-Atlantic Division match-up, and the Nor’easters back line and keeper Colin Webb were peppered by the Rough Rider offense from the opening whistle.
Starting XI (Front L-R) G. Chapman, (GK) C. Webb, Z. Dennis, (C) S. McLaws, J. Plumhoff (Back L-R) B. Hines-Ike, M. Lurie, B. Maurey, B. McConnell, D. Acuna Camacho, A. Moss
Long island got on the board in just the 2nd minute, when the referee deemed that defender Ambry Moss fouled a Rough Rider in the box. Long Island striker Dominick Sarle took and converted the penalty past a leaping Webb who got a hand on it. After an early 1-0 Long Island lead, Ocean City responded by possessing the ball well and feeding Jason Plumhoff down the right sideline. In the 5th minute, a hard foul from Shaun Foster left defender Billy McConnell sprawled on the field, and his Ocean City teammates eager to attack the Long Island net. McConnell stayed in the game and for the next fifteen minutes it felt like a Nor’easter equalizer was imminent. In the 25th minute, Zoncher Dennis whipped a deadly cross into the Rough Rider box that was headed home by Ben Maurey, Big Ben’s second goal against Long Island this season. Following Maurey’s goal, the Nor’easters stopped winning 50/50 balls, lost possession frequently in the midfield and their defensive third, and became susceptible to a relentless Long Island attack. Long Island took a 2-1 lead in the 35th minute with a goal from Sean Sepe off of a whistling cross from Dom Sarle. With minutes to go in the half, Colin Webb made a beautiful punch-save, one of his 11 saves in the match, keeping the door open for a second-half Ocean City equalizer.
Emmanuel “Gogo” Kollie entered the match for the Nor’easters to begin the second half, replacing Glenroy “Junior” Chapman. Gogo provided a well-needed spark for Ocean City, and began forcing the issue, looking desperately to score. For the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Nor’easters commanded the attack and created scoring chances but were unable to finish on several occasions. In the 68th and 72nd minutes, Matt Taphorn and Alec Golini entered the game for Brendan Hines-Ike and Ambry Moss, respectively, but the Nor’easter attack no longer looked lethal, and the defense was under constant pressure from the Rough Riders. Webb made two sprawling saves in the 71st and 76th minutes to keep the Nor’easters in the game, but the Long Island attack was too much for Ocean City to handle. Manuel Martinez entered the match for Billy McConnell in the 83rd minute. The Rough Riders netted their third goal of the match in the 87th minute, a shot from Keith Detelj that tricked through the defense and past Webb, increasing the Rough Rider’s lead to 3-1.
The Long Island Rough Riders won the match 3-1. A clinical header finish from the 6'5 striker Ben Maurey, assisted by Zoncher Dennis in the first half was all that the Nor’easter attack could muster. Ocean City matched Long Island’s intensity in the second half but poor finishing and sloppy defending contributed to the Nor’easters home defeat.