Hamilton Football Club welcomed Ohio’s Akron Summit Assault to Brian Timmis Stadium on Wednesday (July 6) in the United Soccer League’s men’s Premier Development League but it would, however, be the Rage that would peak in this contest, 2-1.
Kick-off of the match was delayed by an hour as a result of the visitors being delayed on their trip in from Ohio. Akron arrived, changed and took to the field after a quick warm up. With minimal preparation time, it was expected that they would be a bit flat at the start of the game. The delay proved to be more of a challenge for Hamilton as they were the ones that were slow to start. Play from HFC was tentative and lacking pace for the first 20 minutes and they turned the ball over far too frequently. Both teams created some good chances in the early stages of the match with Akron unlucky not to score on a nice ball played across the face of the HFC goal by their right winger. HFC keeper, Alex Mitchell, made a great save to block the resulting close range effort.
Aaron Boyd got the start up front again for this match and his early efforts set up a nice passing sequence leading to a cross which he headed powerfully towards goal, only to see it go just wide. After about 20 minutes Hamilton had settled down and were looking more comfortable on the ball following a couple of midfield adjustments. Scott McCoubrey would open the scoring for Hamilton after 26 minutes. A great penetrating pass from Liam Collins found McCoubrey on the edge of the box; McCoubrey collected and fired a low shot which squeezed underneath the Akron keeper before bouncing off the post into the bottom corner.
This goal served to further settle HFC and they enjoyed good periods of possession for the balance of the first half. McCoubrey would tally his second of the night at a crucial time in the match, just before half time. The play began with Tevin Wynter collecting the ball in his right full back position just inside his own half. Wynter set off down the right wing like a runaway freight train, blowing past three Akron players before taking the ball to the goal line and cutting a lovely ball back across the face of the Akron goal for McCoubrey to calmly slot into the empty net. This sent HFC to the dressing room with a 2-0 half-time lead.
The second half was certainly entertaining with both teams creating several scoring chances. Alex Mitchell was called on to make three great saves in an attempt to preserve his clean sheet and Will Grocott had a great long range volley go just wide for HFC. The teams would trade periods of possession and pressure for most of the second half. Hamilton made several substitutions with Khody Ellis, Matt Osorio and Jonny Yacou getting into the action. Fan favorite, Adam Bond came on for the last 15 minutes to provide some additional spark and hustle in the HFC line up.
Akron notched a consolation goal in the 91st minute from a nice header which converted an Akron corner kick and robbed Mitchell of his shut-out. Hamilton FC held on for the 2-1 victory which moved them up to fourth place in the standings and part of a crowded group of four teams, all on 15 points.
The boys will look to break from that pack on Friday night when they host the Chicago Fire at 6pm at Brian Timmis. This will be the team’s last home game of the season and will finish off a busy part of their schedule. Following the game against Chicago, the boys will have a week off before heading on the road to face Cincinnati and Akron next Friday and Saturday. They then finish the season off in Ottawa on July 20th.