Orlando City B traveled to Harrisburg to take on the Harrisburg City Islanders attempting to follow up the club's first victory with a Pennsylvania sweep. Unfortunately, the team was unable to build on the victory in Pittsburgh Friday, falling to the Islanders for the second time this season. OCB dropped to 1-4-1, staying on four points, while Harrisburg City improved to 2-3-0, now with six points. Both of Harrisburg City's victories have been against OCB.
Early on, OCB looked like it was going to be able to build on the momentum from Friday. Richie Laryea had the first opportunity of the game in the sixth minute, taking a feed from Michael Cox inside the 18-yard box, though Laryea simply couldn't turn on the ball and get his shot on frame.
Harrison Heath took a yellow card in the 10th minute, which led to a dangerous free kick. OCB was able to defend that attempt, and Cardel Benbow, who was the recipient of the foul, took his own yellow in the 11th minute with a cleats up challenge.
Harrisburg City had a dangerous counter attack in the 14th minute that looked like it might amount to danger, but Orlando City defended strongly and Heath was able to clear before the home side could get a shot on target. The 16th minute saw another dangerous attack, and this one ended up in the back of the net as Kyle Callan-McFadden touched the ball into the back of OCB's own net just before Mark Ridgers could get a hold of what would have been an easy save.
After that, the game got choppy as there were a number of fouls over the next few minutes.
Orlando city received a penalty kick after a nice series of passes saw Laryea get taken down in the box in the 21st minute. Bryan Rochez was able to convert to tie the game at one.
Tyler Turner was called for a foul in the 31st minute where the Harrisburg forward Jamie Thomas went down fairly easy, but Turner received a yellow nonetheless. It turned out to be a costly call as Shane Johnson headed in a pretty entry from Paul Wilson to restore the Islanders' one goal lead in what would turn out to be the final goal of the match.
Ridgers stepped up big in the 43rd minute with two key saves to keep the game at 2-1 going into halftime as Harrisburg City was the more dangerous team for the majority of the first half of the game.
"In the first half we played them too slow off the tempo, defensively we looked all over the place, but at halftime I asked for a reaction and in the second half I thought we were outstanding," said OCB Head Coach Anthony Pulis after the match. "I got the reaction I wanted. There was more energy, there was enthusiasm, there was more intensity in our play, and I thought we were good in the second half. But as I said to the players, we cannot just perform for 45 minutes, we have to perform the 90 minutes, and I don't care what level you play at, you can't give teams a head start. Unfortunately we paid the price for that tonight."
Lewis Neal, Keegan Smith, and Marius Obekop came on for Rochez, Laryea, and Jonathan Mendoza for the second half. OCB was strong to start the half, coaxing a big save from Noble in the 51st minute. Chances were limited for the following 10 minutes, though OCB played much stronger, maintaining possession with a far more controlled passing attack. Obekop had a tremendous opportunity in the 62nd minute when he had a clean look at goal, but he seemed to be off balance and skied his attempt into the bleachers.
Obekop was booked in the 68th minute on a dangerous tackle that could have ended up worse for both players. That didn't stop Orlando City's pressure though, as the Lions were the better team for the following 10 minutes. A few dangerous counters from Harrisburg City did provide a few scares.
Then, things got scary in the 83rd moment when Bobby Warshaw took a bicycle kick in traffic and caught Keegan Smith in the face. A minor scuffle broke out, and Warshaw got a red card for his actions. Smith managed to pop up and return to the game, giving OCB a man advantage for the final stretch.
OCB kicked up the pressure in the final minutes, but couldn't solve the Harrisburg City defense. They closed the game with a strong free kick that forced Harrisburg City keeper Nick Noble into a closing save, but nary a goal was scored in the second half and the game ended 2-1 in favor of the Islanders.
The USL Lioins return to Melbourne to take on FC Montreal on Sunday, May 1.
Starting XI: Ridgers, Ambrose, D. Garcia, McFadden(c), Turner, Menzoda, Heath, Rocha, Laryea (Neal 45'), Cox, Rochez (Obekop 45')
Goals: ORL: Rochez (PK, 22'), HCI - Callan-McFadden (OG, 12'), Johnson (33')
Yellow Cards: ORL - Garcia (10'), Turner (32'), Obekop (68'), Garcia (76') HCI - Benbow (11'), Barril (30'), Noble (61'), Campbell (88')
Red Cards: HCI - Warshaw (86')