Saint Louis FC Gut Out 0-0 Draw In Harrisburg

Harrisburg, PA (September 6, 2015) – It was another tough road match for Saint Louis FC, but they were able to get a result, ending their two game losing streak. On a soggy and uneven field on Sunday night, they drew 0-0 with the Harrisburg City Islanders.

With this results, Saint Louis FC improve to 6-11-9 (27 points) on the year and Harrisburg City improve to 10-10-5 (35 points). While Saint Louis FC have been eliminated from the playoffs, Harrisburg are on the outside looking in. They are just two points below the red line.

Saint Louis FC Gut Out 0-0 Draw In Harrisburg

The first half of the match was a slog for both teams. The Harrisburg area has had lots of rain recently, so the field conditions were very poor. The grass was tall and the surface was lumpy and uneven. It took some time for the visitors to get used to it and that prevented them from stringing passes together.

Saint Louis FC opted to stay organized and keep numbers behind the ball in loo of the conditions. Harrisburg did well to possess the ball and attack but could not crack the back line.

Ten minutes in, Yann Ekra sent a cross in towards Craig Foster inside the box. The forward got a point blank shot on goal, but Alec Kann managed to get a hand to it.

The Islanders continued to work down their right hand flank, getting the ball to Andrew Lubahn in space. He troubled the Saint Louis FC back line on several occasions and drew a yellow card for Paker Maher in the first half.

The defense held on through the first half behind Captain James Musa, who made several key defensive plays going to ground to break up attacks.

Richard Dixon made his first appearance in well over a month for the visitors, but was subbed out in the 29th minute for Chad Vandegriffe.

Towards the end of the half, Saint Louis FC came out of their shell. In the 35th minute, Kingsley Bryce had an excellent chance on a break, but went down just outside the box. There was no foul called on the play and the replays were inconclusive.

Five minutes later, Bryan Ciesiulka sent in a dangerous cross to Jordan Roberts. Roberts tried to volley it on goal, but mistimed his shot.

The half ended 0-0.

The second half would be much more exciting and wide open than the first. Roberts and Bryce continued to show good work rate in the final third and the team pushed more numbers forward in the attack.

In the 51st minute, Roberts had a shot right in front of goal that was deflected by a defender with a possible hand ball. A minute later, Ciesiulka would send another cross into the box. Jamiel Hardware volleyed it on goal, but Nick Noble was able to make the save.

The two sides continued to trade chances deep into the half. In the 70th minute, Hardware sent a through pass up field that unleashed Bryce on goal. Bryce took a touch to control and shot, but Noble was able to stop it and the ball deflected out of play last touched by Bryce. Two minutes later, Cardel Benbow had a shot deflect off the post and cleared off the line.

Needing a goal to enhance their playoff chances, Harrisburg continued to press. In the 75th minute, the home side had good build up and Ekra half volleyed a shot off of his chest. Kann was just able to fist the ball over the bar.

Harrisburg continued to throw numbers into the box, testing the Saint Louis FC defense more than any point previously. In the 84th minute, Benbow hit the bar for a second time.

In the 90th minute, Charles Renken came in late on a tackle on Neil Shaffer sending the defender to the ground. Renken turned his back as the play moved on and Shaffer got up and ran into Renken with a shove. Renken turned and went after Shaffer and the two nearly came to blows. The two were sent off with straight red cards.

The match ended 0-0.

Harrisburg move on to host the Richmond Kickers this Saturday at 7 PM EST. Saint Louis FC host the Charlotte Independence on Saturday at 7:30 PM CST.