Harrisburg, PA (May 22, 2016) – The City Islanders already have one instate rival in the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and after taking down the newest USL team in Pennsylvania by a final of 3-1 in Clipper Magazine Stadium, they may have created a second.
Bethlehem Steel FC came into the match on a five game undefeated streak, while City had only one victory in their last five USL outings.
City would get three points out of a game for the first time in over a month because of two early back-to-back goals from Aaron Wheeler in less than two minutes. After netting the first goal in the 14th minute, Wheeler capitalized on a perfect pass from James Thomas for what would ultimately be the game winner just 16 minutes into the match.
City controlled the play to start the game with a few scoring chances that were either saved by John McCarthy or sailed just off their mark. They kept the pressure on with some quick play and were rewarded for their quality play less than 15 minutes into the game.
The scoring opened up in the 14th minute after a series of passes between Wilson and McLaws that found Wheeler streaking through the box to narrowly get his foot on the pass to direct it into the back of the net.
Wheeler wasn’t done there. Before Bethlehem could catch their breath they had conceded another goal. James Thomas played a through ball that split the defense to find Wheeler all alone against Steel’s goalie McCarthy. The shot by Wheeler found the back of the net to put the Islanders up by a pair of goals.
Bethlehem wouldn’t wait long to get one back. Less than a minute later the Steel got their first goal after a free kick taken by Leo Fernandez ricocheted off a few City players and in for an own goal off of Matt Bolduc.
The Isles ended the half with a flurry of chances, but McCarthy stood tall to keep the game at just a one goal difference heading to the locker room.
Keasel Broome, who was starting his first USL game, had to do some work to keep the Islanders on top early in the second half. Bethlehem had a series of dangerous chances to try to knot the game up.
City kept the pressure on as well by pushing further and further into the offensive zone until finally they found the quality to put Bethlehem away for good. Wheeler put a hard shot on goal that rebounded to Bobby Warshaw, who buried his first goal of in USL competition. He is on a two-game scoring streak after getting the Islanders first goal in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The second game in this new rivalry will be Thursday, July 21 at Goodman Stadium in Reading at 7 p.m.
The Islanders will stay in Lancaster for their next game when Toronto FC comes into Clipper Magazine Stadium on Tuesday, May 24 at 7 p.m. For tickets and more information please visit www.cityislanders.com or call 717-441-GOAL (4625).