Hounds waste late lead for 1-1 draw with first-place Rowdies


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Neco Brett goes high for a 50/50 ball Saturday night at Highmark Stadium. -- CHRIS COWGER / RIVERHOUNDS SC

The Riverhounds' back line had been staunch in the face of a formidable challenge the better part of Saturday night, forcing the first-place Tampa Bay Rowdies into 10 interceptions.

But when they most needed a stop ...

That was in the 84th minute, a not-at-all-lucky strike by Lucky Mkosana behind the Hounds' defenders and through Kyle Morton for a 1-1 draw at Highmark Stadium.

Bob Lilley, always hungry to push the attack, lamented that the Hounds couldn't add on.

"Against a team like that, you have to try to find a second goal," he said. "I think we tried and, unfortunately, we didn't cover in the back. At that stage of the game, to let someone get in behind us is a pretty big mistake. It wasn't like we were pushed high up the field. It was just a simple ball over the top where the guy made a good run and we got caught flat footed."

The Hounds' lone goal came in the 52nd minute following this dubious penalty drawn on a run into the box by Neco Brett:

And it was Kevin Kerr, per the norm, effortlessly converting:

The Hounds had won four in a row before a flat 1-0 loss July 7 at Charlotte. Kerr expressed satisfaction that this was better than that.

“I think Charlotte was a blip," Kerr said. "The four games prior, we were flying and then Charlotte was a real disappointing performance. Today, we got back on track. We looked our usual selves. That was a really good Tampa team, obviously top of the league, and they gave us nothing.”

The Hounds are 6-8-3 and eighth in the USL's 18-team Eastern Conference, 14 points behind the Rowdies at 11-1-7.

Next match is next Saturday, also at home, against North Carolina FC. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

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