Mariners fall to England’s Us
- Updated: July 25, 2012
English club Oxford United kicked off their New England tour on Tuesday night with a 2-1 victory over the Seacoast United Mariners at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine. Oxford plays in the fourth division of English soccer (League Two), while the Mariners play in what’s often considered the fourth division of American soccer (NPSL).
The match – played in front of a crowd of over 600 – is the first of three this summer in New England for Oxford, who face the New Hampshire-based Seacoast United Phantoms on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, NH. The Us also play a New England PDL/NPSL All-Star team, dubbed the Jim Dedeus XI on Monday, July 30, at 7 p.m. also at Portsmouth High School.
Oxford opened the scoring on Tuesday from the penalty spot in the 40th minute. England U-18 international Jake Forster-Caskey – an 18-year-old on loan at the Us from Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. –was fouled in the box and the referee awarded the spot-kick. Deane Smalley calmly converted from the spot to put the visitors up 1-0 going into halftime.
Mariners’ goalkeeper Will Pike, a St. Joseph’s College of Maine product and Gorham, Maine native, and Oxford ‘keeper Ryan Clarke each made two saves apiece before Oxford’s 23-year-old Sean Rigg volleyed in a cross from Damien Batt for what would prove to be the game winner.
Seacoast would find a late consolation goal in the 87th through Nick George, a junior at Maine Maritime Academy and a Bangor native.
Tickets for Oxford’s upcoming two games in New Hampshire are available online at $5 per game.