Everything was perfect really, despite the result. In a night of celebration as professional soccer returned to St. Louis the team huffed and puffed but just couldn’t blow the house down, as STLFC fell to a determined Tulsa Roughnecks team in the first of three meetings in the next four weeks.
The first 10 minutes of the game it was Tulsa that really looked more composed as home game nerves looked to have the better of Saint Louis, however once settled down STLFC really started to take the game to Tulsa and had two great chances from Bryan Gaul as he saw one hit the bar and another snapshot after a low cross kept out by an excellent save from the Roughnecks keeper Zac Lubin.
It was Tulsa though who broke the deadlock after half an hour as the STLFC defense failed to deal with a cross into the box and it struck a flailing defender and glanced into the bottom corner for the own goal. After half time it was much of the same With Gaul and Mike Ambersely making way for Mike Roach and Jeremie Lynch, Saint Louis continued to pile on the pressure but to no avail as Roach tried to connect with a low cross into the box which ultimately saw him yellow carded for getting tangled with Lubin. Lynch put a header wide from an excellent Jordan Roberts cross, but it just wasn’t to be.
The final nail in the coffin of the game came from a Tulsa counter attack after sustained Saint Louis pressure and it was Gibson Bardsley for the Roughnecks whom found himself with acres of space in the penalty box to drill a low shot past Mark Pais into the corner to kill the game off.
In a game of fine margins the result is all that counts but Schilly was pleased with the performance “I was pleased, I think we dominated” Schilly stated after the game. “I think we looked more composed than the Indy game, we were better on the ball and looked sharper.”
It will obviously be of concern to the coach however that after 180 minutes of preseason outings that the team has failed to hit the net. This can be rectified next Saturday as the team travels to Tulsa to play the Roughnecks again in the final exhibition game before the season kicks off on March 28th in Louisville KY.
photos via Derek Gottman [St Louligans] and Saint Louis FC [Tim Spyers Photography]