MOBILE, ALABAMA – Another record-breaking crowd filled the west stands of The Lip Saturday night, but AFC Mobile was sunk by a screamer of a goal late into stoppage time, falling 2-1 to Biloxi City FC in the first edition of the Forgotten Coast Cup. The official attendance was 924.
“I believe fully the guys did everything they could to try and win the game, to make the fans happy,” said AFC Mobile captain Martin Fiemawhle. “We just have to work on defending… stay positive. We have next week. We’ll bounce back.”
The first half was a fairly even affair with both sides unable to capitalize on their chances. Six minutes into the game, Amos Ndikumana sent a shot across the face of the goal that was easily collected by Biloxi City keeper Brian Hammons. A minute later, Nate Gillespie slotted a ball through to Chisom Ogbonna, whose shot dragged just to the left of goal.
Biloxi struck back in the 14th minute with a shot by Romar Smith. Smith’s effort was parried into the air then collected by AFC Mobile goalkeeper Brent Grube. AFC Mobile came close to scoring when Sherman Winchester rocketed a long range effort from outside the box that ultimately floated outside the right post.
In the 34th minute, Biloxi’s Atem Kuot was shown a red card for violent conduct after pushing Mobile’s Nathan Gillespie off the ball, and Biloxi was down to 10 men. Ogbonna had another effort saved in the 39th minute. Late into first half stoppage time, Greg Hosford laid off a beautiful ball for Winchester whose shot was saved.
The game was stalled six minutes into the second half after Biloxi City’s Fred Riley collided with his own keeper and AFC Mobile’s Jackson Barber. Unfortunately, Riley was stretchered off the field after a long stoppage. We wish him a speedy recovery.
“We come out in the second half, we almost score a goal on the play, and then stop for 35 minutes. Our prayers go out to the guy, but it really kinda kills the momentum…But his health is most important,” AFC Mobile manager Nate Nicholas said.
Biloxi took the lead in the 54th minute after Patrick Harrison sent a low rolling shot into the far right corner.
Mobile was awarded a penalty after Biloxi’s Orazio Digesu brought down Ogbonna in the box. Fiemawhle, one of AFC Mobile’s two captains, stepped up and coolly fired the PK into the back of the net.
“For me, I just stay calm the whole game. When I have a chance like that, stay calm and just put it in the back of the net,” Fiemawhle said.
In the 70th minute, Biloxi City’s manager Sinisa Vukadin was ejected from the match. Tempers flared throughout the venue, and both sides continued to push forward to break the deadlock. In the 76th minute, Biloxi’s Iba Ndaw brought down Ogbonna and was shown yellow.
Ndaw was shown a second yellow in the 89th minute, giving Mobile a two-man advantage as the game headed into stoppage time. The home side, however, could not capitalize on the advantage. In the 94th minute, Biloxi’s Itz Trevor scored a screamer from outside of the box to give Biloxi a 2-1 lead and seal the match.
“I don’t know if that guy will hit another shot like that ever again in his life,” Nicholas said.
AFC Mobile will travel to Pensacola to take on the GCPL leaders, the Gulf Coast Texans, next Saturday, June 17th. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Ashton Brosnaham Park. AFC Mobile fans are encouraged to make the short journey to the Pelican City to support the visiting team.