When Jon White scored on a penalty kick for Bel Air within the first two minutes of the game, it appeared as if favored Fallston was in for a long night in its attempt to close in on the Harford County soccer championship.
Shortly thereafter, however, the Cougars squared matters on a goal by Jason Wright, moved ahead on a goal by Jason Ruzek and then gave themselves breathing room on one by Anthony Ercolano just before halftime.
The score at intermission, 3-1, held up as Fallston ran its record to 7-2-1 and clinched at least a tie for the county title. Bel Air fell to 5-3-1.
Try as they might over the last 60 minutes of the game, the host Bobcats weren't able to mount more than a couple of serious threats, while Fallston might have doubled its score with a lucky bounce or two.
Shane Justice of Bel Air was fouled in the penalty area during his team's first foray downfield and White was true with his kick.
"Once we got into our short-passing game we were all right," Fallston coach Len Petrie said of his team's effort. "When we try to go up and down with long passes, we can get in trouble. We're a good team when we keep the ball on the ground."
The team has proven this by going without a loss since being beaten in a tournament game early in the season.
Wright's goal tying the game at 1 was set up by Ruzek from in close. He then put his team ahead for good after 13 minutes as his brother, Kevin, set him up.
Ercolano's insurance goal came two minutes before intermission when he left-footed the ball crossfield and into the far corner of the goal from about 35 feet.
Fallston will play Havre de Grace Tuesday and, with a victory, would finish unbeaten against county foes, thus claiming the title.