After dominating possession for the first half but falling short on the scoresheet, FC Buffalo struck thrice in the second half to bury FC Sparta Michigan, 3-1, staying tied atop the table with Detroit City FC.
Despite carrying the play and outshooting Sparta by a 10-5 margin in the first half, it was Sparta forward Jesus Ginez whose deflected shot gave the visitors a 1-0 lead heading into the break.
But whatever head coach Brendan Murphy and company said in the locker room was the necessary elixir as the Wolves came roaring out of the gate. Midfielder Brian Knapp (Liverpool, NY // SUNY Buffalo) assisted twice and three Blitzers scored to beat the visiting Spartans in front of 525 people at Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium.
Knapp’s first helper was a massive throw-in that found Peter Marlette (Buffalo, NY // Trinity College) at the six with his back to goal. The midfielder didn’t bother turning, backheeling the ball home to even the score at one in the 50th minute.
FC Buffalo kept knocking until Andy Tiedt (Akron, NY // SUNY Buffalo) rammed down the door in the 70th minute, latching onto another giant Knapp throw-in to give FCB a 2-1 lead. Substitute midfielder Jeff Thomas (Canadaigua, NY // Alfred University) asted little time making an impact less than a minute later when he collected an Ozzy Morales (New Providence, NJ // St. Lawrence University) and sent the ball into the net.
Knapp was named Man of the Match for his efforts.
FC Buffalo’s next match is at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 26, an afternoon affair against the rival Erie Admirals at Cathedral Prep Event Center Field in Erie, Pennsylvania. The Blitzers next home game is a Rust Belt Derby date with AFC Cleveland at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 9.
FC Buffalo (2-0-0): Gray; Ross, Garcia, Derkacz, Grabowski; R. Walter, Marlette (Morales 58′), Bednarsky, Wheeler (Thomas 61′), Knapp (Scirto 83′); Tiedt (Ramin 73′)