FC Buffalo spent the first 60 minutes of Sunday’s Erie County Derby match digging a 3-0 hole while trying to find their energy. It arrived in time for just two of the three goals needed.
Erie (5-3-3) used goals from Billy Colton and Karl Jones plus an FCB (7-0-3) own goal to build their three-goal lead and looked set to cruise past a listless Wolves side when two remarkable plays from veteran Brian Knapp (University at Buffalo // Liverpool, N.Y.) got them back in the mix.
Knapp used a crafty run up the right side to slip the ball to Ben Ramin (Syracuse University // Baldwinsville, N.Y.), who worked the ball through the 18 to second-half sub Anthony Rozzano (University at Albany // Webster, N.Y.). Rozzano’s first effort hit the post but he left no doubt with the rebound to close the gap to 3-1.
Ramin and Knapp reversed their link 11 minutes later when the midfielder laid the ball off to Knapp, who put a laser in the back of the net. It was 3-2 in the 83rd minute, but the ensuing moments and four minutes of stoppage time were well-wasted by Erie, who came away with a win and the EC Derby.
The two teams are guaranteed to face-off in the first round of the Great Lakes Division playoffs in two weeks time. FC Buffalo closes off its regular season with a Friday match in Zanesville followed by a home finale against first place Detroit City FC. Kickoff for the July 7 match is at 1 p.m.
Shots: FCB, 9-7
Corners: Erie, 8-3
Offsides: Erie, 7-0
Saves: FCB, 4-3
Fouls: FCB, 15-9