Eddies earn a win in final home game of the season
Once the grounds crew got all the snow off the field, the teams were ready to go on a cold day at Clarke Stadium.
John Smits was a last minute addition to the Eddies’ line up after regular starting keeper Lance Parker suffered an injury in warm ups.
Smits made his first save, albeit an easy one, in the 16th minute as both teams took their time getting warm and into the game.
Edmonton’s first best chance came in the 23rd minute when Robert Garrett found the ball at his feet but the midfielder’s shot was saved by Diego Restrepo in the Tampa net.
In the 26th minute, defender Eddie Edward took a shot that hit the post. The rebound came out to Corey Hertzog but Restrepo made a point blank save to keep it even at 0-0.
In the 35th minute, the deadlock was broken. Edward took a shot, saved by Restrepo, but the rebound game to Daryl Fordyce who squeezed it by the keeper to make it 1-0.
Sadi Jalali was composed on the ball and passed it over to Garrett with tons of space and the midfielder made no mistake slotting the shot home to make it 2-0.
The teams headed into the locker rooms to warm up with the Eddies ahead 2-0.
Tampa got themselves right back into the game after the break off a set piece. Luke Mulholland took the free kick from 30 yards out and it looked like the ball was deflected passed Smits in the Edmonton net. 2-1 Eddies.
Smits had to come up big just six minutes later when Mulholland got a shot off from close range but the keeper dove well to his right to smother the attempt.
Jalali had a chance to restore the two-goal advantage in the 61st minute but his close-range volley went over the bar.
Neil Hlavaty created the Eddies next chance in the 76th minute. His long range effort was blocked by Restrepo and Hertzog’s rebound shot rolled wide of the net.
Hlavaty had a chance to ice the game in the 85th minute but his free kick from the left side of goal hit the cross bar and Chris Nurse just missed heading it home.
In the end, the two goals were all the Eddies needed and on a chilly day, the home team warmed the hearts of the fans giving them something to cheer as FCE wrapped up another NASL season.
“It’s probably the best we’ve played all season and again largely based on the pressure we consistently put on Tamp Bay, which is exactly what we worked on in training,” head coach Colin Miller said. “We were playing against last year’s champions who are in second place this year, so we knew there was no room for complacency in the second half.”
The last game for the Eddies will be on the road next weekend as they take on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Photos available at: http://www.tlfoto.ca/Clients/F-C-Edmonton/FCE-vs-TB-Rowdies-Oct-272013