Rowdies Midfielder Luke Mulholland (left) just
before scoring a goal against FC Edmonton
ST. PETERSBURG – The Rowdies and FC Edmonton played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. Midfielder Luke Mulholland had put the Rowdies up with a goal in the 38th minute, but Edmonton midfielder Chris Nurse took a strike from outside the 18 to equalize the match in the 45th minute.
“I’m frustrated because we shot ourselves in the foot and dropped two points at home and we can’t afford to do that,” commented Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. “I’m hoping we can give our great fans here a victory soon to cheer them up. For me there was not enough quality inside the final box in terms of passes to the forwards.”
Early on in the first half, the home team saw several chances through corner kicks and free kicks, but Edmonton was able to clear the ball on every opportunity.
Mulholland had a chance early on in the half, as he took a strike from outside the 18. Goalkeeper Lance Parker was able to get a touch on the shot, sending it out for a corner kick.
As the half was coming to a close, Mulholland was able to put the Rowdies up 1-0 after picking up his own rebound and slicing it past Parker. His shot from close range was originally stopped by Parker, but the England native was quick to get to the rebound and make it 1-0.
"I was at the right place at the right time," said Mulholland. "I tapped in the rebound after a good save by their goalkeeper."
Minutes later, it was Mulholland again who found himself on the doorstep of making it 2-0. After finding some space in the box, the midfielder chipped the goalkeeper but the Eddies were able to clear it off the line.
It looked like the Rowdies would enter halftime up 1-0, but the Eddies made it 1-1 in the final play of the half. After Tampa Bay’s defense failed to properly clear the ball, Nurse picked up a rebound and placed his shot in the bottom left corner of the net.
With the Rowdies pushing for their second goal of the night, their first dangerous chance came off a corner kick taken by midfielder Raphael Cox. After his cross sailed across the box, Mulholland volleyed it on net. The Eddies goalkeeper once again came up big, making another save.
Tampa Bay continued to apply the pressure, having another chance on goal in the 64th minute. This time Mulholland sent in a cross from the right flank, finding Needham at the heart of the box. The defender was unable to place his header accurately and it sailed just over the crossbar.
"We didn't dominate as much in the second half as we did in the first," explained Mulholland. "We need to work on our finishing going into our next match in Atlanta. We have ourselves to blame for not picking up the three points."
With this tie, the Rowdies extend their unbeaten run to six, their longest of the 2013 season. Tampa Bay is now third in the NASL Fall Season standings with six points, just four points from first-placed Carolina.
Tampa Bay: Luke Mulholland - 38th minute
Edmonton: Chris Nurse - 45th minute
Edmonton: Chris Nurse - 13th minute
Tampa Bay: Jay Needham - 46th minute
Edmonton: Michael Cox - 55th minute
Edmonton: Neil Hlavaty - 90+ minute
GK Diego Restrepo; D Frankie Sanfilippo (Captain), D Takuya Yamada, D Jay Needham, D Andres Arango; M Evans Frimpong, M Stuart Campbell, M Keith Savage, M Raphael Cox (Etienne Barbara 65'); F Georgi Hristov (Devin Del Do 82'), F Luke Mulholland
GK Lance Parker; D Eddie Edward, D Mallan Roberts, D Albert Watson (Captain) (David Proctor 79'), D Lance Laing; M Neil Hlavaty, M Chris Nurse; M Robert Garrett (Gagan Dosanjh 58'), M Daryl Fordyce, M Corey Hertzog; F Michael Cox (Anthony Adur 65')
The Rowdies will visit the 2013 NASL Spring champions, Atlanta Silverbacks, on Saturday, August 31 at 7:30 p.m. ET. A week later the Rowdies will host the Carolina RailHawks at home on Saturday, September 7 with kickoff at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information call (813) 287-1539 or click here.
For more information on the Tampa Bay Rowdies and to buy tickets to upcoming games, visit www.RowdiesSoccer.com.
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