Despite a goal from Seku Conneh that made the 21-year-old the club’s all-time goals leader, Bethlehem Steel FC concluded its road trip by falling to FC Cincinnati, 2-1.
In the series third matchup in a two-month span, Steel FC was unable to replicate its previous results that had the squad on the verge of its first sweep of an opponent in team history. Instead, another historic event happened, as Conneh broke a tie with Cory Burke, Derrick Jones and Ryan Richter for the club’s all-time scoring leaders. Conneh’s goal came in the 33rd minute, converting from the penalty spot for the second time this season.
Playing on Cincinnati’s home turf, Steel FC fell behind early in the first half on a headed goal from recently acquired Danny Konig. After a quick restart, forward Jimmy McLaughlin found space outside the 18-yard-box to square up a cross into the box. Steel FC goalkeeper Jake McGuire came off his line to deny the cross but Konig beat the keeper to the ball for the game’s first goal.
Bethlehem Steel FC responded moments after, nearly scoring an equalizer off the foot of rookie Chris Nanco. The Canadian forward collected a Santi Moar pass behind a Cincinnati center back but keeper Mitch Hildebrandt made the reaction save.
Steel FC tied things up in the 33rd minute on Conneh’s goal. While the hosts looked to build an attack, Steel FC’s forwards pressed to force a timely turnover. Conneh did just that, stealing the ball and getting fouled inside the Cincinnati box. The 21-year-old Liberian national team forward responded, beating Hildebrandt on the penalty kick for his fourth goal of the season.
Nanco nearly gave the visitors the lead heading into the locker room, gaining a breakaway with the whistle looming of the play. With his eyes on his second goal of the season, Hildebrandt came off his line to deny a shot on goal just outside the box.
The second half saw Steel FC continue to press high for a winning goal but once again it was Konig finding the back of the net for the hosts. Off another quick counter attack, Kadeem Dacres collected a long volley from the midfield. The forward shuttled a through pass behind the Steel FC that was deflected by the defense but quickly collected and slotted into the far corner.
With time winding down, Steel FC pushed hard for an insurance goal but Hildebrandt would make numerous saves during the final 10 minutes. In the 83rd minute, left back Matt Real pushed forward in search of the tying goal only to have his shot just miss the near post. Moments later, Santi Moar collected a mistimed punch from Hildebrandt but was unable to beat the keeper and the Cincinnati defense.
With four minutes of stoppage time looming, severe weather was detected within range of the stadium and the match was put into a weather delay. After an hour delay, a call took place with the league, officials and both coaches and it was decided that the match would not be concluded.
Bethlehem Steel FC will return home next week to kick off a three-match home stand at Goodman Stadium. Steel FC will open the home swing with a special Thursday, May 25th kickoff time against Charleston Battery. The match will serve as Steel FC’s Education Day, with schools from around the Lehigh Valley spending the day with the club, in coordination with the event, kick-off is scheduled for 11 a.m. A special ticket price has been set at $5 and can be purchased online here, or by calling the Bethlehem Steel FC ticket office at 844-STEELFC.
Bethlehem Steel FC 1, FC Cincinnati 2
Shots: 18-17 (Bethlehem)
Shots On Goal: 7-5 (Bethlehem)
Corners: 5-3 (Bethlehem)
Saves: 5-3 (Cincinnati)
CIN – 18’ Danni Konig (Jimmy McLaughlin)
BST – 33’ Seku Conneh (PK)
CIN – 52’ Danni Konig
CIN – 43’ Daryl Fordyce (Yellow Card)
BST – 45’ Chris Nanco (Yellow Card)
BST – 47’Seku Conneh (Yellow Card)
BST – 64’ Ken Tribbett (Yellow Card)
BST – 90’ Amoy Brown (Yellow Card)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Jake McGuire; Matt Real, Ken Tribbett, Hugh Roberts, Matt Mahoney; James Chambers, Chris Wingate (Josh Heard 58’), Cory Burke; Chris Nanco ((Yosef Samuel 67’), Santi Moar,
Seku Conneh (Amoy Brown 82’)
Substitutes not used: Jahmali Waite, Charlie Reymann, Josue Monge.
FC CINCINNATI STARTING XI
Mitch Hildebrandt; Matt Bahner, Austin Berry, Harrison Delbridge, Tyler Polak; Aodhan Quinn, Corben Bone, Daryl Fordyce (Andrew Wiedeman 81’); Jimmy McLaughlin (Omar Cummings 90’), Kadeem Dacres, Danny Konig
Substitutes not used: Dallas Jaye, Paul Nicholson, Pat McMahon, Marco Dominguez, Cristian Martinez
Malik Badawi, Walter Heatherly (Assistant), Nait Hegerty (Assistant), Kevin Fikar (Fourth Official)
LVHN TEAM NOTES