(ERIE, Penn) __ FC Buffalo’s second season under head coach Brendan Murphy began in similar fashion to what marked his first year in charge, as the Blitzers made a bit of club history.
Russell Cicerone scored twice, Ian Mort had two assists and Marcus Hanson had a goal and an assist as FC Buffalo won in Erie for the first time in the five-year history of the Erie County Derby, beating the Erie Admirals 4-2 at Penn State Behrend’s Junker Center on Friday night.
Daniel Hunt also scored for FCB, which got a number of key saves from goalkeeper Waleed Cassis in the win.
FCB (1-0-0) will carry momentum into its Sunday home opener against AFC Cleveland (0-0-1), who tied Fort Pitt on Friday evening. The game kicks off at 2 p.m. at the Demske Sports Complex at Canisius College. Admission is $5 and children under 5 are free.
After a physical start to the game made it clear the ref was ready to “let ‘em play”, the Wolves struck first off a free kick in the 14th minute. Cicerone was fouled about 8 yards outside the 18 and Mort’s free kick was parried onto the path of a hustling Hanson, who made no mistake with his left foot.
The Admirals drew level with a PK drawn and converted by former Hull City youth Tyler Collishaw, but Cicerone strung together a bit of magic to put FC Buffalo up for good.
A flick from Martin Fiemawhle found Cicerone alone with Erie keeper Danny Mudd, and the UB attacker took a touch before scoring in the 37th minute, racing off to the traveling TSR faithful. He leapt into the crowd, and would be coming back soon.
That’s because he sent a rocket past Mudd less than two minutes later after Mort’s flick found his foot about 22 yards out. This time, Cicerone ran toward the crowd, lifting the FC Buffalo crest to his lips to The Situation Room’s delight. FCB lead 3-1 at the half.
The play worked both ways as the second half progressed, but Hanson turned provider to give Buffalo a 4-1 lead in the 74th minute. The sturdy winger carried the ball to the end line before crossing in for Hunt, who collected the ball before coolly slotting home in his first appearance as a Blitzer.
Erie’s Teddy Martin scored in the 80th minute, but it was too little, too late for the Admirals in Round One of this year’s Erie County Derby.