Ocean City wins second straight as team will play remaining 2018 games at home
In the final road game of the 2018 regular season, the Ocean City Nor'easters defeated Lehigh Valley United 2-1 at JBC Stadium in Allentown, Pa. on Wednesday night. Deri Corfe (Wright State / Chester, England) assisted on an Alex Rose (North Carolina / Cary, NC) goal in the first half and then scored what would prove to be the game-winner four minutes later to lead the Nor'easters to their second straight win.
With the win, the Nor'easters improve to 6-4-0 and remain in fourth place in the Mid-Atlantic Division. However, they are just four points behind the Long Island Rough Riders who are in second place. The top two teams in the division qualify for the Premier Development League (PDL) playoffs.
"We created some great goal scoring moments tonight but we had only two goals to show for it," said Nor'easters head coach John Thompson. "We are looking forward to getting home so we can keep this winning streak going so we can keep ourselves alive for a playoff spot and a berth in the US Open Cup next year."
The remaining four games of the regular season (and two friendlies against D.C. United Under-23s and West Chester United) will all take place at Carey Stadium in Ocean City. Since the Nor'easters have the fifth-best home record in the PDL since 2003, the Beach House will be an ideal place to try to close out the season on a winning streak.
After creating a few early scoring chances, the Nor'easters broke through in the 24th minute. Corfe's pass found a wide open Alex Rose who tapped in his third goal of the season
Four minutes later, the Nor'easters kept the pressure on as Rose sent a header just over the bar. Then, Abdul Mansaray (Wilmington / London, England) sent a pass ahead to Corfe who beat the Lehigh Valley goalkeeper to the ball, dribbled past him and slotted the ball into the empty net. With a goal and an assist on the day, Corfe takes over the team lead in goals with four. In all competitions, he leads the team with 13 points (4 goals, 5 assists).
In the 37th minute, Lehigh Valley would pull one back from the penalty spot. Matt Fahey (Rowan / Williamstown, NJ), who was making his second straight start, was whistled for a handball in the box. Leon Maric stepped up and scored to cut the Nor'easters lead to 2-1.
After halftime, United created more chances but the Nor'easters defense held strong. Jimmy Slayton (Hartford / Wethersfield, CT), making his first start of the season, kept the home team off the scoresheet in the second half with three key saves. However, most of the second half, it was Ocean City's offensive pressure that kept Lehigh Valley on their toes and secured the three points.
With the win, Ocean City improves to 7-1-0 all-time against Lehigh Valley and the Storm have won the last three meetings, including a 4-1 win back on June 14. The two teams will play a third and final time this year at Carey Stadium ("The Beach House") on July 11.
The Nor'easters return home this Saturday, June 30 when they host FA Euro New York at the Beach House. It is the first of six straight home games to close out the season. All remaining games are scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m. Get all of your ticket information here and find out more about group ticket packages, birthday parties and how soccer coaches can get in free by clicking here.
NOTE: Fredlin "Fredinho" Mompremier (Fairleigh Dickinson / Limbe, Haiti) and Simone Raiola (Grand View / Triuggo, Italy), who both started for the Nor'easters on Wednesday night were named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com All-Eastern Conference Team for their performances last week.
As the final whistle blew in Allentown, Raiola was the leader in the voting for the PDL Goal of the Week. Voting concludes on Thursday (June 27) at 5 p.m. ET. Fans can watch the goal and cast their vote HERE.