Defensive lapses in the first half of tonight’s match forced Hartford to play from behind, resulting in a 5-3 loss to Monterey Bay FC on the road.
Tonight’s match opened with an action-packed first half full of offense, amounting to six total goals and a hat trick for Monterey Bay’s Alex Dixon. The goalscoring began almost immediately after a miscue in the Hartford back line in the second minute of the match. Sam Gleadle played a pass in Hartford’s box that deflected off Kaveh Rad and Kembo Kibato, who both failed to clear the ball for Hartford, allowing it to fall to Alex Dixon. The forward finished a one-on-one opportunity with Richard Sànchez, giving his side the early lead.
The game settled down for Hartford after the early mistake, as they broke through to equalize in the 23rd minute. In transition, Andre Lewis found a streaking Prince Saydee behind the Monterey Bay defense in their half. Saydee played a brilliant touch on the ball, dribbling passed the sprawling Antony Siaha out of his box, and finished on the open net. Just over 15 minutes later, Dixon struck a second time for Monterey Bay. Max Glasser made a run to the Hartford end line, crossed a well-placed ball into the box, and Dixon headed it perfectly into the bottom right corner of the net.
Hartford responded almost immediately, equalizing for a second time about 90 seconds later on a beautifully executed set piece. Saydee looped a ball into the box that was headed by Amoh towards the net, then touched by the head of Niall Logue, and roofed to the top of the net off the foot of Kaveh Rad. Three minutes later, Sam Gleadle got behind the Hartford defense and was awarded a penalty after being tripped by Richard Sánchez in the box. Dixon took the penalty for Monterey Bay and the former Hartford Athletic forward completed the first half hat trick, giving his side a 3-2 lead.
The home team kept their foot on the gas in the half’s final minutes, as Gleadle made another run to the back post and fed a ball into traffic that deflected off of Rad and into the net for an own goal. With that tally, a wild first half had come to an end and Monterey Bay took a 4-2 lead into the locker room.
The second half was scoreless until Adrian Rebollar added a fifth goal for Monterey Bay. Dixon fired a pass into the box for Sam Gleadle, who laid the ball off nicely to Rebollar and the midfielder smashed his shot past Sànchez. Now down by three goals, Hartford showed a sign of life when Prince Saydee scored his second goal of the night in the 76th minute. This time, Saydee finished with a header off of a quality corner kick feed from Danny Barrera, who had subbed into the game three minutes earlier. The score would remain 5-3 the rest of the way.
Hartford finished the match with eight total shots, putting four of them on target. They had 70 final third entries to Monterey Bay’s 58, and had 1.86 expected goals. The Green and Blue will travel back out to the west coast next Saturday to face Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC.
Shots (On-Target): Hartford 8 (4) Monterey Bay FC 11 (5)
Corners: Hartford 4 Monterey Bay 4
Fouls: Hartford 13 Monterey Bay 14
Offsides: Hartford 4 Monterey Bay 3
Possession: Hartford 56.7% Monterey Bay 43.3%
Passing Accuracy: Hartford 75.1% Monterey Bay 72.4%
Saves: Hartford 1 Monterey Bay 1
2′ – Dixon
23′ – Saydee (Lewis)
39′ – Dixon (Glasser)
41′ – Rad (Logue)
44′ – Dixon
45′ – Own Goal (Rad)
67′ – Rebollar (Gleadle)
76′ – Saydee (Barrera)
50′ – Amoh (Yellow)
64′ – Logue (Yellow)
90+5′ – Tulu (Yellow)
HARTFORD ATHLETIC STARTING LINEUP
1 (GK) Richard Sánchez, 50 (DF) Niall Logue, 6 (DF) Triston Hodge, 16 (DF) Matt Sheldon (Merril, 59′); 3 (DF) Kaveh Rad, 21 (MF) Kembo Kibato (Tulu, 45′); 29 (FW) Antoien Hoppenot (Edwards, 74′); 77 (MF) Andre Lewis, 7 (FW) Prince Saydee, 9 (FW) Elvis Amoh, 11 (FW) Jeciel Cedeño (Barrera, 74′)
MONTEREY BAY STARTING LINEUP
16 (GK) Antony Siaha, 33 (DF) Kai Greene, 2 (DF) Hugh Roberts II, 24 (DF) Max Glasser, 3 (DF) Morey Doner, 7 (MF) Adrian Rebollar, 13 (MF), Mobi Fehr, 15 (FW) Alex Dixon (Volesky 73′); 23 (MF) Sam Gleadle (Basuljevic, 86′); 11 (MF) Walmer Martinez (Murphy, 56′); 31 (FW) Chase Boone (Johnson, 74′)