Returning form the winter break, Jade Tree United met FMC away at the Kirkwood complex Tuesday, January 9.
Once again missing the injured Mike Hoffman, JTU activated a member of their youth academy for the match, mid-fielder Shane Chanpaul.
Jim Brooks started in goal due to Brian Olden being held up by trainers examining his recent finger flexibility issues.
The match began without fanfare as local supporters were barred from the match due to a ticket scandal. The quiet atmosphere of Kirkwood clearly did not suit the Jade Tree team, who played through the fist five minutes without much spark.
It was not until the FMC offense made a few serious advances before JTU got going.
Ryan Mann broke through and had a goal disallowed for reasons unclear. Despite protestations from the Manager, JTU did not get the goal reinstated. Mann however, did strike again soon thereafter netting JTU’s first of the night.
At this time, JTU made a change in goal with Jim Brooks coming out of goal after his first appearance in goal all season (and getting his first clean sheet) for Brian Olden.
FMC did not sit back though. They came at the JTU defense with fervor and quickly scored two goals.
As Jade Tree pressed on, they had several chances, but were unable to pounce on several loose balls in the box.
JTU received a gift of an own goal and were happy for it as an FMC player made a misjudged clearance into his own net.
By the time the match approached the half, FMC had added 3 more to their tally, but not before Shane Chanpaul spun in the box to firmly assert his addition to the team and settling the score at 3-5.
One can only imagine the Manager’s talk at the half, but when Jade Tree United reappeared for the second half, it was clear that they were not ready to give up.
Jade Tree came on strong, giving Shane Chanpaul the opportunity to instantly put a ball into the upper left corner and leaving FMC’s defense squabbling.
JTU did face numerous threats, and defenders, Jim Brooks, Al Agra, Victor Alvarez, and Darren Walters were being run ragged throughout the match.
The match also became more physical in the second half. Alex Milne was fouled outright, while Victor Alvarez and Mike Leyva were subjected to serious fouls from FMC without any cards being shown. For a few moments, it looked as if the game might break out into a fight. However, order was restored-not by the referees-but by players and managers from both sides.
Jade Tree was undeterred and Ryan Mann scored again off of FMC’s defensive blunder, buoying the team’s spirits.
The match was now level at 5-5 and JTU were determined to keep their spirit up.
But it was not to be. Just as the match was tied, FMC quickly extended their lead to 7-5.
Victor Alvarez smoked FMC’s defenses, bringing the ball forward from his defensive position and scoring a sweet goal from the penalty spot.
FMC made their point by bringing their lead to 10 within mere minutes and encouraging Jade Tree fight to the last minute to regain the lead they had lost early in the first half.
Shane Chanpaul received a hat trick on his debut by finishing the match with one more goal.
Despite the effort, a win was not to be for Jade Tree United’s first match of 2007 as the final score was 7-10.
Jade Tree United face Barclays FC next on January 14.