Bad weather can’t dampen Rowdies’ celebration

by Gary Shelton on July 7, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Martin Paterson fights for space against Cincinnati./STEVEN MUNCIE

Martin Paterson fights for space against Cincinnati./STEVEN MUNCIE

Friday, 1 a.m.

It had been a long time since the Tampa Bay Rowdies had won a match.

No wonder it felt so good.

The Rowdies, in a seven-game winless streak, overcame a weather delay of almost two hours Thursday night to beat Cincinnati FC, 2-0. Joe Cole and Martin Paterson scored goals for Tampa Bay, which won for the first time since May 19.

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Neill Collins heads the ball./STEVEN MUNCIE

Neill Collins heads the ball./STEVEN MUNCIE

"We love playing in this stadium in front of these fans,” Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said. “Once again tonight, they were great. … We know that when we’re at home and we’re on our game, we’re tough to beat.”

Paterson scored to put the Rowdies ahead 1-0 in the 39th minute. Then, Cole poured it on with a second goal in the 44th minute. Then, the rain breached the clouds and a lightning-filled downpour engulfed Al Lang Stadium and sent the match into a long weather delay just before the first half ended.

The delay ended up lasting an hour and 56 minutes, but when the match resumed, the Rowdies kept their front foot on the gas pedal and powered through the remainder of the match, snapping a seven-game winless streak.

Alex Morrell gave Cincinnati fits all night./STEVEN MUNCIE

Alex Morrell gave Cincinnati fits all night./STEVEN MUNCIE

Cincinnati had its fair share of chances in a wide-open second half, but Rowdies goalkeeper Matt Pickens made five saves as the Rowdies kept their first clean sheet since May 13.

"The coaches tell me to (take on my man one-on-one),” Morrell said. “It’s very important for me personally and for the team. We needed a little spark and I believe I brought what I could to the table and gave everything I could. I won’t sit here and soak in it because we’ve got more games coming up and we’ve got to get to the top of the table.”

Up next, the Rowdies head to Central Florida next week for a Thursday night match-up against Orlando City B at Orlando City Stadium. Tampa Bay returns home to host the Charleston Battery on July 22 in its next home match.

Martin Paterson fights for the ball./STEVEN MUNCIE

Martin Paterson fights for the ball./STEVEN MUNCIE

 

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