In a one-sided game, the Long Island Rough Riders recorded their second consecutive win and solidified their good position in the Mid Atlantic Division. Goals by Tyler Botte, Dominick Sarle (2) and Stephen Roche gave the Rough Riders the advantage over the Flames who remain in last place in the division.
From the opening minutes, the Long Island Rough Riders applied pressure on the Westchester Flames deep in their half. Claiming most of the possession, the home team passed the ball quickly and rapidly attacked Westchester’s goal. A nice combination play by Adriano Gabriele, Stephen Roche and Tyler Botte led to a corner kick in the 8th minute. Gabriele curved the ball into the box and Botte rose highest to place his header into the lower left corner, giving his side the 1-0 lead.
The Rough Riders continued to attack, not giving the Flames any time to breathe. Between at eleven minutes and 17 minutes, Danny Kramer, Roche and Botte recorded 3 shots but all missed the target. Westchester’s Richard Heredia broke the pressure once when his shot after Jorge Zubillaga’s pass missed the right upper 90 by inches.
The home fans could celebrate the next goal at 20 minutes when Roche drove down his left flank and Dominick Sarle converted the deflected pass with an easy header to give his side the 2-0 lead. Two chances by Botte and Roche went by unsuccessfully before Dominick Sarle scored again at 31 minutes. Kramer’s diagonal pass was dummied by Botte to give Sarle the space he needed. With his second touch he blasted the ball into the left upper 90 for the comforable 3-0 advantage.
The Rough Riders could have increased the score even more before the intermission, but Barea (34th, 42nd, 44th) and Gabriele (40th) were unlucky on their attempts. Going into half time, the home team could be content with their performance and the 3-0 lead.
The second half continued the way the first one had ended. Seven minutes in, Botte’s inswinging cross found Roche on the near post who had no problems flicking the ball into the far corner. The following 20 minutes saw a dominating Long Island team that struggled to convert the chances they created. Botte and Arnone missed wide-open opportunities to up the score.
When the Rough Riders loosened their grip in the final 15 minutes of the game, the Flames found some open spaces and were rewarded for their efforts. Heredia saw that goalkeeper Marco Jorgensen had left his goal and chipped the ball over him from 30 yards out to make it 4-1 at 76 minutes. Seizing a little momentum, Zubillaga fired another shot two minutes later but this time Jorgensen was there to save it.
“We are in the critical phase of the season now with 3 important games ahead of us. Seeing how close and competitive the Mid Atlantic Division is this year, I am very happy we could secure our second consecutive win”, says Rough Riders Vice-president Flavio Ferri.
With this win, the Rough Riders move up to fourth place in the Mid Atlantic Division with now 17 points. The Flames remain in 9th place and are still waiting for their first victory of the season.
The Rough Riders will play their last home game of the season against fellow playoff contender, the Jersey Express on July 17. The game kicks off at 8 p.m. at Cy Donnelly Stadium, South Huntington. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.liroughriders.com/tickets or at the ticket box on game day (opens 60 minutes before kick-off).