Draw, loss leave Rage in fifth

Hamilton Rage find themselves in a three-way tie for fifth place in the United Soccer Leagues’ Premier Development League after a scoreless draw against the Cincinnati Kings and a 2-1 loss to the Louisville River City Rovers.

Hamilton has 11 points along with the Kings and the Chicago Fire. The men’s team is back in action in an away game against third place Forest City London (15 points) on Tuesday (June 26).

Hamilton was looking for an important victory in Tuesday’s (June 19) against the Kings at Northern Kentucky University and was feeling confident after thwarting the Kings a few nights before, 3-0.

But on Tuesday both keepers ruled and stone-walled the offences. Hamilton keeper Conner Hurley had seven saves in the match while Kings’ keeper Hunter Huffman had nine saves.

It marked the first game this season Hamilton has been held scoreless and the second straight game HFC has held their opponents off the scoreboard.

Midfielder Scott McCoubrey played a stellar game and managed an impressive four shots on net while forward Lewis Ellis had two shots on net.

The win for the River City Rovers moved them into possession of second place in the PDL’s Great Lakes Division. Dillon Tufty scored both goals for the Rovers, who rallied from a halftime deficit to take victory.

The Rage opened the game on top, earning two good opportunities to take an early lead, but the Rovers were able to weather the early pressure. River City’s first good opportunity came in the 14th minute when Tufty put a header on goal, but it landed straight in Hamilton goalkeeper Hurley’s arms.

Though the Rovers followed with more attacking play, and settled into the game at a steady pace, it was the Rage who would take the lead just before halftime as Mark Reilly opened the scoring in the 43rd minute, giving his side the lead at the break.

The Rovers came out with a renewed determination in the second half, and were able to get back on even terms in the 65th minute as Tufty was able to put away Ryan Smith’s free kick. Two minutes later, Tufty scored his second on a breakaway as he beat Hurley for what would prove to be the game-winning goal.

“The Rovers showed real heart and determination coming from behind after the first half,” Rovers assistant coach Nathan Pitcock said. “Hamilton is a force, but the Rovers held on and stayed on strategy. It was a great win for us.”

The two goals gave Tufty eight for the season, moving him into a tie for the PDL lead in points and goals with the Brooklyn Knights’ Stefan Dimitrov. Smith’s assist was his sixth of the season, good for third in the PDL.

The men of HFC return to Ron Joyce Stadium Sunday July 1 at 4 p.m. when FC London visit.