Oklahoma City Slickers 4, Nashville Diamonds 3 (07.04.82)

Oklahoma City 4-3 Nashville

July 4, 1982 — Taft Stadium (Oklahoma City, Okla.)

Scoring Summary
NASH — Juan Yepez (Godwin Iwelumo) 25′
OKC — Jimmy Husband (Jim Millinder) [first half]
NASH — David Strecker (Godwin Iwelumo) 67′
OKC — Jeff Bourne (penalty) 70′
OKC — Joe Rausch (Bill Sautter) [second half]
OKC — Jeff Bourne (Mark Kerlin) 84′
NASH — Kurt Swanbeck (Godwin Iwelumo) 90′

Slickers Rally, Slip By Nashville, 4-3

(Oklahoma City Daily Oklahoman, 07.06.82)

By Tim Farley

OKLAHOMA CITY — Two second half goals by Jeff Bourne and a lineup change at halftime sparked the somewhat lackadaisical Oklahoma City Slickers to a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Diamonds, a team troubled by rumors of folding, Sunday night at Taft Stadium.

The Slickers, 7-5-2, played a sluggish first half, allowing Nashville to score first on a goal by Juan Yepez. However, the Slickers evened things up at 1-1 when Bourne, the team’s leading goal scorer with eight, took a corner kick from Jim Millinder and flicked it to Jimmy Husband, who headed the ball into the lower left-hand corner.

At intermission, Slickers’ coach Brian Harvey moved Joe Rausch from the sweeper position to the midfield postion — a move that provided tremendous dividends.

Rausch was involved in both the second and fourth goals scored by the Slickers. After Nashville had gone up 2-1 on a goal by David Strecker, Bourne tied it up again with a penalty kick that went into the lower left-hand corner.

The Slickers were awarded the penalty kick when a Nashville defender knocked Rausch to the ground. The referee immediately awarded  the kick despite protests by Nashville, who claimed that Rausch had fallen to the ground and was not tripped.

Oklahoma City made it 3-2 seven minutes later, when Rausch took a pass from Bill Sautter in front of the goal and angled the ball past Nashville goalie Fred Armstrong.

The Slickers added to their lead late in the game when Oklahoma City goalie Phil Parkes punted the ball downfield. Forward Mark Kerlin headed the ball to Bourne, who beat a Nashville defender and slid the ball into the lower left-hand corner.

However, Nashville refused to admit defeat as Kurt Swanbeck tallied the Diamonds’ last goal on a shot from point-blank range with 15 seconds left.

Harvey thinks his team did not take Nashville seriously, which is one of the reasons the Slickers did not perform well in the first half and part of the second.

“It’s very difficult, psychologically, to get the players motivated when you’ve just played the top team in the league (Georgia) and won and have to come back and play the bottom of the league two nights later,” said Harvey.

To make matters worse, Nashville was late arriving at the stadium, having just completed a 30-hour bus ride from Rochester, N.Y., where the Diamonds played Friday night.

“The players went into the game with a poor attitude and Nashville moved the ball around quite well and made a game of it,” said Harvey. “We should have never taken them lightly. However, we finally began to get things together the last 20 minutes or so.”

Harvey said the lineup change at halftime was key to the Slickers’ win.

“I think moving Rausch from sweeper to midfield was the key to the entire game. When he switched positions, everything started to happen,” said Harvey. “We began to apply more pressure in their half of the field and instead of expecting things to happen, we were making them happen.”

“They (Nashville) showed us tonight they’re a better team than their position (league standings) indicates. It will be difficult going into Nashville this weekend. I’m hoping for at least a split of the two games.”

Oklahoma City remains in fourth place with 57 points, three behind third-place Detroit.