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Rowdies don’t finish their chances, end up with a draw against Jacksonville

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A record crowd. Fireworks. Music.

For the Tampa Bay Rowdies, it all added up to one big party. But the Rowdies couldn’t finish, and ended up the night in a 1-1 draw with the Jacksonville Armada. It was the seventh time the Rowdies have scored a goal or less in 11 outings.

“I thought we played outstanding between both boxes and you saw some of the chances that we had,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “We just were nowhere near clinical enough. We could’ve had three or four goals tonight, so I have mixed emotions.”

The Rowdies gave up a goal in the 12th minute, but immediately came back in the 13th when Darnell King passed to Georgi Hristov for the goal.

Eric Avila scored in the 52nd minute but was ruled offside.

“It’s disappointing to come out with a draw,” Avila said. “We tried to control the game but didn’t put it away and this is what happened. We came away with a draw. When you don’t put it away, nothing else matters. It’s disappointing on our end because we played the game well, but finishing was our problem. We liked that we created the chances, but now we need to put them away.”

The Rowdies kept the pressure on the Armada’s net, but goalkeeper Sean Lewis had 10 saves.

“It’s frustrating that we couldn’t get a second goal,” Campbell said. “At the minute, I’m a bit downbeat because we have to win games when we play like that.”

The Rowdies head to Carolina Saturday to take on the RailHawks, then return home for back-to-back home games against Puerto Rico FC and the New York Cosmos on July 16 and 23.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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