Hamilton FC men travelled to Ottawa on Wednesday for the last regular season game in United Soccer League (USL) Premier Development League (PDL). Coach Brett Mosen got creative with his starting line-up for this match as several regular starters were unavailable due to suspensions or injuries. Ottawa Fury were understandably keen to avenge their 5-0 defeat to HFC earlier in the season.
The game kicked off under hot and humid conditions with an announced crowd of 300 in attendance at the Algonquin College soccer complex. Hamilton FC were a bit tentative during the first 10 minutes as they looked to find their rhythm in what would turn out to be a physical, hard tackling match. It was Ottawa who would strike first at the 30 minute mark; a long corner was played to the back post, headed back across the face of goal and headed in nicely at the near post by an unmarked Fury player. Hamilton FC responded positively to the setback with the Fury goalkeeper having to make several tremendous saves from Liam Collins and Aaron Boyd to keep HFC off the score sheet.
The Fury were awarded a spot kick at the 35 minute mark following a defensive turnover by Hamilton which saw the Ottawa forward send through, only to be brought down by a mistimed tackle from an HFC defender. The penalty kick was converted and Ottawa went into the break with a 2-0 advantage.
The second half resumed with Hamilton displaying some spirited play resulting in several good scoring chances only to see them thwarted by the Ottawa keeper. Ottawa would add two more tallies in the second half as Hamilton pushed forward trying to find the Fury net. Final score was 4-0 Ottawa. Overall, this was a good game with a lopsided score line as a result of a “Man of the Match” performance by the Ottawa goalkeeper.
The HFC PDL inaugural season has been an exciting and rewarding for the team, as many players have been given the opportunity for further progression: Josh Bennett has moved to Chicago to be evaluated by the Chicago Fire MLS team; Aaron Boyd, Will Grocott and Scott McCoubrey will head to Richmond to train and be evaluated by the Richmond Kickers USL Pro team. Anthony Di Biase will travel to China to represent Canada at the World University Games and several other players have been given scholarship opportunities.