Hounds

Hounds tie Bethlehem but still dragging in back

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Bethlehem's Michee Ngalina celebrates his goal Saturday night in Chester, Pa. - BETHLEHEM STEEL FC

The Hounds are three matches deep into their USL season and still seeking their first victory.

Kevin Kerr scored in the fourth minute, and Joe Greenspan the equalizer in the 60th of a 2-2 draw with Bethlehem Steel FC, Saturday night in Chester, Pa. Kerr also had a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time, but Bethlehem keeper Carlos dived to his right for the save.

Through an 0-1-2 start, the Hounds, the league leader in shutouts last season, have conceded six goals.

“We need more possession,” Bob Lilley said after the Hounds commanded the ball 53.7 percent of the time. “They set out to play very direct and they used their pace. We have to have the composure to keep the ball and make them chase. Early in the second half, we did that and we limited their chances. We scored the goal to tie it, but as the half went on we went back to rushing.”

Bethlehem answered Kerr's early strike with first-half goals by Faris Pemi Moumbagna in the 21st minute and Michee Ngalina in the 36th. Hounds keeper Kyle Morton was beaten on two of Bethlehem's three shots on target.

That said, Bethlehem totaled 13 attempts, including six from inside the box.

"We have to defend better as a team," Lilley said. "We’ve been giving up tons of chances the last two weeks. We created tons, but you are not going to survive and win consistently being that open defensively. Some weeks you may outscore someone, but you're going to lose a lot of games if you cannot defend as a team. It’s disappointing."

"We can’t be happy with that performance," Kerr said. "It was a bit of a coin flip with big chances at both ends and ended a tie. Where we had so much success last year was being locked down in the back and a little bit more clinical up top. So, to get where we were last year we know we’ve got a lot of work to do."

The Hounds will complete their four-game season-opening road run next Saturday, 7 p.m., against two-time defending champion Louisville City FC. The Highmark Stadium opener is April 13 against the Hartford Athletic.

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