Saturday, May 10, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY – Gibson Bardsley scored the match’s only goal in the 90th minute to lift Orange County Blues FC past OKC Energy FC 1-0 on Saturday night in front of another sold out crowd at Pribil Stadium. Bardsley’s goal was his first of the season, and handed OKC its second loss on home turf this season.
Energy FC had a chance early to take the lead when Kyle Greig headed just over the crossbar in the eighth minute, but the Blues also had opportunities as OKC defender Mark Howard blocked a pair of shots, including one by Bardsley, two minutes apart midway through the half. Howard made another timely intervention just before halftime as his challenge denied Bardsley a scoring chance.
OKC’s Adda Djeziri had a pair of opportunities in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, but wasn’t able to find his range as he missed the target on both. Bardsley continued to threaten for the Blues as he forced Energy FC goalkeeper Jon Kempin into a save in the 68th minute, and two minutes later Kempin had to be sharp again as Stephen Okai put a good free kick on goal, only for the Sporting Kansas City loanee to save.
Energy FC pushed forward positively in the final 10 minutes, and David Leighty had a good effort saved by Blues goalkeeper Josh Ford in the 81st minute. Adnan Gabeljic also went close with three minutes to go as his header was saved, but Orange County struck in the final minute as a long ball downfield by Ford found Bardsley, who chased down the long ball and lifted his finish past Kempin for the winning goal.
Thanks to a collective performance the OC Blues earn three points moving them up to a total of nine points in USL PRO standings. The Blues hold a record of 3-6-0.
The Blues return home to California to face the Fresno Fuego of the PDL on May 14 in the second round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. After that, it’s back to USL PRO play as the Blues head to the Pacific Northwest to face off against the Seattle Sounders Reserves on May 18 as part of the Major League Soccer-USL PRO partnership.
Join the Blues at their next home match on Saturday, May 31 at 7 p.m. PST against Arizona United SC at Anteater Stadium. Join the rest of Orange County at the game by calling (714) 738-8011 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.ocbluesfc.com for more information on the OC Blues or hashtag #myocblues on social media.