Bethlehem Steel FC fell 3-1 to the City Islanders Sunday evening to conclude their five game unbeaten streak. Steel FC found the back of the net from an own goal from Matt Bolduc 17th minute, but were unable to do so again as they battled the Union’s former USL affiliate.
Bethlehem Steel FC keeper John McCarthy found himself quite busy during the first half making a total of six saves. Harrisburg City Islanders had a total of 11 shots during the first half, with eight of those on target.
In the 14th minute, City Islanders initiated what would become a three-minute goal-fest. Aaron Wheeler scored his first goal for the home side passing in James Thomas’ cross. Almost immediately after play restarted, Wheeler scored again for the City Islanders this time heading in Thomas’ cross in the 15th minute.
“We were not mentally prepared to meet the challenge,” head coach Brendan Burke said. “They are a very direct team. They are a very comfortable lower league team. They pump the ball at you and knock it down and they were highly, highly effective.”
Bethlehem Steel FC soon put themselves back in the game. In the 17th minute, Leo Fernandes earned Steel FC a free kick which he sent into the City Islanders’ 18. After taking a deflection off of the City Islanders' Bolduc, the ball found the back of the net to make the score 2-1.
“I thought we responded pretty well,” Burke said. “I could have been 2-2 with the chance we had at the top of the box on the left side of our attack midway through the first half. In the second half we had a few good chances, but all in all that was our worst performance this year by a long shot.”
Although Bethlehem Steel FC saw several chances during the second half, the Islanders extended the lead to a two-goal differential in the 63rd minute with a goal from Bobby Warshaw.
Cory Burke saw the best chance of the second half for Steel FC when he headed Leo Fernandes’ deflected cross, but just missed the goal.
“Games like that are going to happen,” midfielder Bolu Akinyode said. “We need to come in and get back to work. We know that we are a good team, it shows in the streak we had, and we are going to come back. We are going to face adversity throughout the season and we have to respond to it.”
Steel FC will be on the road again next weekend to face Rochester Rhinos at 6 p.m. The game will be available on www.bethlehemsteelfc.com. Steel FC will be on the road for six of their next seven games.
Steel FC return to Goodman Stadium on Sunday, June 5 when they face New York Red Bulls II at 4 p.m. Single game and group tickets are available by visiting bethlehemsteelfc.com or by calling 844-STEELFC.
City Islanders 3, Bethlehem Steel FC 1
Clipper Magazine Stadium
Shots: 15-10 (City Islanders)
Corners: 2-7 (Steel FC)
Saves: 1-8 (Steel FC)
HAR — Aaron Wheeler (James Thomas) 14’
HAR—Aaron Wheeler (James Thomas) 15’
BSFC— Matt Bolduc 17’ (Own Goal)
HAR — Bobby Warshaw 63’
BSFC — Cole Missimo (Yellow) 28’
HAR — Jose Barril (Yellow) 45’
BSFC— James Chambers (Yellow) 80’
BSFC — Taylor Washington (Yellow) 87’
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
John McCarthy; Ryan Richter (C), Ken Tribbett (Mickey Daly 46’), Anderson, Taylor Washington; Bolu Akinyode (Gabe Gissie 86’), Derrick Jones (James Chambers 71’); Cole Missimo (Cory Burk 66’), Walter Restrepo, Leo Fernandes; Fabian Herbers (Seku Conneh 46’)
Substitutes not used: Samir Badr, Nick Bibbs
CITY ISLANDERS STARTING XI
Keasel Broome, Shane Johnson, Liam Doyle, James Thomas Shawn McLaws; Bobby Warshaw, Jose Barril, Paul Wilson, Mathew Bolduc, Danny DiPriman; Aaron Wheeler
Substitutes not used: Nick Noble, Shane Campbell, Brett Jankouskas, Cardel Benbow, Chris Hill, Craig Foster
Margaret Domka (Center), Mark Treilman (Assistant), Kevin Lock (Assistant), Dustin Killick (Fourth)