Fall 4-1 to Jersey Express on Saturday and beat FA Euro 3-1 on Sunday
Monday, June 30, 2014
Ocean City, NJ – It was a tale of two very different games for the Nor’easters this weekend in America’s Greatest Family Resort. Jersey Express brought a Mid-Atlantic Division-leading poise, skill, and attacking prowess that proved to be too much for Ocean City to handle on Saturday night, and the Nor’easters were upended 4-1 despite a 38th minute game-tying goal from Leon Brown. On Sunday night, however, The Storm responded against FA Euro – New York Magic with a barrage of goals from Michele Pataia, Billy McConnell, and Zoncher Dennis, and two assists from Man of the Match Frank Tweneboa.
Ocean City did everything they could in the first 45 minutes of Saturday’s game to create scoring chances and take the attack to Jersey Express. Emmanuel “Gogo” Kollie led the Nor’easter attack early, and would have scored on a breakaway in the 6th minute if not for a diving, upper-ninety save from Express goalie Matt Turner. Great shots and timely saves were the story of Ocean City’s first-half attack. Turner gobbled up four saves in the half, three from the boot of Gogo. Defensively, the Nor’easters conceded three corner kicks in the first fourteen minutes of the match, and were unable to clear their line in the 14th minute when Jersey Express midfielder Nick Viaggio slotted a deflected corner kick into the back of the Ocean City net.
Back and forth this frantic first half went. In the 23rd minute, Gogo smoothly dribbled around a diving Turner at the top of the box, and released a shot that was cleared off of the goal line by the Express defense. In the 34th minute, Nor’easter keeper Borja Angoitia made an incredible, Memo Ochoa-esque save, parlaying a point-blank header off of the goal line as he fell backwards into the goal. Ocean City had the run of play for the reminder of the half and were able to equalize in the 38th minute. Express keeper Matt Turner and the Jersey back four maintained an aggressively high line for the entire first half and Ocean City broke through with their third breakaway scoring opportunity. This time it was Leon Brown, sprinting past a gaping hole created by the central defenders, and cutting around a sprawling Turner to place the ball in the back of the open net. The first half ended with a 1-1 tie and a genuine expectation of more Nor’easter scoring chances in the second half.
For the second half’s first fifteen minutes, Ocean City was knocking on the door thanks to crisp one-touch passing from Match Laurie, Frank Tweneboa, and Gogo but Nor’easter shots were either rocketing over the crossbar, or too soft to trouble Turner. Jersey Express scored two goals in a three minute span starting in the 63rd minute with a strong individual effort from second-half sub Ansger Otto that allowed the Express to re-take the lead. In the 66th minute, off of yet another corner kick, Sylvian N’Guessan headed home the cross whipped in by Conor Fitzpatrick, and just like that, Jersey Express led 3-1.
In the 72nd minute, Nor’easter Yannick Kabala entered the match for Ian Hines-Ike, and two minutes later, Mitch Lurie and Matt Taphorn made way for Billy McConnell and Glenroy “Junior” Chapman. In the 81st minute, Ocean City geared up for one final attack as Ambry Moss joined the fray, replacing Brendan Hines-Ike. The Nor’easters final scoring chance of the game arrived in the 83rd minute on a penalty kick taken by Frank Tweneboa. Frank’s first attempt clanged off the post, but the referee deemed that Express defender Clint Caso entered the box too early, giving Frank another go. Turner guessed correctly on Frank’s second attempt, saving what would have been the Nor’easter’s second goal. Jersey Express would tally a fourth goal off the boot of Joseph Ovensari in the 88th minute, and the match ended in a 4-1 Express victory.
Ocean City rebounded from Saturday’s tough loss in a big way on Sunday night, beating FA Euro in front of a loud and proud Ocean City crowd 3-1. Besides two dangerous scoring chances, one in the first half and one in the second, FA Euro never threatened to convert small stints of solid possession into threatening shots. Their first-half opportunity came in the 35th minute when a stinging Euro shot was saved by Borja Angoitia but knocked back into the box. A Nor’easters miss-clearance ricocheted the ball off of the Ocean City post before it was finally cleared out of danger by Billy McConnell.
The Nor’easters would finally capitalize on several first-half scoring opportunities established by Zoncher Dennis, Frank Tweneboa, Leon Brown, and Michele Pataia in the 39th minute. Assist-man Frank Tweneboa placed a perfectly timed ball at the feet of a surging Michele Patia who took a touch and buried Ocean City’s first goal of the night into the back of the FA Euro net. One minute before halftime, it was Frank Tweneboa assisting another Nor’easters goal, this time crushing a set piece with pace into the Euro box that was headed home by Billy McConnell. 2-0 Ocean City at the half.
Forwards Birnis Adames and Javoni Simms replaced captain Shawn McLaws and Man of the Match Frank Tweneboa at halftime, but that did not slow down the Nor’easters attack. Just three minutes into the second half, Zoncher Dennis capitalized on a long through-ball between the central defenders from Javoni Simms, and put the Nor’easters up 3-0. The Mitch’s, Grotti and Lurie, entered the match for Ocean City in the 58th minute, replacing Zoncher Dennis and Leon Brown.
From the 60th minute on, both sides failed to possess the ball consistently, would collect the ball in the back after a goal kick and boot it up field looking for strikers who could not connect on the end of the passes. Ocean City looked much more comfortable doing so, until a 68th minute press from FA Euro lead to Jhamie Hyde committing a foul in the box. Euro defender Jonah Williams took and converted the penalty, putting the visitors on the board. In the 70th and 77th minutes, Junior and Jhamie made way for Emmanuel Temeh and Matt Taphorn. Ocean City, as opposed to sitting back and playing keep-away from FA Euro in the game’s final fifteen minutes, attempted to thread the needle with through-balls from the midfield that were not quite able to find the feet of Adames and Temeh. The Nor’easters won the match 3-1 with goals from Michele Pataia, Billy McConnell, and Zoncher Dennis. Frank Tweneboa contributed two assists, and Javoni Simms earned his first point of the season, assisting Zoncher’s goal. Man of the Match: Frank Tweneboa.
Ocean City’s next match is this Saturday, July 5th at 7pm at Carey Stadium. With every youth ticket purchase, fans will receive a coupon for one free ride at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier!