Saturday, May 19, 2012
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders took their first victory since their opening game of the season as Yann Ekra had a hat trick in a 4-0 win against the Dayton Dutch Lions on Saturday night at Skyline Sports Complex. Ekra scored twice in the first half before completing his hat trick after the break to lead his side to victory.
From the opening whistle the City Islanders pushed the tempo, riding the fleet feet of their front line. While Ekra was the star of the match, his running mate Sainey Touray notched a pair of assists, the first going to Morgan Langley in the 42rd and his second helper going to Ekra in the 56th.
Ekra opened the scoring in the 14th minute as the 21-year-old from the Ivory Coast beat his defender and volleyed a precise feed from J.T. Noone past Dutch Lions goalkeeper Matt Williams. Ekra struck again two minutes later, Dayton's defense giving up an errant pass which was nimbly picked off by the City Islanders’ striker, who needed no assistance for the finish.
The Dutch Lions had a chance to halve the City Islanders’ lead in the 23rd minute when striker Gerrit Jan Bartels was awarded a penalty kick after splitting the Harrisburg defense and being brought down. Goalkeeper Nick Noble dove low to his left to stop Bartels' low, skidding shot, however, as the home crowd of 1,527 erupted, elated by the critical momentum-blocking play of their goalkeeper.
The City Islanders added to their lead just before the halftime break as Langley tucked away a cross by Touray. The Gambian also played provider as Ekra completed his hat trick, the first in USL PRO this season, 11 minutes into the second half. From there, the City Islanders were able to preserve the shutout as Noble finished the game with five saves.
Dayton drops to 0-4-3 on the season, while Harrisburg goes to 2-1-3. Both teams will enter U.S. Open Cup play on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Dutch Lions will travel to Illinois to play the Chicago Fire PDL. Playing their third consecutive game at home, the City Islanders will welcome the PDL’s Long Island Rough Riders to Skyline Sports Complex.