McBeth reflects on Opening Day crowd, loss

by Alex Beilman, contributor


Despite a strong debut at left back, FC Buffalo’s Johnny McBeth was left rueing the lone goal of a home-opening 1-0 loss at Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium on Saturday.

The goal, which came as the result of a free kick from 42 yards, broke open what until that point had been a very hard fought tie game.

“It was a free kick on the far side of the field and one of our guys switched off,” said Blitzers defender Johnny McBeth. “The ball bounced and it broke quite luckily to the other team and it was an easy finish.”

The first half was a bit of an exploratory half for each side, as advancing the ball and getting any sort of threatening chance proved difficult in the early minutes of the match.

[ MORE: Match recap | Box score ]

The crowd of 1,107 did not go unnoticed by the players on the pitch.

“It means everything,” McBeth said. “First game, home opener, it’s been great with the fans. To play in front of this number of fans, it’s the most I’ve ever played in front of. It’s a pity about the result though. We could have done better.”

The Blitzers were afforded their fair share of chances after conceding the first goal. Their best opportunity came from a free kick awarded just outside the penalty area in the 75 th minute. The attempt was guided directly into the RiverDogz defensive wall by McBeth.

“I could have done better with that,” McBeth said. “It’s just a matter of practice and training. When we get into training this week, we’re going to work on stuff like that so everyone knows where to run. If we just finish our runs and attack the ball, we’re going to score.”

FCB was awarded four corners within the last 20 minutes of play, but all of those proved fruitless, and Buffalo was unable to find an equalizer.

“It’s very early on in the season, a lot of new players. It’s going to take a few weeks to gel everyone together,” McBeth said. “Coach Murphy and the other coaches are going to do a very good job of that.”

The Blitzers will have an opportunity at redemption next weekend, as they head out to their first away match of the season to play AFC Cleveland.