On Wednesday, October 6th, your Manteo Redskins hosted the Edenton Aces for their second match-up of the season. In their previous fixture, the Redskins dominated the entire game, not allowing the Aces to get off a single shot, but only won the game by a score of 1-0 as the Redskins struggled to finish their shots. The small field and compactness of the Aces defense made space limited, but the Redskins knew they should of done much better in terms of the score-line.
On their home field, Manteo was eager to set the record straight and prove the difference in the teams was greater than one goal.
Manteo got off to a fast start. Trent Hayman dominated the ball down the rank flank in the first couple of minutes. The Aces were unable to dispossess Hayman on multiple occasions as he danced between defenders with the ball before using his pace down the flank to clear space for a cross. On his second cross of the game, he targeted Aidan Braswell on the far post. Braswell tracked the ball well and battled for the volley with the Aces fullback. The ball deflected backwards off the two players, falling kindly to Cristian De Leon Ventura, just inside the 18-yard box. Ventura took a collecting touch before firing off a low shot through a crowded box. The goalkeeper’s vision was shielded and the ball rolled right by him and over the goal-line for Manteo’s first goal.
The early goal just two minutes into the game had the opposite effect on the Redskins you might think. Instead of taking the early momentum and stepping on the gas, they seemed to hit the brakes on their concerned efforts to score more. For the next twenty five minutes of play, Edenton was playing toe to toe with Manteo.
Late in the first half, with substitutions made, Manteo finally acknowledged their insufficiencies, and looked to correct their lack of effort. They began to dominate the ball once again, earning a series of threating attacks at goal.
With seven minutes remaining in the first half, Ivey Midgett launched a long throw into the six-yard box. Justin Ortega-Santos tracked the ball into the box and looked to win the ball out of the air as it fell between several defenders. Ortega-Santos brought the ball down, keeping it going forward into the six-yard box, and fired off a shot from three yards out. He roofed it, leaving a crouching keeper unable to get a touch on it.
The second goal did reignite the Redskins and suddenly they were hungry for more. Two minutes after his goal, Ortega-Santos won a ball in Manteo’s attacking midfield before laying the ball off to Braswell on the right flank. Braswell turned to face up his defender and beat him with a clever roll to the inside before cutting back out away from the second defender. With a third and final defender to beat, Braswell gave a slight stutter step before setting up the right footed shot. He struck it clean with his laces and the ball dipped over the goalkeeper and perfectly into the far-post side netting. It was a wonder strike that got the fans and the Manteo bench off their feet to celebrate.
With the clock winding down to two minutes remaining in the first half, the Redskins did not want the fun to stop, and they kept the ball rolling. Irving Calderon-Chavarria took a throw in the final third and played short to the feet of Dylan Jones. Jones brought the ball down and played back to Calderon-Chavarria. The defender that originally pressed Jones, left him to press Calderon-Chavarria, so he quickly just laid it right back to Jones. Jones picked his head up to find a target in the box. He spied Grey Clark signaling on the backside and then played a beautiful cross towards his target on the back post. An Aces fullback was well positioned to win the ball but Clark was determined to win the ball in the air first. Clark rose above the defender to execute a thunderous header back on goal. The header was executed perfectly as Clark knocked the ball down to bounce on the goal-line as it made its way into the back of the net.
Manteo entered halftime with a 4-0 lead.
After a nightmarish final ten minutes of the first half for the Aces, they rebounded respectfully to start the second half. Manteo saw the better of play, but the Aces were not giving away any easy looks at goal.
It was not until fifteen minutes into the second half that Manteo saw their first great look at goal. Amyas Kenyon and Hayman worked together to dispossess the Ace’s in their defensive midfield before Hayman took off on the dribble through the slot. The Ace’s backline was pushed high and Midgett made a penetrating run in behind the backline to receive the through ball from Hayman. Midgett used his pace to earn a clean shot at goal from inside the 18-yard box. He struck it hard and low but the keeper was fortunate to make a kick save. The ball was knocked outside of the 18-yard box but Jonah Baum was there to get it back going in the direction of goal. Baum brought the ball down and fancied a half-volley but it was blocked by a defender’s foot and popped up inside the box. Kenyon was there to chest the ball down before roofing a side-volley with his left foot from six-yards out.
The second half goal opened up the game again. The Aces were left with no choice but to try to get a goal back and looked to push their formation higher up the pitch. This left the Manteo attack more space to exploit in the midfield and in behind the Ace’s backline. Hayman, Midgett, Braswell, and Kenyon started running riot through their attacking half.
With twenty minutes remaining on the game clock, Midgett launched another long throw to the middle of the six-yard box. Hayman rose above the rest and flicked the ball on with his head to the back post side-netting. The keeper had positioned on the near post and had no chance at a save.
With a 6-0 lead, players began rotating in and out but the offensive onslaught did not stop. Jack Gregory whipped a cross in for Baum who connected on the side volley but it was directed right at the keeper. The shots kept coming for the Redskins.
It was Clark earning his brace on the evening that pushed the score-line to 7-0. Baum did well to win a bouncing ball near the midline before playing it backwards to Spencer James in the fullback position. James played forward down the line to Clark. Clark and Jones then executed a one-two combination around the defender to play Clark into the attacking third. Clark took a dribbling touch into the left corner of the 18-yard box and fired off a low, out-swinging shot with his left foot. The out swing of the shot seemed to confuse the keeper as he let it run past him. The ball ran right into the back of the net on the far-post side-netting.
Edenton was proving to have a tough time handling Midgett’s long throws into the box as Gregory almost scored by crashing in on a ball thrown to the back post. Gregory rushed in to knock the bouncing ball down with his body before getting off a shot but the keeper was well positioned on this shot and denied Gregory’s efforts at goal.
Ten minutes remained on the game clock when James used his body to dispossess the Ace’s winger. James quickly turned and played a curling long ball down the left flank for Clark. Clark pressed the ball but it was deflected back into the middle of the pitch by the fullback. Alonzo Hernandez-Torres, who was playing the center attacking midfield position, swooped in immediately to win the ball and play Midgett on a forward run. Midgett had little space as the center-back was on him immediately. Midgett used his strength to hold the defender off before laying the ball off to the side for Hernandez-Torres making an overlapping run. Hernandez-Torres received the ball in the box and confidently slipped the ball past the keeper for his first varsity goal.
In the waning minutes of the game, Midgett would get off a thunderous strike that has the crossbar still vibrating. The ball bounced straight down but did not cross the goal-line. The game concluded as an 8-0 victory for your Manteo Redskins.
Coach Cleaver stated after the game, “I love a fast start as we did tonight, but we need to mature enough to know how to use the fast start to more of an advantage. We took our foot off the gas for too long and let the other team hang around with a bit of confidence. We finally made a statement and ended up playing some aggressive, attacking soccer. It was really great to see us score in a variety of ways from different players, and in ways that we have been practicing. Our focus now turns directly to the Nighthawks.”
Cristian De Leon Ventura: 1 goal
Justin Ortega-Santos: 1 goal
Grey Clark: 2 goals
Aidan Braswell: 1 goal
Trent Hayman: 1 goal, 1 assist
Amyas Kenyon: 1 goal
Alonzo Hernandez Torres: 1 goal
Ivey Midgett: 2 assists
Dylan Jones: 1 assist
|Pass Success Rate||64%||52%|