Niagara Gazette

Sports

May 10, 2013

Rain-soaked FC Buffalo takes home opener

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The Blitzers were right back to their steady pressure of Zanesville in the second half, maintaining possession of the ball for most of the first six minutes. The visitors gave Buffalo a scare in the 51st minute when a Zanesville header cleared over Buffalo goalkeeper Kareem Gray but rolled wide of the net.

Shortly after, the Blitzers went up 2-0. In the 55th minute, Richie Wilson's breakaway was stopped brilliantly by Ripma and cleared out of bounds. On the ensuing throw-in, Tiedt took a pass from Ryan Walter and scored the goal.

Zanesville had their moments of opportunity in the second half. They finally broke through in the 85th minute when John Barr found the net and cut FC Buffalo's lead to 2-1. 

The hosts, for the most part, played more defensive-minded late in the second half but sought opportunities to send a player on the Zanesville net.

The visitors had a couple of quality chances in the 89th minute and in stoppage time, but their luck ran out after about four minutes of extra minutes as the referee blew the whistle to end the match.

For Murphy, the win brought not only personal satisfaction but a sense of relief as his lineup showed signs of forming chemistry. While Zanesville crept back into the game late, Murphy said part of that was disrupting the chemistry somewhat with player substitutions that put fresher legs into the game but also into a situation where they weren't necessarily into a groove. 

That, he suggested, is something that can come with more practice together. He was otherwise pleased with how the team has bonded in this new season. 

"The biggest thing is the boys have battled hard," Murphy said. "They fought for each other. I thought we really started to come together as a team there. It got nerve-racking at the end, which I don't think it needed to. I think we could have done a better job shutting them down defensively, which we did the whole game."

FC Buffalo (1-0) next hosts FC Sparta Michigan at 7:30 p.m. May 17 at All-High Stadium.

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