The Derby City Rovers suffered a 1-0 defeat to the Dayton Dutch Lions last night in PDL action at Woehrle Field. An early goal from the visitors was enough to secure all three points for Dayton who moved to 4-4 on the season and climbed to 3rd place in the Great Lakes Division. The loss drops Derby City to 1-4-1 on the season.
The first half saw the home side, playing in their first match at Woehrle since May 20th, struggle to find their rhythm. The Dutch Lions on the other hand were aggressive right from the start and claimed the only goal they needed in the 18th minute when Cam Philpot connected on a well-placed cross from Alexander Amarkwaah. The only significant threat the Rovers could must in the first half came off a counter attack in which mercurial midfielder Yudai Tashiro zigged and zagged through 4 Dayton defenders before unleashing a dipping effort from 25 yards out that required a sprawling save from Dutch Lions goalkeeper Michael Yantz.
Rovers Head Coach Nathan Pitcock had this to say about the frustrating first half, “We were a team without an identity. In possession we lacked the patience required to really open up the opponent and continually forced passes that weren’t there, turning the ball over unnecessarily. Without the ball we lacked the discipline to maintain our collective shape and as a result were played through with relative ease. We gave them a very ‘back to basics’ message at halftime. ‘This is who we are, this is what we do.’ Only when we’re all on the same page can our individuals express their qualities.
The players responded to the message as the Rovers were a different side in the second half, patiently probing the Dayton defense for openings and creating several quality scoring chances. One such chance came when left winger Christian Kirchoff beat his defender on the endline and dribbled toward the goalkeeper at the near post, before slotting a tantalizing ball across the six yard box. Unfortunately striker Kenny Doublette, a half-time substitution for Haji Abdikadir, couldn’t connect cleanly and the Dutch Lion defenders were able to scramble to ball off the goal-line. A Tashiro free-kick in the 73rd minute lead to controversy as his blistering effort was parried by Yantz directly to Kirchoff who buried the rebound, only to have the assistant referee flag for offside, disallowing the Rovers equalizer. Derby City would continue to throw numbers forward and pressure the Dayton goal but the equalizer never came.
“The guys responded well after the half and did everything we could ask them to. We played our brand of futbol, and created enough good chances to get something out of the game. We were a bit unlucky not to score but in the end we only have ourselves to blame for our first half performance.”
It’s a quick turnaround for the Rovers as they will travel to Cincinnati on Saturday with an important opportunity to climb in the standings against the Cincinnati Dutch Lions. The next home match for Derby City will be Monday night as division leaders KW United visit Woehrle Field.