Harrisburg, PA ( August 27, 2016) – After getting back into the playoff picture the City Islanders returned home to host their cross-state rivals the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and attempt to raise the Keystone Derby Cup for the first time since the cup’s inception in front of 2,853 fans at FNB Field.
City got out to an early lead in the second half from a combination play between Cardel Benbow, who crossed a shot that met the head of Craig Foster. The lead didn’t last for long as Pittsburgh’s Danny Earls struck back off of a free kick that connected with Sergio Campbell just minutes later.
Even though City did not get the win in the game, they were able to hoist the Keystone Derby Cup with a 3-2 total aggregate score in a 1-0-2 final season series.
The last installment of the season between the two Pennsylvania rivals had a tame beginning, but quickly opened up. After taking time to get a feel for the game, both teams started to play the usual physical game that is expected from these teams.
City held the majority of the possession early and kept the Riverhounds in their own penalty box for a majority of the first half. Despite two heavy chances by both Foster and Benbow, the Isles weren’t able to crack the Hounds’ defense.
Pittsburgh didn’t hold the ball much, but made quick breakout counter attacking plays that sprung their leading scorer into great scoring positions. Corey Hertzog’s two first half shots were the most by any player on either team.
A short, strong push by City at the end of the half gave the team some momentum going into the locker room dead locked in a scoreless draw.
The Riverhounds came out with life in the second half and pushed the Isles further back into their own defensive zone. The Pittsburgh surge was short lived and City started to press back and finally found their opening to break through.
After making a run down the side of the field Benbow cut back into the penalty box and laid up a perfect ball to Craig Foster who headed home the shot to put City up 1-0. It was Benbow’s second assist of the season and Foster’s fifth goal on the year.
Just minutes after Pittsburgh was able to knot the game up at a goal each off of a free kick from well outside the box. Danny Earls played a soft high cross that was deflected by Campbell and mishandled by Keasel Broome to give the Riverhounds new life in the race for the Keystone Derby Cup.
Shortly after assisting the goal, Earls slid dangerously into an Islanders player and was shown a red card. Pittsburgh would be forced to play the remainder of the game with only 10 men.
Both teams had scoring chances in the last few minutes to take the lead. City had one final push, but a last save effort from Pittsburgh’s Zack Steffen kept the game at a 1-1 draw. Although the draw did little for City’s push to the playoffs, it did give them the overall victory in the season series against Pittsburgh and their first Keystone Derby Cup victory.
The Islander still sit two spots out of the postseason, but they do inch one point closer to Orlando City B and Bethlehem Steel who is next up on the Islanders schedule. The two teams separated by only a few points will match up on City Island this Tuesday, August 30 at 7 p.m.
#HARvBST I FNB Field I Tuesday, August 30 7:00 p.m. SAVE YOUR SEAT!
* Pregame show featuring pregame insight, interviews & giveaways by Fun
* Star Wars Night with Star Wars Jersey Auction, Star Wars Characters & more!
* WHITE OUT!
* Buffalo Wild Wings FREE APP Giveaway
* College/High School Night: $5 admission with valid I.D. at the gate
* City Islanders Academy sendoff party
* Also, make sure the kids stay after for post-game autographs and pictures with the players
For tickets and more information please call 717-441-GOAL (4625) or visit www.cityislanders.com. Be sure to follow us on all social media to stay up to date with all team details.