Match Recap: Steel FC Finds Spark, Downs Harrisburg

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Bethlehem Steel FC hadn’t scored multiple goals in a match in nearly a month and a half. The offense found some life Sunday as James Chambers, Seku Conneh and Cory Burke each tallied to lead Bethlehem to a 2-1 victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders at Goodman Stadium. Chambers scored his first of the season late in the first half. Conneh notched his team-leading fifth goal early in the second half. At the close, Burke converted a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time. It was Steel FC’s best scoring output of the season and first multi-goal game since a 3-2 loss to the City Islanders on April 15 at FNB Field. The season series is tied, and they will square off once more on June 20 at FNB Field. Harrisburg’s Danny DiPrima scored from outside the box in the 80th minute to give some life to the visiting side, but that was as close as the City Islanders could get. Bethlehem improves to 4-6-0 (12 points) overall and 3-3-0 at home. Harrisburg falls to 2-4-4 (10 points) overall and 1-4-1 on the road.

Scoring:
39’ – BST – James Chambers
49’ – BST – Seku Conneh (Yosef Samuel)
80’ – HAR – Danny DiPrima (James Thomas)
90’+3 – BST – Cory Burke (penalty)

Three Things That Mattered:

  • 1. Bethlehem captain James Chambers, making his sixth appearance of the season, notched his first goal of the campaign in the 39th minute. Chambers hadn’t really seen much of the ball in the opening half, but he stepped up when Bethlehem needed it. Right back Aaron Jones provided the cross from the right side and Chambers rose up against the City Islanders’ Shawn McLaws for the 50-50. The deflection went dropped to Tiago Calvano who had a poor touch, allowing Chambers a second opportunity at the loose ball, shooting with his right from six yards out for a 1-0 lead heading into halftime. Chambers hadn’t scored since Bethlehem’s 1-1 draw against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Sept. 18, 2016.
  • 2. Bethlehem’s top goal scorer Seku Conneh continued to add to his strong season, giving Steel FC a two-goal cushion in 49th minute. It was once again a bad clearance from the City Islanders’ defense that led to Bethlehem’s scoring chance. Second-half sub Yosef Samuel headed the ball to Conneh who timed his run well to get behind the defense, then fired inside the far left post in the 49th minute. Conneh was a step or two away from adding to his total, but Harrisburg’s high defensive line put him offside on several occasions.
  • 3. The City Islanders were disjointed on many occasions in their attack when it came to connecting passes or reading each other for a potential buildup. Harrisburg Head Coach Bill Becher did have to deal with some injuries, including Cardel Benbow who was out with a hamstring injury. Paul Wilson also had to leave the second half with an injury. Danny DiPrima’s 80th-minute strike was a perfectly driven low ball that cut the deficit to one. As far as other chances, one came in the 24th minute when the City Islanders went through Jonny Mendoza down the right side. He dropped the ball off toward McLaws, who slid in among the traffic to force Bethlehem goalkeeper Jake McGuire to make a save.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Cory Burke, Bethlehem Steel FC –
Burke had the strongest presence from start to finish against Harrisburg’s defense, eventually netting a goal of his own with a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time.