Rowdies score against themselves in defeat to Ottawa

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It was a tough week for the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

No wins.

No draws.

No goals.

And furthermore, ouch.

The Rowdies lost 2-0 to Ottawa Saturday night, three nights after dropping a 1-0 loss to Rayo Oklahoma City. Six games into their Fall Season, the Rowdies are 1-3-2.

Tampa Bay gave up a quick goal to Ottawa’s Mallan Roberts in the second minute of the game. They later allowed an own-goal to Tamika Mkandawire in the 36th minute.

Rowdies midfielder Joe Cole cleared the free kick delivery out of the box, but Tissot put it back in with his first touch and Roberts found an open path to the ball. His first touch was on target, sneaking under Matt Pickens and into the net for an early Ottawa lead.

“We defended the free kick well and cleared it, but in the second phase, we switched off and got caught sleeping,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “After a couple of minutes, the whole game plan changes. The boys responded well and we were pushing and pushing for a goal before the own goal.”

Things got worse when Mkandawire, retreating toward his own goal, attempted to head a ball back to the safety of Pickens.

Pickens, however, was not where Mkandawire expected him to be and it was immediately clear that neither player could recover in time to prevent the own goal.

“We’re in one of those runs at the minute where things are not going well  for us,” Campbell said. “We’re not getting the roll of the ball. The week we’ve had caught up on us. I think for the first time really we looked fatigued toward the end. We had a tough couple of days on the road so we’re definitely looking forward to getting back home and starting a new week to build for a great home game.”

The Rowdies play at home next week against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Al Lang Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

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.