Jade Tree United met Environmental Alliance away at PAL 1 on Sunday, January 27, in a match of what should have been between two evenly matched teams (equal on points in sixth place).
Jade Tree, whose form has been slipping, were doomed from the start of the match as both starting â€˜keeper Brian Olden and back up Jim Brooks both fell ill mere hours prior to the match.
United, without a proper goalie, had to make due with Casey Gallucio and Alex Milne alternating time between the posts.
JTU played a conservative game, trying to protect their goal and move tentatively forward.
EA however, seized the opportunity and attacked the JTU goal with abandon.
Before too long, JTU was down 3-0.
Ryan Mann opened the scoring for Jade Tree when he received the ball from Shane Chanpimol deep in the EA box, sending the ball screaming over the EA â€˜keeper’s head.
Chanpimol then netted his first of the night when Rich Emge sent a long ball in, providing Chanpimol the opportunity to beat the EA â€˜keeper who was way off of his line.
EA added two more goals to the score line as the match passed without incident into halftime at 5-2.
The second half found JTU wanting, and initially, the team looked poised to tie the match.
Casey Gallucio took a corner kick, which came back to him, and made good on it with a goal for Jade Tree.
Defenders Tony Coates, Al Agra and Victor Alvarez were also instrumental in the build up that led to Chanpimol’s run through the mid-field, where he deftly avoided EA’s defense. Thoroughly frustrated, EA took out Chanpimol, giving JTU a penalty kick.
Chanpimol easily converted the kick. Jade Tree now had four goals to EA’s five.
And then suddenly, the game changed dramatically.
Jade Tree, who had been dealing with â€˜keeper issues all night, saw EA put 4 consecutive goals past them.
Things only got worse when Tony Coates gave up on own goal and Darren Walters made a miserable clear that resulted in an oncoming EA player scooping up the ball and sailing it into the net.
At this point, Jade Tree clearly began to crumble. The rot had set in and the team was obviously tired, frustrated and directionless.
Rich Emge did add one more to the JTU tally with a fantastic volley from mid-field that went well over the head of the â€˜keeper.
As the match wound down, Jade Tree were beaten mercilessly as EA racked up a total of 16 goals to JTU’s 6.
Manager Darren Walters summed it up “We played as well as we good without a real goalie. However, we should have done better and I am disappointed at the overall performance.”
With the transfer window closed and several players out on International duty, Walters is looking at a team that needs to build itself back up from within. Jade Tree and Walters will look forward to doing just that when they return to action on Thursday, January 14 away against DS Wilson Excavators.