Down a man in overtime, Roanoke Rapids ran out of gas in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to league leading Corinth Holders at Hoyle Field in Roanoke Rapids.
The Yellow Jackets were playing a man short for the final three minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime after Josh Brantley picked up a second yellow card and had to leave the game.
The Pirates wasted little time in the extra session, with Brock Waynik splitting the pipes just 40 seconds in to put the Pirates in front 2-1.
Desperate to get a tying goal, the undermanned Jackets had to do a lot of chasing against a strong ball control offense.
“We decided to go into a 1-4-4 setup in overtime,” Roanoke Rapids coach Todd Seymour said. “We had to make a decision whether to try for the win or play for a tie. We kind of went between the two. I think the chasing we had to do took its toll. They are a very good team.”
Grant Austin all but put Roanoke Rapids away with a score 16:57 in overtime for a commanding 3-1 lead.
Corinth Holders (10-4, 5-0) controlled the play right from the start. Midway through the second half the shots were 12-1 in favor of the Pirates.
The contest was scoreless until the 66:54 mark when the Pirates scored on a fluke goal.
A shot deflected off a Roanoke Rapids defender in the box, and ricochetted into an open net.
Roanoke Rapids (10-2-1, 3-1-1) stayed within striking distance due to solid play by keeper Caleb Pratt, but when Brantley had to leave the game with a red card, the hole the Jackets found themselves in became a little deeper.
With the clock ticking down, Roanoke Rapids got its break.
Ryan Boone booted the ball high toward the Pirates’ net, and keeper Chason Karst misplayed the ball allowing Michael Ferguson to score the tying goal with :36 seconds left on the clock.
“I have to give a lot of credit to our guys for the way they kept fighting,” Seymour said. “To come back and get the tying goal with :36 seconds remaining, while playing a man down showed a lot of character.”
It led to the third overtime game for Roanoke Rapids in the last two and a half weeks.
“We knew it would be tough coming in,” Seymour said. “They have some real quality players. No. 7 (Melicio Rubio) was really good, but I though our guys did a good job defending him.”
Roanoke Rapids returns to action against Warren County at 6 p.m. Monday in Warrenton.