Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — BUFFALO — FC Buffalo squandered an early lead by giving up a goal just before halftime and then survived a late scare to draw 1-1 draw with AFC Cleveland at the Demske Sports Complex on Sunday at Canisius College.
Coming off a first-ever win at archrival Erie’s home field on Friday night, Sunday was FC Buffalo’s home opener in a new local venue.
Instead of gaining another three points for the standings, the Blitzers had to settle for four out of six for the weekend.
“Very disappointing,” said FC Buffalo head coach Brendan Murphy. “The boys battled hard but to not come away with a victory in that game is ... I think we deserve more that, the way we played. We just made little mistakes. We didn’t take the chances when we had them.”
There was certainly no lack of chances for either side, beginning with AFC Cleveland in the 3rd minute, when Adam Mitchell came up with the ball following a scramble in Buffalo’s box following a Cleveland corner kick. He had a clear shot on FC Buffalo netminder Waleed Cassis but sent the ball wide of the goalpost.
Buffalo first quality chance came 10 minutes in, when Ian Mort took a free kick and sent the ball on target from just over 30 yards out, forcing Cleveland keeper Spencer Semple to his left to make a diving save.
Finally, FC Buffalo broke the scoreless draw in the 22nd minute. Grand Island’s Bobby Ross was in the right spot to take Russell Cicerone’s corner kick and head it past Semple and make it 1-0. It pleased his coach, who said after the game it appeared his defender shook off a bad habit in the off-season.
“Last year, and we talked about it, the whole year he couldn’t head one down,” said Murphy. “Every time he headed it, it was going over the goal like he was clearing it with a defensive header. He finally scored one today, so it was great.”