HARRISBURG, Pa. (August 30, 2016) – Bethlehem Steel FC fought back from a first half deficit but a late goal resulted in a 2-2 draw at Harrisburg City Islanders. The result pushes Steel FC to 27 points on the season (6-11-9) and concludes a four-game road trip. Bethlehem Steel FC will return to action on Sunday, Sept. 4, at 3 p.m. when they host Eastern Conference leaders New York Red Bulls II.
The match began with both teams getting adjusting to each other’s style of play. Steel FC’s defensive communication was tested twice in the first ten minutes but both times the backline earned an offside call to stall the City Islanders attack.
Bethlehem Steel FC jumped into the attack just past the half hour mark with Ryan Richter and Walter Restrepo coming close to placing the ball on net. While Richter’s attack was swept away by City Islanders, Restrepo ran down a ball destined to be out and nearly connected with Ayuk inside the box. James Chambers continued the offensive attack with a low cross from 30 yards out toward Ayuk but was unable to place it on frame.
Despite the Steel FC chances, Harrisburg opened the scoring in the 43rd minute on a long distance play. Defender Shawn McLaws switched the field with a long ball that soared over the Steel FC defense with Craig Foster beating the backline and Steel FC goalkeeper Matt Jones.
Steel FC wasted little time responding as they turned to Ayuk once again. With the halftime whistle looming, Richter used a soft touch to create space before crossing to an unmarked Ayuk who headed the chance into the back of the net to tie the match at 1-1.
The momentum carried into the second half for Bethlehem Steel FC, as they turned a simple foul from Harrisburg into a major play. After Derrick Jones was fouled, Chambers dialed up another beautiful free kick as he fired a laser over the over the City Islanders defensive wall and scored from 25 yards out.
The lead wouldn’t last until the final whistle however, as Harrisburg found a late equalizer as Foster notched his second goal of the game in the 81st minute.
Steel FC returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 4 when they play host to New York Red Bulls II at 3 p.m. The match begins the month of September, where the team hosts three of the final four regular season matches at Goodman Stadium.
Bethlehem Steel FC 2, Harrisburg City Islanders 2
Shots: 13-11 (Bethlehem)
Shots On Goal: 5-10 (Harrisburg)
Corners: 5-4 (Bethlehem)
Saves: 8-3 (Bethlehem)
HAR – 43’ Craig Foster (Shawn McLaws, Liam Doyle)
BST – 45’ Eric Ayuk (Ryan Richter)
BST – 49’ James Chambers
HAR – 81’ Craig Foster (Paul Wilson)
HAR – 25’ –Shawn McLaws (Yellow Card)
HAR – 29’ – Jose Barril (Yellow Card)
HAR – 78’ – Dante Leverock (Yellow Card)
HAR – 86’ – Jamie Thomas (Yellow Card)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Matt Jones; Ryan Richter ©, Anderson Conceicao, Auston Trusty, Taylor Washington; Bolu Akinyode, Derrick Jones, James Chambers; Leo Fernandes, Walter Restrepo (Joshua Heard 78’), Eric Ayuk
Substitutes not used: Matthew Perrella, Nick Bibbs, Anthony Fontana, Gabe Gissie, Justin McMaster, Josue Monge
HARRISBURG CITY ISLANDERS STARTING XI
Keasel Broome; Jamie Thomas, Liam Doyle, Dante Leverock, Shawn McLaws; Cardel Benbow, Bobby Warshaw, Mouhamed Dabo (Garrett Pettis 74’), Cam Vickers (Paul Wilson 65’); Jose Barril, Craig Foster
Substitutes not used: Nick Noble, Josh Hughes, Matt Bolduc, Brett Jankouskas, Danny DiPrima