Saint Louis F.C. Make It Two Wins In A Row vs. Ottawa Fury FC
STLFC players celebrate a goal vs. Hartford Athletic
Photo Credit: J.B Forbes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis, MO- The last time Saint Louis Football Club put together two league wins in a row was April 6th, when the club were enjoying life near the top of the table. Several months later, they have done it again, and at a crucial point in the season.
Making up a May 4th fixture that was postponed due to rain, STLFC managed to hold on for their second win of the week, defeating Ottawa Fury FC 1-0.
Tyler Blackwood’s first goal for his new club proved to be the difference in a hard-fought match between two teams jostling for playoff positioning.
“For us to get back-to-back wins is huge,” said STLFC head coach Anthony Pulis. “Full credit to the guys, they really ground it out tonight. To a man, the work ethic and resilience to keep going, keep persevering was immense.”
Both teams came out strong defensively as the first chance didn’t come until the 14th minute. Former STLFC player Wal Fall let loose a shot from about 35 yards that sailed just right of the home team’s goal.
In the 26th minute, the STLFC staff were on high alert when Lewis Hilton went down clutching his foot after defending an Ottawa counterattack. He would finish out the first half but would be replaced by Colin Fernandez at halftime.
STLFC’s first chance came in the 34th minute when Kadeem Dacres took a shot from inside the box, but goalkeeper Callum Irving got down to make the save.
Dacres would put together a similar move in the 45th minute after beating a couple of defenders, but his left-footed effort was once again saved by Irving.
Both teams started well to begin the second half, but it was once again Dacres who would force another diving stop from Irving with a shot from the top of the box in the 61st minute.
In the 75th minute, Coach Pulis opted to bring on Blackwood for Caleb Calvert instead of Kyle Greig, who had only played a full 90 minutes in just seven league games this season. It ended up being the perfect move.
In the 80th minute, STLFC goalkeeper Tomas Gomez booted a long ball forward. Greig was able to hold off his defender near the top the box and flick the ball into the box with his head. Blackwood would get to the loose ball before the oncoming Irving and was able to poke it home to break the deadlock.
“Coach (Pulis) gave me perfect instructions,” said Blackwood. “He said to try and play as close as you can to KG (Kyle Greig). That way, if the ball gets to one of you, you can flick it and get it back. So, it played out exactly as he said it would.”
Despite Ottawa’s best efforts, STLFC were able to hold on for the win and their first clean sheet since their 0-0 draw vs. Memphis 901 FC on August 6th.
“Credit to the defense and the midfield, I didn’t have to do anything,” said Gomez. “We didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot, we played it simple, and we knew if we had a performance like that, we’d have a good chance at winning.”
STLFC now find themselves back in the playoff picture as they move into 10th place ahead of the Charleston Battery by one point. The club look to complete the sweep of this week’s schedule as they take on Nashville SC at home on Saturday.