Jade Tree united met ATM United away at the PAL Center on Sunday, January 21 for a late lunchtime kick off.
Jade Tree has appeared impressive lately, losing only once in their five previous games. The team looked to continue their stunning form this season with a win over ATM United.
But it was not easy going initially as Jade Tree looked wobbly in the first half, though Ryan Mann continued his form by scoring in the opening minutes and putting Jade Tree up 0-1.
However, the Jade Tree defense was beaten soon after and ATM tied up the game.
Jade Tree then made its first substitution of the match in order to secure a win.
Alfredo Agra came on and pounded in a scorcher of a goal that gave spark to a JTU team that had started stiff and sloppy.
Ryan Mann then nicked the ball from the ATM forward and ran up the field avoiding all attempts to strip him of the ball. With a solid volley from mid-field, Mann put Jade Tree up 3-1.
Alex Milne came on to the pitch and immediately made an impact. His left footed shot flew above the keeper’s head and hit the back of the net. Milne rounded the pitch with a celebration dedicated to his newborn daughter who was watching from the stands.
Goalie Brian Olden made several saves, but was mostly untested for the first half.
As the half wound down, Victor Alvarez received a vicious tackle that left him with a twisted ankle. Alvarez was removed from the field and replaced by Mike Leyva.
Leyva was quick to make his mark, as he dribbled the ball up the sideline, juking the ATM defense and eventually hitting the target just outside the box and pushing the score to 1-5 at the break.
Returning from the half, Jade Tree United was visibly bolstered by the score line. Instead of sitting back, JTU continued to be aggressive, with Ryan Mann netting his hat trick for the day.
Victor Alvarez reappeared on the pitch. Alvarez, though clearly affected by the tackle in the first half, was still quick enough up front to receive a pass from Alex Milne and convert it into his first of the match.
Casey Gallucio then ended a 12-hour scoring drought with a kick into the upper left corner of the net. Gallucio, having finally made his mark this season, quickly followed up with his second goal, receiving a pass from Milne that easily beat the keeper.
In the 15th minute, Al Agra had a goal disallowed after converting a corner kick from Ryan Mann. Apparently, Mann had taken the corner before the whistle, though reviews of the match later showed that the goal should have been allowed to stand.
Victor Alvarez got his second of the day as he sent a hard shot into the net.
Agra was back in play with an assist to Alex Milne, who simply put it past the keeper who was glued to the spot.
ATM was finally able to get through the mid-field for their second of the day, but it came to late in the game to make a difference, as Jade Tree United won 2-11.
Jade Tree is now solidly in second place behind the unbeaten Gunners. Jade Tree will face some serious challenges as they play three top five teams in as many games.
Jade Tree United’s next match is February 3 home against third placed Valley Strikers and proves to be one of the games of the season.