FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The big goals sometimes come from the most unlikely of places and for the New England Revolution, Kevin Alston’s first MLS goal couldn’t have come at a better time.
In the 68th minutes of a scoreless match, Alston worked with Daigo Kobayashi to create on opportunity in the box and with Teal Bunbury’s last touch leaving an open chance about 13 yards out, the 25-year-old defender buried it past Dynamo keeper Tally Hall to the delight of the 14,259 on hand at Gillette Stadium Saturday evening.
A goal in stoppage time from Jerry Bengtson would give the Revolution a 2-0 victory as they improve to 1-0-1 at home.
Both teams entered this game without the services of two regular starters, as Alston, making his 123rd appearance for New England, started in place of the injured Chris Tierney.
New England would also be left without captain Jose Goncalves who was cleared out of the game on a rough challenge by Houston captain Ricardo Clark, who caught Goncalves leg in the 38th minute.
The Dynamo, who put four goals in against New England in the season opener, came out flat at the start, unable to generate any proper attack as they watched their closest chances sail wide of the net.
A header in the box by AJ Cochran, making in his first career start, was Houston’s best opportunity of the game in the 23rd minute, but sailed over the outstretched arms of Bobby Shuttleworth and the top of the cross bar.
The New England attack looked stronger than it had in prior matches, coming out strong from the start, but missing on chances due to failed last passes or the play of Hall who stopped four shots in the game.
Hall would err late in the game as he attempted to come up on a long ball in from A.J. Soares only to see Bengtson swoop in and pick up the ball on the fly, getting into the box behind Hall, burying home his first goal of the season in the 91st minute.
Shuttleworth recorded his second clean sheet of the season for the Revolution, being the first keeper to blank the Dymano on the season.
The Revolution will play their fifth road game of the season at Chicago next Saturday while Houston continues on their three-game road trip, playing at Philadelphia.
New England Revolution (2-3-1; 7 points) vs. Houston Dynamo (2-3-0; 6 points)
MLS regular season
April 12, 2014 – Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.
New England: Kevin Alston 1 (Teal Bunbury 1, Daigo Kobayashi 1) 68
New England: Jerry Bengtson 1 (A.J. Soares 1) 90+1
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, AJ Cochran, Corey Ashe; Andrew Driver (Omar Cummings 75), Ricardo Clark, Boniek Garcia, Tony Cascio (Warren Creavalle 69); Will Bruin, Giles Barnes
Unused substitutes: Tyler Deric, Anthony Arena, Mark Sherrod, Alexander Lopez, Servando Carrasco
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth; Andrew Farrell, A.J. Soares, Jose Goncalves (Darrius Barnes 41), Kevin Alston; Saer Sene (Jerry Bengtson 78), Andy Dorman, Daigo Kobayashi (Scott Caldwell 71), Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez; Teal Bunbury
Unused substitutes: Brad Knighton, Stephen McCarthy, Steve Neumann, Charlie Davies
HOU: Ricardo Clark (caution) 38
NE: Scott Caldwell (caution) 86
NE: Kevin Alston (caution) 88
Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Assistant Referees: James Conlee, Peter Balciunas
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga