Ocean City FC still winless after 2-1 loss to Central Jersey Spartans

Ryan Finley comes back to haunt his old club; His mentor Byron Carmichael scores lone goal for Nor'easters

Ocean City Nor’easters 
(0-2-2)
1:2
Central Jersey Spartans
(1-2-1)
College of New Jersey - Ewing, NJ

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The Ocean City Nor’easters faced off with the Central Jersey Spartans for the first time and came up on the losing end, 2-1. While it was the first time the Nor’easters had seen the expansion team, it was a familiar face who helped hand them their second loss of the season and left them winless in their first four games for the first time in the club’s PDL history.

Ryan Finley (Duke / Lumberton, NJ), who scored two goals for Ocean City during the 2008 season, opened the scoring for Central Jersey in the 19th minute. The U.S. youth international received a well-placed through ball in between the Nor’easters backline, he dribbled around OC goalkeeper Tunde Ogunbiyi (Boston College / Gwynedd, PA) and slotted it home. It was Finley’s first goal of the season for a player who owns a place in Ocean City PDL history as the youngest player to ever score for the Nor’easters when he put one into the back of the net at 17 years and 47 days old on May 14, 2008 against the New Jersey Rangers.

The Nor’easters continued to push forward but were unable to find the equalizer, and before they could get on the scoresheet, the Spartans would add a second. In the 82nd minute, Central Jersey sent in a low cross from the right wing, which found John Stamatis at the far post with space to operate. Stamatis collected the ball, and quickly fired a shot past Ogunbiyi to put the hosts up 2-0.

In a frantic finish, Ocean City threw everything forward including 6’4 defender Sal Pistone (Stockton College / Blackwood, NJ), who became a forward. He would factor in the offense in the 88th minute when he flicked a long ball from John Fletcher (Eckerd College / Uxbridge, England) into the penalty area. The ball would find the foot of Byron Carmichael (Marshall / Lumberton, NJ) who volleyed it home from 12 yards to out cut the lead in half. Carmichael, a mentor and personal coach to the Spartans’ Finley, scored his first goal of the season after scoring a career-high 11 last year.

"It was just a poor performance tonight," said head coach Neil Holloway. "We didn’t execute any of the things we worked on in training and individually, no one stepped up tonight.

"We have a young, inexperienced team this year," added Holloway. "It’s a different team from last year, we’re just going to have to work on getting this team to mesh together."

Despite throwing everything at the Central Jersey defense, Ocean City was unable to save a point and extended their road losing streak to three.

Next weekend, the Nor’easters will be looking for their first win of the season as they continue their streak of six straight road games by traveling to Bermuda to take on the newest PDL team. Ocean City will play the Hogges, who dropped down from the USL Second Division this off-season, Friday, June 4 and then again on Sunday, June 6.

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