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South Jersey Soccer:
Ocean City Barons vs Reading Rage

Sunday, June 5, 2005

By Paul O'Donnell
Ocean City Barons Correspondent

In a game that everyone expected would be close and hotly contested the Barons notched their 3rd consecutive win 2-1 at Ocean City's Carey Field moving their season mark to 4-1-0.

The match started tenatively for both sides as the feeling out process ran its course until the 14th minute when Tony Donatelli put Byron Carmichael through with a fine pass and he made no mistake burying his shot in the far post side netting to open the scoring. Carmichael would find himself in on goal again off a through ball from Adam Williamson in the 23rd but this time the Rage keeper, Charlie Sales made a fine save denying the Barons their 2nd on the night. His job wasn't over yet.

In the 36th Carmichael was put through on the right this time by Steve Wacker and faced Sales from close range with only the near post to shoot for. Sales made a spectacular initial save and then another on the rebound which came right back to Carmichael and the Barons were denied their 2nd again.

The Rage's Simon Omekanda was dangerous throughout the first half but the Barons defense held firm. Joe Brocker and Ruben Mingo took yellows defending the skillful forward as the half ended with the 1-0 scoreline. That would change in the 48th when Reading tied the match through Simon from Devlin, 1-1.

The Rage goal seemed to energize the Barons and they responded with another in the 52nd through a Mingo header at the back post from a marvelous Carmichael cross from the endline. Barons 2, Rage 1. They almost got another in the 53rd as Carmichael whistled a driven, curling ball just over the crossbar from about 20 yards. Byron's night would end just 2 minutes later when he was sub'ed by Michael Todd. Todd himself forced a diving save from Sales in the 59th to keep the game close.

The final 30 minutes of the match saw tight marking from both sides, several more yellows issued, and frustration building. The Rage changed their alignment subbing on midfielders for defenders as they worked to find that tying goal. Baron sub's Jamie Franks and Adam Sternberger both generated good offensive moves and Todd's play after coming on for Carmichael kept up the pressure on the Rage.

Tony Donatelli played another strong game and was rewared for his efforts with Man of the Match honors.

The Barons next match is against these same Reading Rage on their home turf Sunday, June 12 as the Barons attempt to tighten their grip on the division lead.

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