Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — Never mind that FC Buffalo had won its last three matches, or that there is still some season left to play in the National Premier Soccer League. Their victory Friday night at Robert Rich All-High Stadium in Buffalo is all that matters to this club right now.
That's because the Blitzers did something they were unable to do in their first seven tries since the team's birth in 2010. They beat their hated archrivals, the Erie Admirals, 1-0. It came after six losses and one draw in their previous starts.
First-year FC Buffalo head coach Brendan Murphy knows this was definitely not just another opponent.
"The owners really prepared me for the rivalry as soon as, basically as I was interviewing for the job," said Murphy after the match. "Their big point to me was we've got to beat Erie."
FC Buffalo put early pressure on Erie, with the Blitzers getting a couple of chances as early as the 2nd minute of play but unable to get a clean shot on the Admiral net.
Buffalo's first good chance came in the 5th minute when Erie keeper Daniel Mudd stepped out several yards to play the ball but Buffalo hooked a shot over him. Unfortunately for the Blitzers it sailed over ther crossbar as well.
The hosts finally scored in the 11th minute. On a Buffalo throw-in about 15 yards from the corner, Brian Knapp heaved the ball toward the Erie net, where within the goal area Ian Mort headed the ball to Nick Garcia, who in turn headed it past Mudd into the net.
The crowd erupted in celebration. The Buffalo bench would have no part in joining them.
"Never comfortable. Never comfortable," said Murphy. "We had a bunch of chances that we could have put away, even before that goal and even several more after that goal. One goal against a team like Erie is not comfortable whatsoever."