“Any time, any season the first win is vital,” AFC Cleveland manager Andy Hoggarth commented. “But the first win in franchise history is massive.”
The attack was balanced as four different AFC Cleveland players found the back of the net. Case Western Reserve striker Vinny Bell opened the scoring for the home side in the 41st with a successful PK attempt.
“We ‘ve been down both games,” Bell stated. “It was important to strike first and get the momentum that carried us through the rest of the game.”
FC Buffalo's Mike Reidy would bring things even at 1-1 with a penalty kick of his own in the 56th. It wouldn't take long for Cleveland to respond as Dennis Holowaty struck one home just three minutes later to give AFC a 2-1 lead.
AFC Cleveland would score yet again in the 62nd as Dean Miller sent a chip past FC Buffalo keeper Jordan Dilapo to put Cleveland up even further at 3-1.
The scoring continued for both sides as Gary Boughton scored for Buffalo in the 86th and Cleveland got another from English defender and NPSL Player of the Week Ruairidh Winters in the 89th.
“We had high energy players off the bench,” Hoggarth continued. “They were chomping at the bit to get into the starting 11. They come off the bench and they fire it.”
AFC Cleveland goalkeeper Ben Yabrow finished with 9 saves with similar results from Dilapo, who finished with 8 saves. AFC Cleveland improves to 1-0-2 with the 4-2 victory over Buffalo, which falls to 0-1-1 on the young NPSL season.