Nor'easters beat Reading 2-1 to be crowned Mid-Atlantic Champions... again
It was another beautiful day in Ocean City, NJ as the Nor’easters retained the USL PDL Mid-Atlantic Championship beating arch rivals Reading United 2-1 at Carey Stadium.
The game started with a very tense atmosphere hanging over the first 10 minutes. Possession was switched back and forth as the scrappy affair both teams tried to find a tempo. After ten minutes the Nor’easters had a great chance with Zoncher crossing for Tribbett who lays it back for Cribley whose shot is saved.
The opening goal came on 18 miuntes as Dwayne Reid scored from a Frank Tweneboa through ball. Reid out muscled the defender and finished hard and low past the Reading keeper. Just 5 minutes later the Nor’easters scored again, and again it was Reid with the finish to make it 9 goals in 3 games. Reid began the attack by beating the Reading United left back and crossing for McLaws whose shot was blocked but it was Reid who reached the ball first and shot low in the corner off the far post.
The Nor’easters continued to threaten the Reading United goal with their possession with a purpose style of play. United’s backline continued to struggle with the pace of Reid and the delightful forward passes of Tweneboa. The half ended with a 2-0 lead for the Nor’easters.
The second half begun with Ted Cribley jinking inside and shooting just wide. Reading United had some chances but Michael O’Keeffe looked so comfortable in goal and Tapiwa Machingauta was a rock at the back as they dealt with everything that came near them.
The half burst into life for the wrong reason after an altercation between two players saw Reid sent off but no punishment for the Reading United player involved. The sending off saw some sustained Reading pressure but O’Keeffe and Machingauta were rocks for the Nor’easters at the back.
In the last 10 minutes the Nor’easters made a few chances on the break, most notably from Emmanuel Kollie who nutmegged the same player twice in a row inside the Reading United penalty area then passed to Pataia who saw his shot saved.
The referee found 8 minutes of injury time and Reading United found the back of the net with a nice header from Jordan Vale a wonderfully delivered free kick from Jason Plumhoff from the right hand corner of the penalty area.
The win secured Ocean City Nor’easters the Mid-Atlantic Division title for the second successive season. The Nor’easters have two games left against top 4 opposition in Long Island and Baltimore.