Game pic of NY Shamrock SC and Central Park Rangers Whites' match on Oct. 28th, 2017. Picture by Dinos Avlonitis
By Ralph 'Onz' Chery |@onz_11
April 24th, 2017
Shamrocks missed out on the opportunity to grow closer to the last playoff spot, sitting five points below NY Greek American in fifth place while Central Park earned a valuable point in the relegation brawl at the bottom of the table, moving four points over the dropzone.
NY Shamrock SC players celebrating a goal. NY Shamrock SC Images
CPR penetrated down the Irish club’s half with a series of sharp passes but didn’t register a shot on target in the first half.
10 minutes after the restart the Manhattan based club came close to hitting their first shot on frame as Souleymane Bah’s long range effort deflected off a Shamrock defender and blew inches past the left goalpost.
Shamrocks looked for a secured 2-0 lead. One of their best opportunities was in the 74th minute when Blair flashed down the left flank on a counter before hitting a square ball to Aboubacar Kaba. Kaba steered the ball toward the bottom right corner of the net but keeper Ricky Bowry read the trajectory of the ball and was able to rack his fifth save of the night.
CPR drew themselves leveled in the 79th minute. Daniel Miller played a huge role in the goal, making a powerful run with the ball down the right wing before sending in a cross. Miller’s cross was deflected but still found its way to Gabriel de Foresta, who whipped a shot in the net from the box.
The Rocks wrestled Eli Vovsha’s men for a winner in the final minutes to give themselves a better chance to make the playoffs. The club’s top scorer of the season James Whyte had a header saved in the 82nd minute. Mills-Odoi found Whyte in the box with another intelligent aerial pass three minutes later. Whyte hit the ball low and hard on frame. Keeper Bowry spilled Whyte's shot but fortunately for him the ball went out for a corner.
Shamrocks’ next game is against NY Athletic Club on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at Randall’s Island Field 75 while CPR will travel to the Metropolitan Oval on Sunday to play NY Greek American at 8:00 p.m. in their next game.
Four key notes
1. The CPR-Shamrocks connection: Two former Central Park players were playing for the Rocks: Kwesi Mills-Odoi and Idy Watt.
2. Keeper Ricky Bowry deserves a bow: Bowry was one of the most influential players in CPR’s draw, tallying six saves.
3. What did player-coach Vovsha tell the Rangers at halftime?!: Central Park went from four shots in the first half, zero on target, to eight shots in the second half, two on target.
4. Travis’ boots is blaring out goals: Ex-Wheaton College star player Travis Blair has now scored five goals in his last two games for the Rocks. Blair scored four goals prior to Saturday’s game in a John Kilby League Cup match versus Beyond F.C. The New York native’s goal against Central Park was his first CSL goal.
NY Shamrock SC winter signing Travis Blair in his days with Wheaton College. Wheaton College Athletics Images
Players’ voice: Gabriel de Foresta (game-tying goal)
Central Park Rangers Whites' Gabriel de Foresta.
Central Park forward Gabriel de Foresta was proud of his side’s tenacity but was discontent that they weren’t able to push for the win.
“What I think we could’ve done better, we could’ve won,” he said. “They [Shamrocks] have good quality players so it was really about fighting, about good spirit, winning each ball so I think we deserve to have at least a goal.”
De Foresta was delighted that he netted the game-tying goal especially after coming from an injury.
“It feels great because I was injured for the last three weeks so it’s my first game after two or three months out of the team so I’m pretty happy,” he said.
CPR sits four points above the dropzone with four games to go against champions NY Greek American, last year’s finalists NY Pancyprian Freedoms and fellow relegation threatened sides Doxa and Zum Schneider F.C.
De Foresta is assured that Central Park will rack enough points in their remaining matches to stay in the top division.
“I’m pretty sure that we’re going to stay in the first division because we deserve it, we have very good quality players, good team spirit,” the Frenchman said.
“It was a pretty difficult in the beginning of the season but now after about six months playing together we know how to play as a team. I’m sure we’re going to play some good games in the end of the season.”
Central Park Rangers Whites
Shots (on target): 12 (2)
Saves: 6 (Ricky Bowry)
Yellow cards: 2 (Abdoul Diallo, Bucky Aronoff)
Red cards: 0
NY Shamrock SC
Shots (on target): 12 (7)
Saves: 1 (Gianfranco Barone)
Yellow cards: 1 (Giuseppe Barone)
Red cards: 0