Redskins Take Down the Aces

On Wednesday, October 9th, your Manteo Redskins traveled into Chowan County to take on the Edenton Aces. The Aces are always a formidable opponent and live for upsetting Manteo’s season. Both teams entered the game with a 2-1 conference record, as both teams lost to Camden in their first fixture with the Bruins. It was plenty understood that if either team hopes of making a conference title run, they must first win this pivotal match up.

The game kicked off with a feverish pace. Manteo controlled the ball early on but the Aces were flying all over the pitch defensively to make it difficult for the Redskins. Manteo looked to overload the left flank early and often, obtaining success in reaching the attacking third, pumping balls into the 18-yard box and winning corners.

The Edenton defense had plenty of size and speed to go around but they seemed to struggle with the balls being pumped into the box. Manteo keyed in on this weakness and continued to probe.

Manteo’s first dangerous attempt on goal came from the striker, Andrew Hayman. As Aldo Herrera dribbled down the left-wing in the midfield, Hayman made a diagonal run out wide to receive the forward pass. Hayman received and took several dribbles further down the wing before being cut off by the outside back. Hayman dropped it back to Calvio in support and then made his run into the box. Calvio one touched it back into the box for Hayman on the move, allowing him to receive the ball angling towards the near post. Hayman fired off a low shot towards the near post but the goalkeeper knocked it just wide of the post and out for another corner kick.

Manteo was beginning to control possession well and wearing down the defenders on the right side of the Edenton defense. Midway through the first half, Manteo broke through with their first goal. Calvio too a throw-in along the left-wing in the attacking third. He targeted Richard Hernandez posting up in the upper corner of the box. Hernandez took the ball off his chest and then turned the ball towards the end line while keeping his defender at bay. Hernandez drove his hips around to play the ball across the box along the top of the six-yard box. The ball sailed behind the first defender, in front of the goalkeeper and found a hard crashing Trent Hayman on the back post as he beat his defender to the ball. Hayman crushed it into the back of the net from five yards out to give the Redskins the 1-0 lead.

Manteo continued to focus on possession as the Aces opted to test the Manteo backline with quick long balls over the backline for their striker to run down. Most attempts were easily shut down by Manteo except for when they made a dangerous turnover in the midfield that occurred when Manteo’s backline was pulled up and out of place. The Aces slotted a quick ball forward to their striker as he made his way behind all of the backline except center back, Yeifer Perez. Edenton’s number 17 was in on goal with only Perez to beat. As the striker attacked him at full pace, Perez made a hard and well-timed slide tackle to displace the ball from number 17, and then quickly played the ball out wide.

Manteo doubled their lead shortly after when Andrew Hayman made a diagonal run to receive the ball inside the upper right corner of the 18-yard box. He turned to face up his defender and made a move around him before playing a low ball across into the six-yard box. The goalie found himself out of position on the near post as the ball passed him by. Richard Hernandez muscled his defender out of the way to walk the ball beyond the goal line to give Manteo a 2-0 lead.

Minutes later, Manteo’s goalkeeper, Cody Weaver stepped up big with a save from a deep shot from Edenton’s number 17. The ball was hit hard and dipped, hitting the ground just in front of Weaver. Weaver took the ball in on his chest, corralling it in with his arms as he went to ground to smother it up.

With ten minutes remaining in the first half, Hernandez continued to have a huge impact off the bench by providing the third goal of the half for Manteo. Oscar Rivera brought the ball forward off the backline to find Hernandez holding space in the attacking third slot. Hernandez received and faced up his defender and began to dribble at him. The defender danced backward, giving the crafty Hernandez lots of respect and room. If the backline defender was simply trying to stall Hernandez while waiting for help, the help never arrived. After working the defender back into his own box, Hernandez cut inside and struck the ball with his right foot, slotting the ball in the lower side netting of the left side.

Manteo enters halftime with a solid 3-0 lead. The Aces were frustrated but they would not give in easily.

To start the second half, Manteo was now playing against a stiff wind with a touch of light rain. The Aces were clearly going for an early goal to try and inch back into the game. They pressed everything hard and sent numbers forward anytime they were on the ball. The Aces earned a number of quick shots in the first ten minutes of the half as Manteo struggled to adjust to the side changes.

Edenton would take an errant shot, either sailing far over the bar or wide. Manteo would take a goal kick and fail to maintain possession of the kick. Edenton would then take another quick shot from deep. The pattern continued for a while until Manteo seemed to finally figure out their problem. They moved in closer to goal kicks that were not traveling the normal distance against the stiff wind. They started to win the ball in the air and regain possession.

Fifteen minutes into the second half and beyond saw Manteo controlling the game again with possession and combination play. Edenton’s only real offensive opportunities from that point came from winning free-kicks in the midfield of which they would send long balls into the box.

Midway through the second half, Calvio won a penalty kick as he drove the ball down into the 18-yard box and was clipped from behind. Calvio confidently stood over the ball on the resulting penalty kick. He kept it low and simple up the middle as the keeper dove the wrong way. Manteo was sitting comfortably with a 4-0 lead, but it would only last a few minutes.

Edenton’s goal was quite a bit of luck on their end. An errant pass from the Manteo midfield was intercepted by the Ace’s left-back. The defender approached the ball from ten yards behind the midline. He launched the ball straight up in the air towards the goal. Caught in the wind, the ball danced and swirled high in the air before dropping down into the six-yard box. Weaver positioned under the ball properly and got his hands up to catch it out of the air. The wet ball squirted right between his hands and bounced into the goal to make the score 4-1.

Edenton looked for a bit of momentum from the goal but Manteo was not having any of it. They finished the game up controlling possession and earning more quality opportunities on goal. In the end, the game would end in favor of Manteo.

Team Stats
Possession %
Attacking Transitions
Free Kicks
Successful Passes
Pass Success Rate

Coach Cleaver stated after the game, “We came out with energy and played with passion and because of that, we played a good complete game. We got sucked into their style of play for a ten minute period to start the second half, but overall we played a great game within our system. Richard Hernandez was terrific off the bench with quality minutes, an assist and two-goals. Brayan Hernandez-Ramirez provided quality minutes as well in multiple positions off the bench. It’s great to see us putting everything together and I think we will continue to develop and peak and the right time.”

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