Crystal Palace Baltimore News Release - www.crystalpalaceusa.com
Monday, June 29, 2009
BALTIMORE, MD -- Crystal Palace Baltimore fell to local rival Real Maryland again at UMBC Stadium Monday night. Ex-Palace winger Cecil Lewis scored the game's only goal in the 55th minute.
Real Maryland managed to survive an onslaught by the home side in the final period of the match as Baltimore threw everyone forward to try and capitalize on a two man advantage.
The game opened with Real Maryland showing more urgency than Palace with most of the first ten minutes spent in Baltimore's half. Palace looked relatively comfortable absorbing the high pressure from the visitors, while not looking like much of an attacking threat themselves.
On 16 minutes, Real launched a breakaway from a failed Palace free-kick. Marc Gracien sped into the box but a the danger was cleared by a good last-minute tackle from Baltimore right back Zack Flores. Not long afterwards, a Palace defender gave the ball away on the left about 25 yards from goal but fortunately for Palace the Real player hurried his shot, blasting the ball well over Brian Rowland's goal.
As the half hour mark approached, Palace were starting to come more into the game, finally getting some prolonged possession and venturing into their opponent's half more frequently. The match was also beginning to get a bit snippy, with three yellow cards issued in quick succession to add to the two displayed by referee Ron Harnage earlier in the game.
In the 38th minute, Real Maryland threatened when a corner wasn't cleared properly by Palace, but the snap shot from close range flew well over the bar.
The second half opened with Palace looking much more positive, taking the play to Real Maryland and keeping the ball in their opponent's half.
But in the 54th minute, the good start was soon forgotten as confusion in the Palace box saw former Baltimore forward Cecil Lewis scramble the ball home to give Real the lead.
On 62 minutes, Dan Lader nearly equalized for the home side with a thundering shot from well outside the box, but the ball was miraculously tipped over the bar by Real 'keeper Justin Hughes. Three minutes later, a lovely through ball found Jordan Seabrook running through the box but Hughes got down well to his right to block Seabrook's firm, left-footed effort.
Another minute later, Real Maryland midfielder Tom Taylor was shown his second yellow of the night by Mr. Harnage for a harsh tackle on Lader, giving Palace a one man advantage. At the same time, Kevin Gnatiko was brought in by Palace as a substitute and soon made his presence felt when, on 68 minutes, he fired in a low cross from the right which Pat Healey turned goalwards from just four yards out, but the ball flew straight against the 'keeper's legs.
In the 73rd minute, Palace were threatening again as a great swivel and cross from Millwood on the left of the box looked certain to be converted by Gnatiko eight yards in front of goal, but Joe Funicello intercepted the ball acrobatically to clear the danger.
With twelve minutes of normal time remaining, Ryan Cordeiro began to limp slowly off the pitch after being summoned for substitution by his bench. The Real Maryland midfielder spent an eternity making his way off the field and the referee Harnage approached. Just yards before Cordeiro exited the field of play, he said something to the referee that prompted him to pull out a red card, leaving Real with only nine men on the field.
On 83, the lively Kevin Gnatiko fired in a left-footed shot from the left side of the penalty area, but the ball squeezed agonizingly past the far post. Two minutes later, Millwood sent over a pinpoint cross from the left corner where Andrew Marshall was waiting. Unfortunately the usually-clinical finisher directed his header straight into the ground, bouncing it high over the bar.
In stoppage time, the Palace players had a vociferous appeal for a penalty rejected by the referee and Real had weathered the storm to make it three out of three wins over Palace this season.
Palace head to Harrisburg this Friday, welcoming the same team to Baltimore on Friday, July 10.