Last year, this type of game was all too familiar for Bethlehem Steel FC. Too many games were decided by one nil results that went against Bethlehem, and really those results were the only thing that kept them from a playoff appearance. All that to say Bethlehem will be more than happy with another clean sheet and stealing a victory on the road.
Ontario's favorite son Chris Nanco got a start in his homecoming, and his incredible speed was enough to trouble Toronto FC II early. Combined with the more aggressive one on one battler Marcus Epps, Steel looked dangerous early. Epps' bombing style was rewarded early on in the seventh minute when the winger was clipped in the box. Forward Cory Burke stepped to the spot and blasted the ball past Angelo Cavalluzzo to give Steel the lead.
The second half was mostly Toronto. First team loanee Tsubasa Endoh caused trouble for Bethlehem, specifically the youth of Matt Real and Mark McKenzie. Trouble doesn't always lead to danger however, as an apparent emphasis on communication as well as some defensive help from James Chambers lead to Endoh not getting a ton of looks on goal. Junior Reds coach Jason Bent also had first team loanee and noted Bethlehem killer Shaan Hundal. Hundal looked really sharp off the bench, and even got the best chance of the match with under 10 minutes remaining.
Hundal broke the Steel defense and unleashed a great shot on net, only bested by what really should be the USL save of the week by Jake McGuire. McGuire has clearly taken hold of the Bethlehem keeper throne, looking like a great communicator at the back as well as one of the better pure shot stoppers in the league. Hundal had Toronto's best chance but Steel escape with their first road win of the season, besting the Junior Reds 1-0.
-Congratulations again to Matt Mahoney on making his pro debut, picking up a cameo appearance. He replaced Matt Real late on and did well in a high pressure situation
-All of Bethlehem's wins this season are clean sheets. Pick your favorite reason as to why this is good.
-Chris Nanco should start with Marcus Epps on the wings moving forward. I also really enjoy the use of Santi Moar as a first sub, Moar has been dynamic this season and might be a bit unlucky to not have more on the scoresheet this season.