Rowdies Draw Home Opener Against RailHawks

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 6, 2013) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Carolina RailHawks played to a 0-0 tie at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday night. The reigning NASL Champions didn’t take long to show why they took the title home last year, pressuring the Carolina RailHawks from kickoff. Rowdies defender Jay Needham had two dangerous headers early on, with his second attempt in the 18th minute being called off for offside.

Midfielders Luke Mulholland and Evans Frimpong continuously fed the ball into the box looking for the attacking targets on the field. Mulholland came close to scoring the first goal of the season for the Rowdies in the 30th minute off a perfectly placed free kick. RailHawks goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald was quick on his feet and punched the ball out for a corner kick.

With the Rowdies dominating the first half, the last chance came in the 38th minute with a dangerous header from forward Amani Walker. Midfielder Raphael Cox delivered a great cross, but Walker’s header at the far post was tipped out by Fitzgerald.

The Rowdies continued to dominate the second half as they held off the Carolina RailHawks while creating a lot of chances on goal. The Rowdies had their best scoring chance in the 79th minute when Devin Del Do’s header deflected off of the crossbar for a goal kick.

Mulholland moved the ball around well for the Rowdies as he continuously connected passes to help keep possession and try to break down the RailHawks defense. In the dying minutes RailHawks centre back Paul Hamilton received his second yellow card, which opened things up for the Rowdies offensively.

In the end, the match ended as a tie with neither team able to put the ball in the back of the net. The Rowdies out shot the RailHawks 17 -6, forcing Fitzgerald to make seven crucial saves to maintain the score 0-0.

Source: Tampa Bay Rowdies Media