After being shutout in San Diego just four days prior, Hartford was determined to get back on track and put on a show for their fans. In the absence of Head Coach Harry Watling, who was serving a one game suspension, Hartford took the early lead and had multiple scoring chances late, but were only able to muster up one goal and earned a hard fought draw with the top team in the Eastern Conference.
Early on, Hartford tried to play the long ball multiple times, but could not manage to slip past the Memphis backline. 901 FC did not have much luck to start either, as neither team attempted a shot until the 21st minute. Hartford earned that first shot of the game and made it count, scoring to take an early lead and extend their home scoring streak to 19 games. Conor McGlynn went back to the long ball, sending one past the Memphis defense from midfield. In his return to the lineup, Juan Carlos Obregón Jr ran onto McGlynn’s pass in the box, cut towards the middle, and tucked a low shot just inside the near post to beat 901 FC’s keeper and open up the game’s scoring.
Memphis did not want to play from behind though, upping their offensive intensity after Obregón Jr’s goal. In the 29th minute, Memphis sent a high ball into Hartford’s box and was able to get a header on it that looked like it would tie the game up. However, Slayton came flying in and was able to stop 901 FC in their tracks. Memphis continued their high pressure offense, but failed to find the back of the net in the first half. A large part of Athletic’s clean first half was Tom Brewitt, who bolstered the Hartford backline and continually put an end to 901 FC scoring opportunities. Hartford tried to double their lead before the half when Joel Johson played what appeared to be a hard through ball into the box for Juan Carlos Obregón Jr, but Obregón Jr faked a touch and let the ball go on net, almost leading to a goal. After a strong first half showing, Hartford went back to the locker room leading by a goal.
The Green and Blue tried again to jump on Memphis early when the second half kicked off. In the 47th minute, Younes Boudadi ran up along the sideline and cut towards the box for a two-on-one with Obregón Jr. Boudadi waited patiently and tried to hit Johnson as the trailer, but a 901 FC defender slid in and knocked the ball out of harm’s way. Memphis did not let up from their first half pressure either, frantically trying to tie up the game. Their prayers were answered in the 64th minute. Lucas Turci got a hold of the ball in the attacking third and served up Phillip Goodrum at the top of Hartford’s box. The USL Championship’s third leading goal scorer moved up to second when he slid onto the ball and slipped it past Slayton to tie the game up at one apiece.
As the game drew later, Hartford was hungry for three points. In the 79th minute, Younes Boudadi launched a ball into the top of the box and Rashawn Dally scorched a header on net. The Memphis keeper just got a hand on it and tipped the ball over the woodwork, denying Dally a goal. In the last few minutes of play, both Danny Barrera and Andre Lewis had scoring opportunities in the box with chances to win the game, but neither could notch the game-winning tally. Then in stoppage time, a Memphis forward found themselves open in the middle of the box and looked to unleash a devastating game-winner in the final minutes of play. As the shot sailed toward the open net, Tom Brewitt appeared out of nowhere and blocked the goal, securing the draw, and point, for Athletic.
Hartford will go on the road for another quick turnaround as they travel down south to face Atlanta United 2 Saturday night at 7:00 PM.
Shots (On-Target): Hartford 8 (4) – Memphis 18 (7)
Corners: Hartford 3 – Memphis 5
Fouls: Hartford 11 – Memphis 10
Offsides: Hartford 2 – Memphis 1
Possession: Hartford 48.8% – Memphis 51.2%
Passing Accuracy: Hartford 83.8% – Memphis 83.6%
Saves: Hartford 5 – Memphis 2
21’ – Obregón Jr (McGlynn)
64’ – Goodrum (Turci)
77’ – Molloy (Yellow)
HARTFORD ATHLETIC STARTING LINEUP:
31 (GK) Jimmy Slayton, 2 (DF) Younes Boudadi, 3 (DF) Logan Gdula, 5 (DF) Tom Brewitt, 9 (FW) Juan Carlos Obregón Jr (P. Saydee, 54’); 10 (MF) Danny Barrera, 11 (MF) Luka Prpa (A. Lewis, 67’); 12 (FW) Corey Hertzog (R. Dally, 67’); 23 (DF) Modou Jadama, 28 (MF) Conor McGlynn, 30 (DF) Joel Johnson (P. Vassell, 86’)
MEMPHIS 901 FC STARTING LINEUP:
25 (GK) Trey Muse, 6 (MF) Aaron Molloy, 7 (DF) Patrick Seagrist, 8 (MF) Chris Allan, 10 (FW) Phillip Goodrum, 14 (FW) Derek Dodson (D. Boyce, 91’); 16 (DF) Graham Smith, 18 (MF) Jeremy Kelly, 19 (DF) Rece Buckmaster, 21 (DF) Lucas Turci (E. Kizza, 71’); 50 (DF) Niall Logue