MATCH REPORT: Islanders Strike Back to Draw with Steel FC

Harrisburg, PA (August 30, 2016)Craig Foster’s two goals helped fuel City Islanders FC’s comeback to stay undefeated in the season series against Bethlehem Steel FC Tuesday night at FNB Field in front of 1,362 fans.

Foster both started and finished the scoring in the game with two skillful runs into the box that placed him one-on-one with the keeper both times. He struck on both shots with his equalizer coming with less than 10 minutes left in the match.

With the draw, City stayed undefeated in the first season series against their Pennsylvania rival by a final 2-0-1 series tally. City also moved one spot ahead of the Steel in league standings, but both have tough roads in front of them to move up to the eighth and final spot in time for the playoffs.

After starting slow for the majority of the first half, both teams found their footing in the final few minutes to give the game a direction heading into the second half.

City continued to make quick runs down the side of the field to open up the middle of the field to give their forwards space to make a play in the box. A few crosses made their way into dangerous areas, but fell just short of finding the back of the net.

The Islanders were able to break open the scoring in the 42nd minute, just when it seemed like the teams would head into the locker room knotted in a scoreless draw.

Foster received a long pass from Liam Doyle that beat the entire Steel backline. Foster gather the ball at his feet and fired a hard shot that passed just under the arm of Matt Jones.

City’s lead didn’t last long. Bethlehem struck back with a goal of their own from Philadelphia Union loanee Eric Ayuk, who scored off of a cross from Ryan Richter. Ayuk’s goal set the game at a 1-1 draw going into the second half.

Bethlehem kept that scoring momentum early in the second half when the capitalized on a free-kick from right outside of the box. James Chambers drove a hard line-drive right at Keasel Broome, who mishandled the shot that went right under his arms and in to put the Steel up 2-1.

City found themselves down for the first time in the season series against their new Pennsylvania rivals. The Islanders forwards kept the pressure on the Steel’s defense, but could not find the quality for an equalizer.

Foster grabbed his second goal of the match and the equalizer late in the second half. Paul Wilson slid a perfect seeking pass right to Foster just as he split the defense. Again, he was in all alone on the keep and directed the shot right between Jones’ legs.

Both teams had chances to grab the deciding goal, but both goalkeepers were up to the task to keep the score knotted at two. Garret Pettis had one last chance to grab the winner for the Islanders, but directed the ball just wide and out of harm’s way.

City will play their next home match against Wilmington Hammerheads FC at Millersville University on September 17th.

For tickets and more information on City Islanders FC visit our website at www.cityislanders.com or call 717-441-GOAL.

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Scoring Summary:
HAR – Foster (Doyle) 43′
BST – Ayuk (Richter) 45′
BST – Chambers (unassisted) 48′
HAR – Foster (Wilson) 81′
City Islanders Starting XI: Keasel Broome; Jamie Thomas, Liam Doyle, Dante Leverock, Shawn McLaws; Cardel Benbow, Bobby Warshaw, Mouhamed Dabo (Garret Pettis 74′), Cam Vickers (Paul Wilson 62′); Jose Barril, Craig Foster
Substitutions Not Used: Nick Noble (GK), Josh Hughes, Matt Bolduc, Brett Jankouskas, Danny DiPrima
Bethlehem Steel FC Starting XI: Matt Jones; Taylor Washington, Anderson Cenceicao, Ryan Richter, Auston Trusty, Derrick Jones, Boluwatife Akinyode, James Chambers, Eric Ayuk, Walter Restrepo (Joshua Heard 78′)
Substitutions Not Used: Gabriel Gissie, Nick Bibbs, Matthew Perella, Justin McMaster, Anthony Fontana, Josue Monge
Disciplines:
HAR – McLaws (25′)
HAR – Barril (29′)
HAR – Leverock (77′)
HAR – Thomas (86′)