L.A. BLUES: First goals, first victory

FULLERTON -- The L.A. Blues finally scored their first goal, then netted another. It added up to their first win of the season in the oddest of settings.

Matt Fondy scored four minutes into the second half and Scotsman Allan Russell converted a penalty kick eight minutes later as the Blues (1-2-0) pulled out a 2-1 triumph Friday evening over the Wilmington Hammerheads on the FieldTurf in Fullerton College's stadium.

Fondy took a feed from Russell and held off Hammerheads defender Tyler Lassiter to beat goalkeeper Alex Horwath in the 49th minute, ending a 228-minute drought to start the campaign for L.A., which was shut out twice by the Rochester Rhinos to start the season.

Russell tallied from the penalty spot after a hand-ball call.

The game was moved from Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium to Fullerton College's far smaller facility because of a conflict the the university's Associated Students spring concert, which was to take place Friday night in the stadium. About 200 fans, all admitted for free, sat in small metal bleachers and individual chairs stretched across the north sideline.

Wilmington took a 40th minute lead after a corner kick that was cleared and nodded back into the goalmouth. Forward Chukwudi Chijindu -- the Fontana native played last year for the Blues on loan from Chivas USA -- fell to his seat in the scrum, then nudged the ball to Bryce Taylor, who rolled in gently into the net.

It was the best chance for the Hammerheads (2-2-1).

The Blues might have taken the lead in the 21st minute, but Horwath made a fine save on Fondy from Irving Garcia's through ball, and again in 29th, when Erlys Garcia nodded Ricky Waddell's corner kick past the post. Sun-Hyung Cho tried a 40-yarder in first-half stoppage that sailed just high and wide of the upper-left corner.

Former Carolina RailHawks defender Cory Miller, whose signing was completed this week, started in central defense for the Goats.

The teams meet again Sunday at Cal State Fullerton, with kickoff at 5 p.m.



Sherbeck Field, Fullerton College

L.A. Blues 2, Wilmington Hammerheads 1

W -- Bryce Taylor (Chukwudi Chijindu) 40

LA -- Matt Fondy (Allan Russell) 49

LA -- Allan Russell pen. 57

L.A. Blues: Amir Abedzadeh; Erlys Garcia (Shay Spitz, 46), Cory Miller, Ebrima Jatta, Sun-Hyung Cho; Allan Russell; George Davis IV (Brian Farber, 46), Irving Garcia, Carlos Borja (Bryan Burke, 81), Ricky Waddell (Chad Bond, 87); Matt Fondy. Unused subs: Ladislas Bushiri, Luis Gonzalez, Jose Miranda.

Wilmington Hammerheads: Alex Horwath; Tom Parrott, Gareth Evans, Tyler Lassiter, Dylan Riley (Yahaya Musa, 66); Bryce Taylor, Paul Nicholson, Daniel Roberts (Jack Avesyan, 77), Manny Guzman (Mark Briggs, 63); Andriy Budnyy, Chukwudi Chijindu (Andres Cuero, 77). Unused subs: Hagop Chirishian, Troy Cole.

Yellow cards: Borja 77, Evans 77.

Referee: Ashbir Singh. Att.: 200.