It wasn’t a great all-around effort for Falmouth United on Wednesday, June 25, but the home team played well enough to win. United scored a pair of goals in the first 18 minutes, then held off a strong effort by the Harwich Blues to pull out a 3-1 victory. United is now 4-1 overall on the season.
First-year United player Darragh McCann scored on a header five minutes into the game to break the ice for United. Recent Falmouth High grad Ian Cicalis crossed the ball to his teammate, who bounced it in off of his noggin for a 1-0 lead.
In the 18th minute, a lucky bounce went Falmouth’s way as it went up by a pair. Another recent Falmouth High grad, Nathan Estrella, ran the ball up the right side and into the 18-yard line. From the edge of the box, he shifted his weight and put one on net that skimmed across the grass toward the Harwich goal. The keeper came out to make a seemingly easy stop, but the ball skipped up on him and rode over his right shoulder and into the back of the net to double the lead.
Estrella nearly had two goals in the game. In the 53rd minute, he unleashed a rocket from 30 yards out that banged off the crossbar.
With a seemingly comfortable advantage, FU relaxed while Harwich was aggressive for the remainder of the first half. With the wind at their backs, the Blues played long ball up the field as much as possible, which led to their lone goal of the game. The keeper booted a long one into the midfield. FU came up with the ball but turned it over badly, which led to a break the other way and a goal for Harwich as keeper Justin Mendes was hung out to dry.
Mendes is normally someone trying to put the ball in the net, not prevent it from going in. With starter Renato Melo nursing a rib injury, Mendes stepped up to fill the vacancy and performed admirably. He made a number of key stops, coming out of the net to challenge the shooter on two occasions, forcing off-the-mark bids. He also made a diving stop on a second chance, in the second half when the game was still just a one-goal contest.
Defender Nate Peterson helped out, heading a ball out of harm’s way that had made it past the goalie in the air.
United finally iced the game late in the second half. Midfielder Matt Flynn chipped a pass from near the midfield wing through the middle where striker Romeo Grey ran onto the ball. Leaving the only man back in his wake, it was just Grey and the goalie, and the fleet-footed forward won the battle, tucking the ball inside the far post for a 3-1 Falmouth lead in the 84th minute.