On Thursday, March 4th, your Manteo Redskins traveled into Gatesville to take on the Gates County Red Barons in the second leg conference fixture. In their previous matchup, the Redskins made quick work of the Barons, ending the game at half time in a 9-0 mercy ruling. However, the Baron’s have a history of playing better and making things more difficult on their home pitch. Games are played on a narrow football field that limits space and often adds congestion atop the 18-yard box.
The Redskins kicked off and got down to business right away. Oscar Rivera was able to bring down a long ball just outside of the top of the box. Rivera would quickly find Trent Hayman amidst a sea of red shirts. Hayman danced over the ball, turning outward to find space. Hayman eyed his brother, Andrew Hayman, just on the right corner of the box and played to his feet. Andrew Hayman took a quality first touch, completed a sole-roll past his first defender and then cut back outside to beat his second defender, before firing off a low shot that found the far post side-netting. With only twenty-four seconds run off the clock, the Redskins were surely off to a fast start.
The Redskins controlled every facet of the game. They pushed bodies forward in attack and dominated possession, earning a plethora of shots at the goal. Manteo’s second goal would come from a Gates County own goal after winger, Aldo Herrera, drove a cross into the six-yard box that made for an awkward play for a defender. The defender knocked the ball past his own goalkeeper to give the Redskins a 2-0 lead.
Manteo’s third goal ended a run of quality possession that saw a switch of play along the backline before attacking down the opposite flank. Fullback, Eddie Turberville completed the switch of play and found right winger, Dylan Jones, checking back to receive the ball. Jones caught the pass from Turberville on the half-turn just a couple feet from the sideline. Jones instantly made a diagonal dribble inside to the top of the 18-yard box. With one defender giving chase, and one defender waiting a top the box, Jones made a well timed cut inside, setting up a left-footed shot from just outside the box. Jones placed his shot perfectly as it found the bottom corner of the near post, beating the outstretched arms of the goalkeeper for Manteo’s third goal.
Andrew Hayman earned his brace by heading home a cross from the left wing sent in by Rivera after a long driving run down the flank. Hayman’s goal gave the Redskins a 4-0 lead twenty-five minutes into the first half.
In the thirty fifth minute of play, Dylan Jones, got his second goal on the evening with another beautiful strike from outside the 18-yard box. The ball had been deflected back and forth in the air, until Justin Ortega brought the ball down for Jones, about thirty yards from goal. Jones quickly turned with only eyes for goal. Among numerous defenders, Jones made a set-up touch into space, and then had a crack from 20 yards out. The right-footed strike blistered the back of the net, leaving the goalkeeper no chance at a save.
Despite five goals in the first half, Manteo struggled to find the target. Shot after shot sailed wide or high. There was a period of time in which Manteo was more consistently finding the uprights of the field goal post set in the end zone, rather than finding the frame of the soccer goal.
Manteo went into half-time with a comfortable 5-0 lead. The half-time talk would surely be about finishing shots on target as there was little else to tweak in terms of tactics or play.
Ten minutes into the second half, Manteo earned a corner kick. The ball sent in from the resulting corner kick was firmly headed on target by Noah Goetsch. Trent Hayman had been sitting just in front of the goalkeeper to distract him. The header in came right towards Hayman and the goalkeeper. Hayman ducked out of the way, leaving the goalkeeper caught off guard as the ball bounced off his chest. Hayman then turned to face goal and clean up the bouncing ball in front of him by banging it into the back of the net.
Minutes later, Trent Hayman would earn his brace to give Manteo a 7-0 lead. Manteo center-back, Yeifer Perez, began the possession by stepping up near the midline to dispossess a Gates County forward that had just gotten on the ball. Perez kept the ball, driving forward down the center of the pitch before squaring the ball inside to Rivera. Rivera drew the immediate attention of two defenders, and quickly played a diagonal ball out wide to Herrera. Herrera played a cross in with his first touch. The cross was well weighted to the back post as two Manteo attackers were making runs in on the ball. Hayman got to the ball first and struck the ball out of mid-air on the volley. The volley sent the ball back across the goal, slotting into the far post side-netting.
The best goal of the game came in the fifty seventh minute of the game off the laces of Dylan Jones’ right boot. Manteo’s left-back, Spencer James, stepped up to win and bring down a clearance from the Baron’s defense. James’ first touch brought the ball down easily enough and then he played forward to Jones. Jones used his first touch to turn the ball inside into open space and then struck the ball with the laces on his second touch. Jones curled the ball from twenty five yards out and slotted it perfectly into the top bin of the far post. It was a beautiful goal to cement his first varsity hat-trick.
With ten minutes remaining in the game, Manteo was awarded a penalty kick. Yeifer Perez stepped to take the kick and slotted it into the side netting to end the game in a 9-0 mercy ruling.
Coach Cleaver stated after the game, “I’m very pleased with the style of play and the control of the game. Our understanding of our system is coming along. I’d certainly like to see us be a bit more lethal in front of the goal as we put up over 50 shots. In the big games, we won’t get that many chances, and we need to put them away when we do get them. Jones’ attacking performance was on point though, as he put all six of his shots on target. In the end, this was a good game to get one final look at all players, before entering the final push and hopefully playoffs.”
Aldo Herrera: 1 assist
Justin Ortega: 1 assist
Aiden Braswell: 1 assist
Yeifer Perez: 1 goal
Trent Hayman: 2 goals, 1 assist
Dylan Jones: 3 goals
Oscar Rivera: 1 assist
Andrew Hayman: 2 goals
|Pass Success Rate||71%||33%|