Jade Tree United were handed their first loss of the season when they met Logan House, home at PAL II on Sunday, December 16.
JTU, who sat second in the table, were optimistic about going into the winter break in the number one position.
It was immediately evident that Jade Tree were going to have a hard road ahead of them.
Logan House attacked from the first touch, scoring three in just under five minutes.
Jade Tree rallied to score, as wunderkind Shane Chanpimol rounded the â€˜keeper and put one in to the net.
Ryan Mann made a showing for his family in the stands, receiving a pass from Victor Alvarez and converting it.
Rich Emge pushed up from defense to put his power behind a shot that swooshed past the goalie and into the netting.
But the tie was short-lived as Logan House put in five more to put them up, where they would remain for the rest of the half, despite two more goals from Chanpimol and a nick in from Alvarez. to keep Jade Tree in the game,
Looking at a score of 5-8 at the half. JTU knew that the match was still within their reach. How they would overcome their leaking defense to attain the desired win proved to be the question that had yet to be answered.
Jade Tree came out strong in the second half. Casey Gallucio had several shots deflected, but it was Ryan Mann who found the net after faking to the left and shooting high and on target.
Victor Alvarez stepped into the box to get his second and come within a point of making the game level.
Logan House and Jade Tree then played cat and mouse, as Logan House scored, only to be answered by Jade Tree, but never letting JTU level the match.
Constantly giving chase, Jade Tree began to tire. This was most evident when defender Jim Brooks was carded for a strong tackle on a Logan House player and removed from play for two minutes.
Playing a man down, Jade Tree struggled. But the team did manage to get another goal from Emge, who stepped into the ball and took a rocket shot that put the score at 8-9.
Ultimately, Jade Tree’s final undoing was the Rich Emge’s foul on a Logan House player. The foul, which led to a penalty kick that Logan House converted, deflated JTU. It was at this point that the game-and morale-slipped out of the team’s control.
Shane Chanpimol did his duty and bravely netted two more for JTU, but Logan House was up and away on the revived energy that they had received from the PK, slotting shot after shot into the Jade Tree net.
With a final score of 11-16, Jade Tree was left wondering how they remained so close for most of the match, only to lose it in the final minutes. Manager Darren Walters now has three weeks to contemplate this as the league enters the winter break. Perhaps he will have an answer when the team returns to play at home against B.A.C. on Thursday, January 10.