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Tampa Bay Rowdies lose 1-0 on defensive misplay by goalie Matt Pickens

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One mistake, and it cost the Tampa Bay Rowdies a game.

The Rowdies fell 1-0 to Rayo OKC in a midweek contest Wednesday night. In the 43rd minute, Tampa Bay goaltender Matt Pickett came out to play a ball and mishandled it, leading to a scoring header by Billy Forbes.

The Rowdies played without head coach Stuart Campbell and assistant coach Raoul Voss, who were both serving one-game suspensions. Assistant coach Stuart Dobson served as the Rowdies head coach.

“I don’t know exactly what the stats are going to say, but the possession was outstanding,” Dobson said. “The guys fought really hard and we created numerous chances but couldn’t find the back of the net. One long ball down the middle beats us, something we should’ve taken care of. It was one of those nights.”

The mistake that allowed for Rayo OKC’s goal Wednesday night could have been overshadowed had the Rowdies finished their chances. Pickens came out of his 18-yard box to clear a ball before Forbes could get onto it, but an awkward bounce off the artificial turf meant the ball was difficult for Pickens to kick. Forbes capitalized on the mistake, comfortably heading the ball into the goal.

“I would never blame this loss on any one player because we created enough chances to win the game,” Dobson said. “Matt’s been terrific all year. He made a mistake, but that was probably his first of the year. He’s a top goalkeeper in this league. It was a mistake but we had enough chances to make up for it.”

Tampa Bay plays in a quick turnaround in Ottawa Saturday night.

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 [email protected]

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