Saint Louis F.C. Held By 10-Man Memphis

by Joshua McGehee

Photo Credit: Saint Louis F.C.


St. Louis, MO- The field in which Saint Louis Football Club play their home matches on got a new name last week, West Community Stadium.  Ironically enough, in the first match played under the new name, STLFC could not buy a goal when needed.


In front of a crowd of 5,179 people, STLFC were held to a 0-0 draw by Memphis 901 F.C., the first official league match between the two clubs after the originally scheduled one in June was rained out.


It was a frustrating night for STLFC as they were not able to take advantage of Memphis being down a man for most of the game.


“I’m furious, it’s probably the angriest I’ve been to be honest,” said STLFC head coach Anthony Pulis.  “We’ve got to be winning that game tonight.  With playing against 10 men for over 60 minutes, with the quality we’ve got in the locker room, we needed more.”

 

STLFC started the match on the front foot in the 8th minute when Kadeem Dacres sent a cross into the box for Kyle Greig, who’s flick towards goal was deflected over the bar.


Memphis’ best chance of the half came in the 16th minute when one of their new signings, Pierre da Silva, took a shot from the left side of the box, but it was comfortably saved by goalkeeper Tomas Gomez.


The dynamic of the game changed in the 27th minute when, after a few tough challenges from both teams, Memphis midfielder Cam Lindley was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Collin Fernandez at the top of Memphis’ box.


STLFC were not able to create a meaningful chance until stoppage time when Matt Bahner tried to curl in a shot from the right side of the box with his left foot, but it was comfortably saved by goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell.


Both sides made one substitution at the half, but despite bringing on forward Caleb Calvert for defensive midfielder Sean Reynolds, STLFC still struggled to create chances and almost seemed complacent in their play.


“The lack of urgency, the decision-making, the execution was nowhere near the level we need,” said Pulis.  “We wanted to have more numbers in or around the box and to put crosses in.  We didn’t do it enough with enough quality.”


In the 62nd minute, Bradley Kamdem-Fewo sent in a cross from the left side into the box for Grieg, but the striker was unable to keep his header down. 


The following minute, Russell Cicerone would pressure a Memphis defender into a turnover in the box, but his effort on goal would be saved by Caldwell.


Memphis had a great opportunity to somehow take all three points in the 73rd minute, as substitute Ewan Grandison sent a powerful shot from 30 yards out on goal, but it was tipped over the bar by Gomez.


Memphis would go on to earn three yellow cards in the span of 11 minutes as they attempted to waste as much time as possible to ensure they get a result.


The last chance of the match came in the 86th minute when another Fewo cross headed towards the box.  Caldwell came off his line to get a hand to it, but the rebound fell to Cicerone, who rushed his shot and put it high over the bar.


While STLFC extended their league unbeaten streak at home to five games, including a second consecutive clean sheet, the team was well aware of the opportunity they let slip through their fingers.


“Goals change games,” said captain Sam Fink after the match.  “As a collective, we weren’t good enough.  We had enough chances to win, and we kept them out of our goal which is good, but we couldn’t find that final touch.”

 

STLFC remain in the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference for now, but they will have an opportunity on Saturday to jump ahead of the team above them when they take on the Charleston Battery at home.