McBeth caps emotional week with goal, win

By Alex Beilman, contributor

Photo: Hickling Images


FC Buffalo forward Johnny McBeth made a triumphant debut at Robert E. Rich All High Stadium Friday night, notching his first goal of the NPSL season, the first goal of the season for the Blitzers as well.

After the disappointing loss against Rochester in the home opener, McBeth was especially excited to score in front of the supporters against the rival Erie Commodores.

“So happy. First two games we hadn’t done well. We worked hard today, it’s about time,” McBeth said. “It feels amazing to do that in front of the fans as well. I’m just proud and there’s nothing better than scoring that goal.”

McBeth took a touch off of a perfectly placed long ball from Chris Walter, and chipped a shot just over the Erie Commodores goalkeeper. The goal came just two minutes into the match and sent the supporters into a frenzy.

[ MORE: Match recap | Great Lakes East standings ]

“What a ball from Chris. Just switched it, over the defender’s head, I took a touch and put it over the keeper.”

The goal gave the Blitzers their first goal in what ended up a 2-1 victory over the Commodores.

The rest of the game looked to be an uphill battle. Center back Kendell McFayden was shown two yellow cards, once in the 8th minute and again in the 10th minute, and his night ended early.

Going down to 10 men forced several position changes. McBeth was forced to play left back, and midfielder Ian McGrath was pressed into duty at center back.

“Chris Walter, the captain, he helped us a lot, just organizing. My first game I played left back, so nothing new,” McBeth said. “It wasn’t difficult. Just a matter of putting the work in and getting a result.”

Although the calls and cards seemed to be piling up against the Blitzers, the message throughout the game after McFayden’s sending off was to remain calm.

[ FCB: 2016 schedule | 2016 roster | History ]

McBeth has also been dealing with adversity in his life off the pitch. His grandmother passed away, and he was forced to miss training sessions this past week in order to be with his family in his native Scotland.

“It’s been a difficult week. I didn’t train last week with the team,” McBeth said. “I spoke to my mom and my dad in Scotland. They told me 100 percent effort and to give everything for the team. I’d like to dedicate my goal to my grandma.

“It was amazing to come back and get a goal and settle in again. We’re all in this together as a team. It’s such a good feeling to get the result.”