After falling behind early in the match, the Baltimore Bohemians fought back to score an equalizer and to keep their unbeaten road record intact, playing to a 1-1 draw against Reading United Sunday evening at Don Thomas Stadium.
The hosts went on the offensive early, creating their first quality chance seven minutes into the match. Jason Plumhoff dished the ball off to Steve Neuman on the edge of the box, but his attempt on net was denied by a sliding Andrew Harris. The resulting rebound by Damion Lowe was defended well by the Baltimore backline.
Four minutes later, Baltimore was whistled for a handball inside the box, giving Reading a chance to gain the early lead. Neuman converted this time around, slotting home a low shot to the left side of goalkeeper Harris for a 1-0 advantage.
In the 26th minute, the Bohemians leveled the score as Pete Caringi sprinted through the United defense and eluded Reading netminder Alexander Bono. The deflected ball from the edge of the box fell to Austin Martz, who slid home a shot from 12 yards out to tie the game at 1-1.
Both sides had opportunities to go in front late in the first half. Just past the half-hour mark, Reading’s Steve Neuman again tried his luck with a howler from 30 yards away, but the outstretched palms of Andrew Harris managed to tip the ball over the bar. Baltimore’s Kaoru Forbess delivered a free kick from that same distance ten minutes later, finding Hugh Roberts at the far post, but his header grazed the wrong side of the woodwork.
Mother Nature began to make her presence known in the second half, as dark, ominous clouds began to fill the sky around Reading. However, that didn’t deter the hosts from almost grabbing the lead again. On 71 minutes, a defensive lapse by Baltimore near the edge of the box allowed Reading to poke a deflected ball slowly towards the yawning net. Fortunately for the Bohs, the ball curled wide of the far post.
With just seven and a half minutes to play, the match was halted, as heavy rain showers accompanied by lightning made the playing conditions unsafe for both teams. When the match resumed after a 68-minute delay, the hosts nearly sealed the three points just moments after they returned to the pitch.
A harmless looking chip shot flew towards the Baltimore net, forcing Harris to backpedal toward his goal line, but he managed to snatch the ball inches before it entirely crossed the white chalk.
Despite the late scares, Baltimore held on for a point in the standings, running their road record for the season to 2-0-4. The Bohemians are now fourth in the Mid-Atlantic Division, with a 5-1-5 mark (20 points). With just three matches remaning, they trail Ocean City by five points for first place, and are three points behind Reading for the third and final playoff spot.
Baltimore returns to Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday evening for a meeting with the second-place Long Island Rough Riders.
Goals: BAL – Austin Martz (26′); REA – Steve Neuman (11′-penalty)
Yellow Cards: BAL – none; REA – Damion Lowe (39′)
Shots: BAL – 9, REA – 22
Saves: BAL – 6, REA – 8
Fouls: BAL – 12, REA – 8
Offsides: BAL – 0, REA – 0
Corners: BAL – 0, REA – 12