The second half to the Downriver Derby took place in Springdale, AR with Ozark FC coming out on top for the match 2-1. The derby and Moonshine Jug trophy go to Little Rock Rangers on goal aggregate for 2019.
As the Arkansas River rises and our thoughts are with the people affected, the two teams met at Har-ber High School with a first half that really just did not see a whole lot of aggressive action. From the vantage point of a Facebook Live stream via a cellphone (the host team did not have a stream available), it seemed the Rangers had their chances but could not connect passes or complete the shot on goal.
It was not until the closing minutes of the first half with a corner kick headed in by captain Nicholas Doyle did the scoring begin. The Rangers went to halftime with a 1-0 lead.
The second half was much of the same. Two of the Rangers strong strikers, both Alex Guadron (returning from an ankle injury) and Donald Benamna just could not make that finishing connection to the net. Frustration set in on the squad as players perhaps began to overthink and force plays.
This opened the opportunity for Ozark late in the game, scoring in the 81st and 90th minute to take the lead and win the match.
The Rangers hold a 2-2 Heartland Conference record now and will be traveling back up to Demize NPSL on Wednesday to make up the game cancelled last week due to referee availability. Demize knocked off top-ranked FC Wichita 3-1 on Thursday, so the Rangers will certainly need to figure out their midfield possession and offensive finish.
Our next home match at War Memorial Stadium is Saturday, June 8 at 7:00 pm vs Tulsa Athletic.