It was a battle of Nassau Conference 4A rivals as the South Side Cyclones hosted the New Hyde Park Gladiators at Dean Skelos Complex in Rockville Centre on Thursday.
This being the first time these two teams have met since South Side knocked out New Hyde Park from the Class A quarters just a year ago, you could feel the tension between the two as the ball was first played.
The first half was a defensive battle, for most of the first 40 minutes, but the Cyclones dominated the shots on goal as they had four on ten total shots. It took 22 minutes for the Gladiators even to get one shot on goal, but with seven minutes to go in the half, Dylan Ross ripped a shot that was collected by South Side keeper Thomas Germano.
South Side was finally able to get on board after knocking on the door all first half, when Kevin Cook was taken down about 30 yards from New Hyde Park’s goal. On the ensuing free kick, Alessandro Pugliese delivered a pristine ball to the head of Chris Harkins, who promptly placed in the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage with four minutes remaining in the half.
The game would head that way into halftime, but the second half was much more balanced in terms of scoring opportunities for these two teams.
With 15 minutes remaining in the game, New Hyde Park ripped a shot and deflected off a South Side defender, but Germano made an outstanding left handed full sprawled out save that led to a Gladiator corner kick.
However, in the end, South Side was able to hold off the attack of the Gladiators and improve their record to 4-2. New Hyde Park with the loss falls to 1-4 on the young season.
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