Despite gaining the lead in both the first and second half, Hartford Athletic dropped tonight’s match 3-2 to Birmingham Legion FC. Alex Crognale provided the game winner for the home side in stoppage time.
Both teams were quiet through the early stages of the first half of tonight’s match. Birmingham was able to put some pressure on Hartford through the first 15 minutes, entering Hartford’s final third 16 times and taking one shot. Hartford responded nicely, creating two chances that led to a shot from Jeciel Cedeño in the 18th minute and one on target from Ash Apollon in the 19th minute. Eight minutes later, Hartford were given a free kick after Cedeño was fouled just outside the Birmingham box. Prince Saydee went for goal with a left-footed shot that hit the right post and fell to Antoine Hoppenot, but his tap-in attempt off the rebound went wide of the net.
Prosper Kasim put a on shot target for Birmingham in the 32nd minute, a low shot that forced a routine save from Richard Sánchez at the right post. The rest of the half was played on Hartford’s front foot, as they broke through to score in the 38th minute. Matt Sheldon made a run into the Birmingham box and played a ball back to Prince Saydee, who dropped the ball back to Cedeño, and the 23 year old put enough power on his shot to deflect it off the foot of Trevor Spangenberg and into the net. Cedeño’s second goal of the season gave Hartford a 1-0 lead.
The Green and Blue continued to press Birmingham in the final stage of the half, hitting the post for a second time on a shot from Andre Lewis just two minutes after the Cedeño goal. Saydee was involved again, playing the ball back to Lewis for a shot at the top of the box that Lewis raddled off the crossbar. Hartford had one more quality chance in stoppage time when Ash Apollon’s shot was saved by Spangenberg, fell to Hoppenot, but he couldn’t square his shot off the rebound. Hartford outshot Birmingham 10 to five, taking seven of them from inside their box, and took a 1-0 lead into the half.
The pace of the match picked up immediately in the second half. Birmingham took three shots through the first 10 minutes, and found their equalizer in the 65th minute. Prosper Kasim looped in a corner kick to the goal line and found the left foot of Enzo Martinez, who tapped in the goal.
Despite being caught on their heels to start the second half, Hartford regained the lead just two minutes after they gave it up. Second half sub Kyle Edwards received a pass from Prince Saydee in-stride, got behind the Birmingham back line and slotted his shot to the near post past Spangenberg. The first goal of the season for Edwards, and Saydee’s second assist of the evening.
Birmingham continued to go punch-for-punch with Hartford, tying the game again in the 76th minute. Prosper Kasim and Enzo Martinez connected again when Kasim made a low cross into the box just past the outstretched foot of Conor McGlynn, finding Martinez, who booted his shot past Sánchez.
The game remained tied as it headed into stoppage time, and Alex Crognale scored the game winner for the home side in the 93rd minute. Martinez was involved again, adding an assist to his brace on the evening.
Hartford Athletic fall to 1-4-2 and gained three points over this three-game road trip. They are back at home next Saturday, May 6th, to face Memphis 901 FC at 7:00 PM.
Shots (On-Target): Hartford 14 (5) Birmingham 18 (6)
Corners: Hartford 2 Birmingham 5
Fouls: Hartford 7 Birmingham 12
Offsides: Hartford 4 Birmingham 2
Possession: Hartford 46.8% Birmingham 53.2%
Passing Accuracy: Hartford 79.8% Birmingham 75.7%
Saves: Hartford 3 Birmingham 3
38′ – Cedeño (Saydee)
65′ – Martinez (Kasim)
67′ – Edwards (Saydee)
76′ – Martinez (Kasim)
90+3′ – Crognale (Martinez)
45′ – Asiedu (Yellow)
49′ – Lewis (Yellow)
60′ – Cedeño (Yellow)
64′ – Martinez (Yellow)
82′ – Lopez (Yellow)
90′ – Sánchez (Yellow)
HARTFORD ATHLETIC STARTING LINEUP
1 (GK) Richard Sánchez, 22 (DF) Robin Lapert, 3 (DF) Kaveh Rad, 28 (MF) Conor McGlynn, 14 (DF) Ashkanov Apollon (Edwards, 55′);16 (DF) Matt Sheldon, 77 (MF) Andre Lewis, 29 (FW) Antoine Hoppenot, 8 (MF) Juan Pablo Torres, 11 (FW) Jeciel Cedeño (Barrera, 91′); 7 (FW) Prince Saydee
BIRMINGHAM LEGION STARTING LINEUP
18 (GK) Trevor Spangenberg, 16 (DF) Gabriel Alves, 3 (DF) Phanuel Kavita, 21 (DF) Alex Crognale, 2 (DF) Ben Reveno (Pasher, 72′); 7 (FW) Diba Nwegbo (Smith, 45′); 6 (MF) Anderson Asiedu, 17 (MF) Matthew Corcoran (Lopez, 77′); 10 (FW) Prosper Kasim, 9 (FW) Juan Agudelo, 19 (MF) Enzo Martínez