After a week of much needed rest, Beyond F.C. went back to work this past weekend. First team looked to carry their momentum from their 3-2 win over Sporting Westchester two weeks ago. They, along with Reserves, came up against Doxa F.C. this past weekend. Despite their loss in the Harry Saunders Cup, Reserves are undefeated in 11 league matches this season. Finally, Metro took on New York United looking to earn their first win since the winter break.
First Team | First Team fall to Doxa F.C. 4-0.
First team looked to pick up another three points this weekend as they played Doxa F.C. Unlike their last game against Sporting Westchester, First team weren’t able to play with the same tempo and style as they had wanted.
In the first half they had a few chances, but mostly had to put up with intense pressure from Doxa’s offense. First team players were forced to make quick passes into traffic, which conceded a lot of possession for the team. They were able to keep the game scoreless headed into halftime.
The second half is where things heated up. First team made a tactical change from three at the back to four to combat the high press from Doxa. This proved important as First team were able to manipulate play a bit better. Unfortunately, the lack of composure in front of goal for First Team would come to haunt them as Doxa struck first. A miss hit-cross found its way into the bottom corner of James Mercer’s goal.Any chances of hope were dashed when Doxa scored again, this time after a failed clearance lead to a shot from just outside the six yard box. Towards the end of the game, First team were able to limit Doxa to counter attacks, but still they were unable to find the back of the net. Doxa added a third goal right before the final whistle, a one-on-one chip into the back of the net.
There was a lot of frustration for the First Team after the game. Jesse Rose noted how “Consistency [and] composure.” are a big part of the overall game missing for the team. First Team will look to avoid two straight losses when they take on Stal Muelec NY this Sunday.
Reserves | Reserves suffer first loss of the season, ends 11 game unbeaten streak
The mighty Reserves have finally fallen after a 4-0 loss to Doxa F.C. Reserves had some excellent chances throughout the first half, but the pressure was put on by Doxa. Some defensive lapses also brought about a few close calls for Reserves as they seemed to have problems closing down their opponents.
After a nervy first half, the game was still there to be one by either side. The leaders of the team rallied everyone for the second half. Reserves, like First Team, changed formation tactically from a back 3 to a back 4. This was to help with passing the ball from the back, a tough challenge in the first half.
Reserves opened with some great football in the second half but eventually came undone. A back post header from Doxa put them up 1-0 and minutes later David Gorman gave away a penalty which Doxa converted. There was still some hope, but by the last few minutes Reserves had conceded two more goals. The undefeated season had come to an end, but there still seems to be plenty of encouragement in the camp.
“We stuck to our principles of passing play and at times cut through the opposition with some very slick passing moves.” Noted goalkeeper James Mercer. He also was quick to point out the hard work of David Gorman. “[Gorman] wanted the ball from the back and showed the right level of commitment to passing and strength in the tackle.”
Nicholas Nebot also didn’t seem discouraged by the loss. “I think we just haven’t been able to assert ourselves and play our game," Nebot said, “We will regroup at training this week [but] everyone is keen to start winning again.”
Reserves will looking to start a new undefeated streak when they take on Stal Muelec NY this Sunday April 24th.
Metro | Metro score twice in the second half to earn first victory since winter break
Metro had a few new faces for this game as they hoped youth would be the key to unlocking their first win since the winter break. The were up against a very disciplined New York United F.C. who strung together some beautiful passing that would culminate with a chip over goalkeeper James Mercer. 1-0 to New York United F.C. Jacob Navrun had the best chance of the half for Metro, sending a close range header over the bar. Metro didn’t make much of the possession they had, but were lucky to stay resolute at the back thanks to some heroics from Mercer.
At half time the message was clear - get back to the basics and keeping it simple. Metro fared better in the second half, but it was only after the players had gotten used to the heat and the pace of the game set by New York United F.C. Eventually, their hard work paid off with a goal midway through the second half. Ali Reza stepped up to take a free kick just inside the opposition half and curling a delightful ball in the corridor of uncertainty between the goalie and the defense. Ryan Moling escaped the off sides trap and knocked the ball in on a second attempt. A scrappy goal but an equalizer none the less.
Metro had the game by the throat after the goal. Ali Reza once again stepped up for Metro and picked picked out Ishaan Pujari with a brilliant first time cross. Pujari had plenty of time to skillfully control and slot it past the keeper with composure. Metro had plenty of opportunities, but the game finished 2-1.
Goalkeeper James Mercer had plenty of praises for his team’s “great commitment to the passing style the club believes in.” Yet he still believes this side can achieve more if they tighten up some tactical screws “Second half playing the ball out to the wings rather than into the midfield traffic transformed our game. This must be done in the right areas of the pitch.” said Mercer.
Metro right back Varun Rangaraj echoed the same voice of tactically frustrations. “It feels good to get the three points, but in the coming games I look forward to seeing a much more complete performance.”
With the 3 points in the bag Metro now have 15 points this season. They hope to use this victory as momentum to finish out the season strong. They have next week off and then face off against NY’s Finest F.C on May 1st.