Hamilton FC set out on Thursday for a couple of road games as their season winds down. An evening encounter with the Cincinnati Kings on Friday night was followed by a Saturday evening tilt against Akron Summit Assault. Both games would be played in hot and humid conditions as HFC looked to pick up valuable road points and maintain their fourth place standing in the league.
Early play on Friday night saw Hamilton FC applying pressure on Cincinnati as they enjoyed most of the possession and moved the ball around nicely. The first good scoring opportunity fell to Aaron Boyd, who received a pass, turned his defender and fired a quick shot, only to see it go wide. Things got a little sloppy later in the half with Cincinnati dominating possession for the last 10 minutes of the half. Neither team was able to make anything happen, however, and the teams went to the dressing rooms scoreless at the half.
The second half saw Cincinnati continue where they left off as they took the game to HFC. The early pressure resulted in a couple of corner kicks for Cincinnati, but they were unable to convert any of them. HFC goalkeeper Alex Mitchell was called on to make a good save as he blocked a close range shot after about 55 minutes. Hamilton would finally break the deadlock at the 80th minute when Matt Osorio’s clever through ball put striker Adam Bond clear into the box. Bond angled his run to his right and unselfishly passed across the face of goal for HFC leading scorer, Scott McCoubrey, to tap his team into the lead. Hamilton made a couple of changes, defensively, in order to protect the lead. This had the intended effect and they were able to see the game out and collect the 3 points with a 1-0 victory.
Right after the game the boys boarded the bus and headed for Akron for Saturday evening’s game with the Summit Assault. This game would prove to be a higher scoring affair and a bit of a chippy encounter as the game progressed. Akron would find the net first, after 15 minutes, when HFC goalie, Alex Mitchell, was caught wandering which allowed the Akron forward to get to the ball first and tuck his shot in at the far post. Hamilton were able to rebound from the early setback and Khody Ellis scored a beautiful goal to tie it up after 30 minutes. Ellis collected the ball about 40 yards out, ran past a couple of Akron defenders and slammed a low shot into the corner for his first goal of the season.
The second half began with some frantic play at both ends of the field. Akron would retake the lead after 50 minutes following a nice run down the left side and a low shot beating Mitchell. HFC would again respond quickly with Aaron Boyd also scoring his first goal for the club. He was able rise above the Akron defenders to convert a Liam Collins free kick with a nice curling header into the top left hand corner. Hamilton continued to apply pressure on the Akron net but they were stunned by a third Akron goal, on the counter attack, following an HFC corner. Three quick goals to start the second half put the score at 3-2 Akron after 55 minutes.
Things would unravel, unfortunately, for Hamilton as they saw skipper Scott McCoubrey ejected from the game after 70 minutes. He would be followed shortly thereafter by Rene De Zorzi making the comeback difficult being two men down. Akron would seal the points with a fourth goal at the 80th minute to send Hamilton home disappointed. Overall, however, this was a very entertaining game.
The split was sufficient to enable HFC to maintain their fourth place position in league standings. They will look to keep that when they play Ottawa, in Ottawa, on Wednesday evening for their final match of the season.