We made a return to action on Sunday against Diamond FC, a team who we have played several times over the years and who always provide a tough test, this game would prove to be no different.
The opening five minutes of the game was quite an even affair with both sides working hard to gain possession of the ball, It would be our opponents who would create the first chance when on six minutes our goalkeeper, Darian Carty produced a fine save, low to his right to prevent Diamond taking the lead. In the 17th minute we had our first attempt at goal courtesy of a free kick taken by Tre Gumbs that was blocked by the Diamond FC wall and cleared to safety.
In what was a tight game, we were able to create a second decent opportunity in the 26th minute through a good passing move which culminated in a Denny Derrick shot being well saved by the Diamond FC goalkeeper. Almost immediately after Denny' shot we launched another attack and had a header cleared off the line. We were now well on top, and we created another chance in the 32nd minute when Denny found Stephen Fiedtkou with a defence splitting pass, Fu tried to go around the goalkeeper, but he did well to push the ball away for an Uprising corner.
Following our most recent effort at goal, both teams enjoyed decent periods of possession, but the score remained deadlocked as referee, Trevor Rouse blew his whistle for half time.
The opening exchanges of the second period mirrored the first, as both teams work hard to gain an advantage in the game. We eventually starting to dominate possession and in the 56th minute, a Matthew Brown shot was half cleared with the ball falling to Rene Thomas, Rene went down in the Diamond penalty area after a robust challenge, but the referee waved away Uprising appeals for a penalty. Shortly afterwards, Diamond launched an attack of their own which ended with a cross coming in from the left which Darian Carty did well to claw away from the goal,
In the 62nd minute, a fine passing move by Uprising saw a chance created for second half substitute, Rene Thomas but he was denied by a last-ditch tackle by the Diamond defender. Rene went close again just two minutes later when his long range went narrowly past the far post. We were now playing some excellent football and perhaps some of our best play of the entire season.
We had a huge let off in the 66th minute when a free kick to our opponents on the left was floated into our penalty area, the ball evaded everyone and to our relief rebounded off the cross bar and was cleared to safety. Just two minutes later and Diamond were awarded a penalty when Kymani Hodge was adjudged to have fouled a player in our box, to people watching on it looked like a perfectly timed tackle but the decision was given to award the spot kick. The Diamond's player stepped up, fired the penalty down the centre of the goal but our talented goalkeeper, Darian Carty made a miraculous save with his legs having dived to his left!
It has often been said in all the history of football that the hardest position to play is as a goalkeeper, this notion was proven to be correct on 73 minutes when Darian Carty who just minutes earlier had made a brilliant save, had an attempted clearance blocked by an opposing player with the ball then scrambled into the net. A real shame for both Darian and the team because on the balance of play we did not deserve to go a goal down. To back this school of thought up even further, Darian then produced a fine save in the 82nd minute to prevent our opponents from doubling their lead.
Although Diamond FC were now on top, we never stopped battling and launched attacks at every possible opportunity. One of those attacks came in the 87th minute when Tre crossed the ball into the box and Rene headed wide from twelve yards out. Then, in the second minute of injury time, Rene was sent tumbling to the floor in the Diamond's box, but the referee deemed the challenge not to be illegal. It looked like all our efforts in the game would come to nothing but, seconds later Ramos found Rene in the box, our number ten beat his man and fired a low left foot shot past the goalkeeper. Wild celebrations followed and we were rewarded with a share of the spoils in a very entertaining game.