Playing in it’s hottest and windiest match of 2017, Bethlehem Steel FC overcame an early own goal to rally for a 2-1 victory in its first visit to Saint Louis FC.
After surrendering an own goal in the third minute, Steel FC fought back with goals from the squad’s leaders: Seku Conneh and James Chambers. Conneh continued his strong 2017 campaign, notching his seventh goal of the season in the 56th minute. The equalizer was the 21-year-old’s fourth tally in the last five matches. Conneh contributed on the winning goal, finding Chambers in the 74th minute for the Irishman’s second goal on the year.
Trailing at halftime, Steel FC remained composed and used a complete team effort to fight back into the match. Off a long throw-in from defender Aaron Jones, fellow defender Hugh Roberts fought in the air to maintain possession inside the Saint Louis FC box. With the chaos taking place in front of goal, Yosef Samuel fought for possession with goalkeeper Devala Gorrick, with the ball rolling to Conneh. With players on the ground from both squads, Conneh guided the ball into the back of the net for his ninth goal of his Steel FC career.
With momentum on their side, Steel FC struck again 20 minutes later. Conneh showed patience with defenders keeping an eye on the club’s leading scorer, waiting for a teammate to find space. After a few dribbles into the box, the Liberian forward laid it off for Chambers at the top of the box. Unmarked, the 30-year-old Steel FC captain immediately fired a curling ball inside the post from 20 yards out.
The goals overcame an early Saint Louis FC lead in the third minute, scoring on an own goal. After Steel FC goalkeeper Jake McGuire made the initial save off a free kick, the ball stayed inside the six-yard-box with Saint Louis forward Tyler David looking to knock in the rebound. Steel FC midfielder Ken Tribbett blocked David’s shot but was unable to clear the ball and saw it go into the net.
Steel FC sought to answer back on the hot turf after the early goal, with Conneh, Chambers and Ken Tribbett each firing from distance. With winds as high as 20 mph, all three shots that seemed destined for slipping inside the goalpost instead went wide of goalkeeper Devala Gorrick.
Goalkeeper Jake McGuire was instrumental in the victory, making a key save in 62nd minute to keep the match level at 1-1. The Eastern Conference’s second-leading keeper in saves, McGuire denied Emir Alihidivoc attempt inside the box after the midfielder split the Steel FC defense on a quick combination with Tyler David.
Bethlehem Steel FC faces a short turnaround for its June road trip, as the club faces rival New York Red Bulls II on Friday, June 16. Kick off from the MSU Soccer Park on the campus of Montclair State is set for 7 p.m.
Bethlehem Steel FC 2, Saint Louis FC 1
St. Louis, MO.
Shots: 9-8 (Saint Louis)
Shots On Goal: 2-2 (Tied)
Corners: 4-1 (Saint Louis)
STL – 3’ Ken Tribbett (Own Goal)
BST – 56’Seku Conneh
BST – 74’ James Chambers (Conneh)
STL – 31’ Emir Alihidivoc (Yellow Card)
BST – 42’ Aaron Jones (Yellow Card)
STL – 50’ Dragan Stojkov (Yellow Card)
STL – 53’ Konrad Plewa (Yellow Card)
BST – 68’ James Chambers (Yellow Card)
STL – 86’ Cabalceta (Yellow Card)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Jake McGuire; Charlie Reymann, Auston Trusty, Hugh Roberts, Aaron Jones; James Chambers, Ken Tribbett, Adam Najem (Anthony Fontana 67’); Yosef Samuel (Santi Moar 64’), Chris Nanco (Josh Heard 81’),Seku Conneh.
Substitutes not used: Jahmali Waite, Matt Mahoney, Dawson McCartney, Tiger Graham.
SAINT LOUIS FC STARTING XI
Devala Gorrick; Cabalceta, Ryan Howe, Konrad Piewa, Wesley Charpie; Emir Alihidivoc, Dragan Stojkov, Tony Walls, Sebastian Dalgaard (Mats Bjurman 77’); Christian Volesky (Octavio Guzman 63’, Tyler David (Max Alvarez 63’).
Substitutes not used: Adam Grinwis, A.J. Cochran, Austin Ledbetter, Matthew Sheldon.
Lukas Szpala, Walter Heatherly (Assistant), Brooke Mayo (Assistant), Spenser Scopel (Fourth Official)
LVHN TEAM NOTES