Sunday, August 21, 2011

Carolina Railhawks Defeat Ft Lauderdale 2-0

Rob Kinnan Photography

After a disappointing 1-1 mid-week draw to Minnesota, the Carolina Railhawks were looking to come out strong against Ft. Lauderdale. In there last match, the Railhawks were able to snap a two game losing skid, but the win eluded them. However, Carolina turned things around, made changes and put Ft. Lauderdale down 2-0.

“It was an important win for us tonight,” said Carolina coach Martin Rennie. “After tying our last game, to get back on winning run at home is important. I thought everybody performed better tonight than we have in the last few games.”

Entering into the match Carolina held a record of 14-3-4 and Ft. Lauderdale a record of 6-10-5. Carolina started the game well; however towards the latter bits of the first half, the Railhawks looked disjointed in the attack.

Great flurry early on for Carolina in the 8th minute. Compos could have buried it in an open net but was called offside.

Etienne Barbara and Pablo Compos combined for a nifty one-two in the 30th minute to get Etienne in to the box. It was there that Barbara was taken down, earning a PK. Barbara stepped up to his own penalty kick and with a brilliantly taken shot, banged the ball into the upper ninety. This was Barbara’s first goal since July 30th against Atlanta.

“We had to find that hunger to win again. To get on the ball, fight to win every ball… Today we played much better,” said Barbara. “It’s like an alarm clock and wake up call. Otherwise we were going to lose what we built in the beginning. It would be a shame if we didn’t win the championship right now.”

Ft. Lauderdale used crosses as their primary method of attack, probing balls consistently testing Brad Knighton. He was tested a bit early and often throughout the match. At times Knighton was forced into incredible saves, while others were simple shots that were easily rescued. Knighton was particularly impressive in the 22nd minute as he shut down Mike Palacio in a fantastic opportunity.

In the dying moments of the first half Brian Farber got on the end of a cross, but the header was just wide.

Rob Kinnan Photography

Farber was extremely active on the night pulling double duty on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Multiple times throughout the night Farber could be spotted in dead sprint to shut down a Striker’s attack or get forward to support the Railhawks.

In the 57th minute a goal by Matt Watson put the Railhawks up 2-0. A fantastic through-ball by Pablo Compos found Matt Watson in behind the defense. It was there that Watson made no mistake in burying the shot.

“Pablo played a great ball into my path. I couldn’t ask for anything more, I just slid it in the corner,” said Watson of his shot.

Ft. Lauderdale was relentless in attack throughout the match. In fact, in the 62nd minute they forced an off the line clearance by Johnny Steele after a dangerous corner kick.

Etienne Barbara was taken down just after the 70th minute. After laying on the grown in apparent pain, he got up and immediately began yelling at the referees. Barbara was subbed out in the 77th.  However, he appeared in good spirits after the game.

Chris Nurse entered the game for Pablo Compos in the 84th minute, leaving Nick Zimmerman and Alan Russell to handle the offensive duties for the remainder of the match.

The match ended with 2-0 scoreline. The Railhawks get back on track with a classy win. Their record improves to 15-3-4 to remain atop the NASL. The win came in front of a fantastic crowd of 4,629 people.