The Ocean City Nor’easters welcomed their supporters to join them on the 4th July to celebrate the independence of a nation, and celebrate they did. A 2-0 victory over in-state rivals New Jersey Rangers put everyone in great spirits for the fireworks just yards away on the Ocean City, NJ Boardwalk.
The Nor’easters are set to play the NJ Rangers twice in four days as the playoff picture becomes clearer. Ocean City Nor’easters opened the scoring early as Timothy Mulgrew drilled a direct free kick up and over the wall to beat the keeper low against the post in the 4th minute. Ocean City went on to take control of the first half even though it began to fizzle out towards the end of the 45 minutes. The first half saw some of the Nor’easters best “possession with purpose” that they have been focusing on all season.
The second half didn’t start with a bang but the Nor’easters took control and scored again on 52 minutes through attacking right back Sean McLaws who followed in a Zoncher Dennis shot that the Rangers keeper parried towards him. Ocean City survived some scares with Michael O’Keeffe, New Zealand Olympian from the 2012 London Games, looking confident and allowing Ocean City to use all their allotted substitutions and get the fringe players some good minutes.
The game finished 2-0 and the supporters made the short walk up onto the Ocean City Boardwalk for an outstanding firework display. Independence Day is a great day in Ocean City, NJ and it looks like the Nor’easters organization will become a big part of that and coming to see the game before the fireworks will become the new July 4th tradition in town.
Coach Tim Oswald was happy with the result after the game, “We needed a win to keep our momentum going and a clean sheet for O’Keeffe was vital. Hopefully our performance will be better on Sunday but I would take the same result.”
MVP: Michael O’Keeffe