By Rob Potter
FALLSBURG October 14, 2005 After 60 minutes of tough, physical soccer on Tuesday afternoon, a single goal separated the Chester and Fallsburg boys soccer teams.
Unfortunately for the Comet coaches, players and fans, it was the visiting Hambletonians that held a one-goal advantage at the final whistle.
Chester scored a goal in each half to record a 2-1 victory over the Comets in the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V match.
Fallsburg (6-4-1, 2-2-1 Division V) outshot the Hambletonians by a 5-3 margin in the first half. But 10 minutes and 25 seconds into the match, Chesters Ryan Johnson gave his team a 1-0 lead. He beat Fallsburg goalkeeper Harris Seletsky with high shot to the middle of the goal cage. Seletsky leaped up to grab the ball, but it deflected off his fingertips and flew into the back of the net.
Chester (6-6, 2-3 Division V) took a 2-0 advantage 14 minutes into the second half when Gary Bell scored on a low shot to the middle of the goal cage.
But the Comets cut the Chester lead in half moments later. At the 22-minute mark, Fallsburgs Nick Makofsky scored on a penalty kick. Makofsky sent a low shot to the right of Hambletonian goalie Jared Gottlieb to put the Comets on the scoreboard.
About 12 minutes later, the Comets thought they had tied the game when Makofsky headed the ball into the net after it bounced off Gottliebs hands.
But the referee quickly called it a no goal, ruling that Makofsky had interfered with Gottlieb as he tried to control the ball.
Fallsburg attempted a few other shots in the final eight minutes, but could not score the game-tying goal.
It was a good game, Chester Coach John Hogan said. It was a hard-fought, physical game.
Hogan added that the outcome could have gone either way.
The coach also praised the performance of Gottlieb, who recorded seven saves.
He had an excellent game today, Hogan said. He was solid in the net.
Hogan also lauded the Comets for their performance.
Fallsburg has a lot of good players, he said. They played well.
Fallsburg Coach Jeremy Levner noted that his teams offense has been struggling lately.
We just havent been able to score goals the past few games, he said.
Defensively, we did a great job, Levner added.
Leading that defense was Seletsky, who finished the game with six saves.
Levner is hoping the Comets offense will improve soon. Over the next two weeks, Fallsburg will play Division V foes S.S. Seward, Tri-Valley and Tuxedo.
The teams in our division are fairly equal, he said. So we just need to find a way to score more goals.
Note: The teams played the final few minutes of the match with 10 players apiece instead of the usual 11.
With 8:27 remaining, Chesters Nick Shust was ejected after receiving a yellow-red from the referee for misconduct and then dissent as he left the field.
About a minute later, the officials issued a red card to Fallsburgs Matt Blanchard, which meant immediate ejection from the game.
He said something he shouldnt have to the referee, Levner said.
Blanchard will also have to sit out the Comets next match.