OCEAN CITY - The Ocean City Nor'easters lost a game and first place in the hotly contested Mid-Atlantic Division of the United Soccer Leagues' Premier Development League on Sunday night.
The Jersey Express beat the Nor'easters 2-0 at Carey Stadium. Ocean City tried desperately to get the equalizer after falling behind 1-0 late in the first half. Finally, the Newark-based Express put the game away with a second goal in stoppage time of the second half, a half-minute before the end.
The Express upped its record to 5-1-3 for 18 points and took over first place in the Mid-Atlantic. Ocean City, 7-2-1 overall, suffered its first PDL loss of the season and is second in the division at 5-1-1 for 16 points.
"I think we started flat tonight and they got the best of us late," Ocean City coach Tim Oswald said. "We had to chase the game and didn't get enough for the tie. It's back to the drawing board."
The game was scoreless until Jersey midfielder Thomas McNamara beat O.C. goalie Brian Billings to the right corner from 15 yards out in the 45h minute. The Express got few good chances thereafter but their goalie, Jon Dawson, constantly cleared away Ocean City's offensive chances. Abdoulaye Coulibaly added the insurance goal from 12 yards out. Express goalie had four saves for the shutout.
The Nor'easters beat the Express 3-1 in Newark on June 5 in Newark.
"Tonight we just didn't have it," said Nor'easters forward Frank Tweneboa, 22, who is from Ghana. "After we beat then 3-1, they came out tonight with a different lineup. They played back in the first half, and the same way in the second half. They played back behind the ball.
"We'll keep working and keep our heads up. It's just one loss in a long season."
The Nor'easters will host the Central Jersey Spartans at 7 p.m. next Sunday at Carey Stadium.
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