Ocean City draw 1-1 with Northern Virginia

Alex Weidman scores his first PDL goal

Northern Virginia Royals
Ocean City Nor’easters
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For the second straight home game, the Ocean City Nor’easters had to settle for a draw at Carey Stadium. Saturday’s match at Carey Stadium finished 1-1 between Ocean City and the Northern Virginia Royals, leaving the Nor’easters without a win in their first three matches.

Both goals in the game were controversial beginning with the first one by Alex Weidman (Monmouth / Linwood, NJ) of Ocean City FC. In the 3rd minute, Ryan Richter (LaSalle / Southampton, PA) sent Weidman down the right wing where he attempted to cross the ball into the penalty area. Rather than the ball swinging away from the goalkeeper, the ball bent toward the goal, forcing the keeper to attempt to knock it away. Instead, he swiped the ball toward his own goal and it crossed the line to give the home team a 1-0 lead. 

The goal was initially not awarded as the center referee did not see the ball cross the line, but his assistant did, and informed him that he had the best angle and overruled the initial non-call.

In the 38th minute, the Royals would respond with a controversial goal of their own. Northern Virginia played a ball out of the backline to the forwards who appeared to be in an offside position. As the ball rolled toward them, John Fletcher (Eckerd College / Uxbridge, England) mis-kicked it and Maurice Hughes collected the ball and found himself on a breakaway withe Ocean City goalkeeper Tunde Ogunbiyi. Hughes would score to tie the game at 1-1. 

The second half would remain scoreless, but there were a few moments that nearly broke the tie. Ocean City gained a man advantage in the 83rd minute when Stanley Kaweesi of the Royals, the last defender, tripped Dwayne Dove as he was racing in on a breakaway, drawing the red card from the referees pocket. With the extra man, Richter would hit the cross bar on a shot from distance while Ogunbiyi denied a breakaway chance by Northern Virginia in second half stoppage time.

"It was just another frustrating tie at home," said head coach Neil Holloway. "It was a tie that a lot of the players took as a loss. They knew that they did enough to win the game, but the ball just wasn’t bouncing our way tonight."

Ocean City remains undefeated against Northern Virginia in their four all-time meetings (3-0-1), as they begin a string of six straight road games that begins on Wednesday, May 26 at Central Jersey. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the College of New Jersey in Trenton. It will mark the first meeting between the Nor’easters and the expansion club.

Note: Reading United claimed the US Open Cup berth from the Mid-Atlantic Division tonight with a 4-0 win over the Carolina Dynamo. They qualify for the tournament with a perfect 4-0-0 record after winning a tiebreaker with the 4-0-0 Ironbound Express. Since the PDL began its qualifying format in 1997, only two teams have finished 4-0-0 and missed out on the tournament. In 2010, two teams with perfect records (Ironbound Express, Portland Timbers U23s) were both denied due to a tiebreaker. www.thecup.us