FC Buffalo returned to its tradition of opening its season preparations in Genesee County with a friendly against junior college powers Genesee Community College and a party at Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel on Saturday.
It was head coach Ryan “Ozzy” Osborne’s first chance to get a look at returning players and trialists, as the side had not held a training session since last summer.
FCB had an early chance when Jordan Araujo played Nevado Elliott in on goal, but the Cougars keeper made a fine save to deny the Jamaican. A goal line clearance from GCC later stopped Araujo from opening the scoring.
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Justin Bonetto opened the scoring with a left-footed shot from the top of the box, and the Blitzers made it 2-0 when Ander Castillo raced onto a Nevado through ball and rounder the keeper.
The game’s prettiest goal came when Colin O’Keefe’s pretty cross from the right was met by a diving header that put Hunter Walsh on the scoresheet, though the Cougars struck before the break off a scrum in the box to make it 3-1.
FCB would again lead by three when Castillo nodded home from an August Finn cross, and GCC scored late in the game to send the final score to the board.
The team then joined fans and family at Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel for an Italian buffet and some time on the gaming floor. The evening was a refreshing chance to mingle with supporters after an odd couple of years around the club and the world.
FCB returns to the pitch for the Blue and Gold Games on Saturday, as both the men and women will compete in front of fans before local BDSL side Ukraine FC plays Lake Shore FC in a benefit to bring humanitarian aid to Ukraine.