LUDLOW, MA - Seacoast United Phantoms continued with their recent run of good results with a 1-0 victory away to league leaders Western Mass Pioneers on Friday evening.
Phantoms’ leading scorer Chris Tsonis was the one who tallied the games only goal after thirty five seconds following an inventive flick by Captain Eric Masi. The large crowd at Lusitano Stadium tried hard to lift the spirits of the home team but to no avail as Seacoast continued to dominate possession. Additional scoring opportunities went close on efforts from Tsonis and McLarney, but the goalkeeper doing well to make saves on both occasions.
Steven Palumbo was next to shine as he dribbled past two players and crossed a ball to the far post which took a slight deflection and had to be cleared of the line. Halftime came with Western Mass unable to muster one effort on goal.
Second half saw Western Mass pick up the tempo and following a defensive slip, their striker unleashed a thunderbolt from thirty yards which shaved the top of the crossbar with Phantoms’ goalkeeper John Dawson scrambling across his line.
The Pioneers continued to push for an equalizer but the familiar back four of Brad Hilton, James Goodwin, Jordan Thomas and Ryan Dunn held firm keeping Western Mass to long range efforts of which only one had to be saved by Dawson.
Mike Adam was replaced by Mathew Glode on sixty five minutes and was shortly followed onto the field by Dylan George and Charlie Roach who replaced Steven Palumbo and Chris Tsonis. Glode playing on the right flank and broke past two tackles to advance into the box, only to be up-ended by the last defender. No penalty was called by the official.
Western Mass continued to play long high balls into the box looking for that elusive equalizer but the Phantoms held on well to take all three points. After the game Coach Iain Scott was delighted with the professionalism of the players and praised them all for playing their part in a disciplined and organized performance.
The Seacoast United Phantoms return home for three games this week. Wednesday evening at Portsmouth High School they will face the Vermont Voltage, a rematch of the 0-0 draw that took place over Memorial Day weekend. Saturday (PHS) they take on the Pioneers once again. Both games kick off at 7pm. On Sunday, the NPSL Phantoms play host to the Brooklyn Italians in the first meeting between the two teams this season. Kickoff is at 6pm at Exeter High School.