Palumbo Strikes Twice as Phantoms Defeat Voltage 5-1

Wednesday, July 6th

PORTSMOUTH, NH - Two wins in a row and three in their last four games.  The Seacoast United Phantoms earned another 3 points this evening with a 5-1 victory over the Vermont Voltage.

The last time the two teams met up was over Memorial Day weekend, ending in a scoreless draw.  Tonight, the Phantoms came out to a quick start, pressing and keeping possession deep in the Voltage end of the field during the first 10 minutes of play.  The pressure paid off early, as Chris Tsonis (10th minute) and Steven Palumbo (12th minute) gave the Phantoms a 2-0 lead.  Just two minutes later, the Phantoms could have spread the lead to a 3 goal margin but Palumbo’s diving header just missed over the crossbar.

PORTSMOUTH, NH - Two wins in a row and three in their last four games.  The Seacoast United Phantoms earned another 3 points this evening in the Northeast Division of the PDL with a 5-1 victory over the Vermont Voltage.

The last time the two teams met up was over Memorial Day weekend, ending in a scoreless draw.  Tonight, the Phantoms came out to a quick start, pressing and keeping possession deep in the Voltage end of the field during the first 10 minutes of play.  The pressure paid off early, as Chris Tsonis (10th minute) and Steven Palumbo (12th minute) gave the Phantoms a 2-0 lead.  Just two minutes later, the Phantoms could have spread the lead to a 3 goal margin but Palumbo’s diving header just missed over the crossbar.

Seacoast would find the third goal in the 19th minute.  A corner kick was served into the Voltage box but cleared poorly by the defense.  Tsonis collected the loose ball and played it back into the 6 yard box where it found the head of Phantoms defender James Goodwin.

Midfielder Steven Palumbo (#6) congratulates striker Chris Tsonis after giving the Phantoms an early 1-0 lead over Vermont Voltage.

Additional scoring opportunities came about for the Phantoms in the first half as they continued to keep possession and connect their passes into the final third.  Palumbo had a short range shot saved by Voltage goalkeeper Harry Lockwood.  Another poor clearance hit a Voltage defender, and the rebound sent Tsonis in for a 1v1 with the keeper but his shot sailed high and over the bar.  Just seconds before the half, Palumbo received a pass and dribbled wide right before serving in a ball toward the back post where midfielder Michael Adam scored the 4th goal of the game on a diving header.

Winds picked up 10 minutes short of halftime and with dark skies approaching, it was uncertain if the 2nd half could be played to completion.

The Phantoms found it tough to settle down as the second half began.  With Vermont working hard to pressure in their attacking third, they disrupted the Phantoms passing game.  Disorganization in the back led to a loose ball in the box, headed into the back of the net by Voltage striker #15 in the 49th minute.  Seacoast United had two personnell changes early on in the 2nd half.  Joey Barima entered at outside right midfield to start the half, and in the 59th minute, Charlie Roche entered the game up top for Tsonis.

The only other real chance for Vermont was a through ball played deep into the attacking third with 30 minutes remaining.  Vermont midfielder Andro Hrkac beat Phantoms goalkeeper John Dawson as he went sliding for the ball, but luckily the attempt rolled wide of the right post.

Seacoast United would strike one more time midway through the half.  Roche received the ball played over the top of the Voltage defense, wide of the goal on the left hand side.  He passed the ball back to Palumbo who drilled it high into the right side of the net to give the Phantoms a 5-1 advantage. 

In the 67th minute, each team would be down to 10 men as two were sent off for unsportsmanlike conduct.  The game would end up being called in the 89th minute due to lightning and pending severe weather.

Watch the video highlights here.

The teams will face each other two more times in July, both games in Vermont within four days of each other.  The win gives the Phantoms 14 points, three behind 2nd place Western Mass Pioneers who will play the Phantoms in a home-and-home on Friday and Saturday this week.  Saturday’s match takes place at Portsmouth High School at 7pm.  Tickets are available through the Seacoast United website at www.seacoastunited.org/phantoms.