Andalusia beats Raiders 3-1

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Andalusia’s Hiten Patel scored two goals and Trey Ossenfort kicked one in late in the second half in the Bulldogs’ 3-1 area victory over Houston Academy on Monday night.

The Bulldogs led 1-0 at halftime thanks to Patel’s first goal of the game.

Early in the second half, Patel scored his second goal to give the Bulldogs a healthy 2-0 advantage.

Houston Academy, with only 14 players on its team, didn’t quit and went on to cut the game to 2-1 about midway through the second half.

AHS coach Tim Ramsden said the Raiders gave his team a “run for our money.”

“They’re a well-coached and talented team that we really let play a lot better than we should’ve done,” Ramsden said. “I’m disappointed in some of our touch. We didn’t have a good touch tonight. We played them as opposed to, them to us.

“We’ll work hard (tonight) in practice and prepare for Carroll-Ozark and hope we have a lot better performance against the Eagles,” he said.

With this victory, Andalusia improves to 5-0 overall, and 1-0 in Class 1A-4A, Area 2. The Bulldogs host Carroll-Ozark on Thursday night.

The Raiders started the game in a defensive format against a front line of Ossenfort and Kieron “Kiki” Wain.

Andalusia goalkeeper Chris Smith blocked and saved a strong HA free kick at the 20-minute mark in the first half. The Bulldogs had several early chances, but failed to convert.

Smith made another save at 26:50 in the first half after a skirmish directly in front of his goal.

Patel’s first game came at the 38-minute mark of the first half after his brother, Hiren, was fouled to set up the free kick from 25-yards out.

The Bulldogs went into halftime ahead 1-0.

The Raiders showed a strong defensive front to start the second half, but Hiten struck at the 49-minute mark for his second goal.

Houston Academy quickly reorganized its offense and another mad scramble in front of the Andalusia goal saw three saves from Smith.

HA’s goal came after a controversial call from the line official, but in response, the Andalusia back line of Kevin Rooks, Cole Bush, Corey Bulger and Zack Parker held back the Raiders’ running attack while the Patels continued strong midfield play.

At the 70th minute, Ossenfort brought the large number of Andalusia faithful to its feet when he placed a curving strike into the Houston Academy net to give the Bulldogs the 3-1 lead.

Parker broke up a late goal chance in the Andalusia penalty box with two minutes left in the game to further frustrate Houston Academy’s attackers. Down 3-1, the Raiders players continued to fight in an an effort to equalize the game late, but the game clock ran down to close the game and end their chances.

Monday night’s win came after a strong performance by Andalusia’s junior varsity squad in Dothan on Saturday.

The Bulldogs beat Providence Christian 4-2, St. James 2-0, but fell 1-0 to Enterprise in the final game of the day.

Andalusia’s aim for the trip was to make sure all seniors got some playing time, Ramsden said.

“We went there knowing the results were not important,” he said.

During the St. James rout, all five of Andalusia’s girls were in the game at one time, Ramsden said.

“They held their own,” he said. “We were very, very happy with the way we were passing around as a JV squad.”

Thursday night’s game starts at 6.