Jade Tree United took to the pitch on Monday night for their first game of 2005.
The team, who spent the last 2 weeks of the winter break practicing, rather than resting and getting out of shape, took the field heartily and ready to take on the visiting AstraZeneca II team.
JTU was strong as it took the ball towards the AZII net several times without result in the beginning minutes. The JTU defense was tried and tested several times before AZII were able to finally get a goal into their
net after 10 minutes of playing time had passed.
Minutes later, an AZII player was carded for unsportsmanlike conduct and the team was forced to play down a man for one minute, during which time JTU was
unable to make any significant plays.
Entering into the latter part of the first half, AZII finally began their assault, heaving goal after goal into the JTU net. Halftime would come with
JTU down 0-5.
As the second half began, JTU was obviously a bit tired, as two players were riding the bench with sudden illnesses, depleting every available player faster than expected and driving JTU to exhaustion.
Defensive players Andrew Agra, Mehron Moqtaderi, and Tim Owen were stuck trying to sort out the mess at the back of the Jade Tree defense, as the Jade Tree offense was trying to find any gaps in which they might be able to
exploit any available AZII weaknesses. Neither found much success in their efforts and the frustration was visible on the player’s faces.
However, Victor Alvarez (#13), the Cuban International, was able to tap the ball into the net for the first Jade Tree United goal of the night, and his second of the season, after he transformed a defensive blunder from AZII into a place for JTU on the scoreboard.
As AZII continued to force the JTU defenses, the team refused to acknowledge defeat and Casey Gallucio (#3) took a pass from Victor Alvarez and scored his first goal of the season with a strong shot that defeated the AZII keeper.
Despite Jade Tree’s best efforts, the team was still not able to find victory, ending the game with a 2-13 defeat.
Manager Darren Walters said of the team’s fifth consecutive defeat, “The team had several players ill and a few carrying injuries, so we were forced to cycle through players faster than normal. We were at half-mast before the end of the first half.” Walters suggests that the week until the next match on January 11 will be spent resting the team and concentrating on a strategy to take the team to a win.