What a rough Saturday for all of our teams. Really was no matter how you slice it. T2 did salvage something on the night though by fighting back from being down 1-0 to get another 1-1 draw against the Monarchs in Utah. This time it was a little bit different how it went down than the first visit.
Things didn't start off well for T2. An early sub is never a good thing and that is what happened when Manning went down in his own box around the 5th minute defending a corner kick. He was able to walk off with the trainer but it looked like a head injury and he was replaced by Matt Rose. Unfortunately, the substitution didn't occur fast enough. While down a man Emory Welshman opened the scoring in the 8th minute. He beat the T2 defense, who were still down a man, on a through ball and slotted the ball from the near the left post, past Gleeson, into the far side netting.
All T2 could manage in the first half were a few half chances. Will Johnson got on the end of a long ball and headed the ball down to Belmar in the 23rd minute but Monarch's keeper Lalo Fernandez was first to the ball. And there was a nice bicycle kick attempt that was on frame from close range but a Monarch's defender was able to stick his foot out just enough to block the shot. And their best chance of the first half came in stoppage time when Will Johnson took a beauty of a free kick aimed at the far post. Taylor Peay made a great far post run but he was just a half step behind and wasn't able to tap the ball in for a goal. The free kick itself missed the post by just inches.
In the second half it was all the same coming out of the gate. Monarchs continued to dominate T2 and try to expand their lead. But T2 defended well enough to keep them off the board, and didn't allow the Monarchs to find that insurance goal. The Monarchs kept trying though, and by the end of the match had at least 10 corner kicks if not a few more. Hard to count as they had quite a lot. But T2 found the answer they were looking for.
In the 88th minute T2 were able to equalize and see out the draw. A bad giveaway by the Monarchs out on the far side of the field saw Will Johnson take the ball and run up the side a few paces. He whipped in a powerful cross right into the center of the box and right to the feet of Rundell Winchester. Winchester made no mistake from less than 6 yards out as he put away the shot off the half volley. And after the goal T2 were able to dominate possession for the final 2 mins plus 3 stoppage and see out the result with ease.
Top Three Performers
Will Johnson: Man of the Match performance from the captain tonight. Played the full 90, did well to win balls (including causing the giveaway that lead to his assist), get late runs into the box, had some well taken free kicks and his passing looked sharp. He basically looked like he was ready to get right back into playing for the first team.
Rundell Winchester: Did well to pressure the Monarchs backline all night. He does well defensively too. The Monarchs defense was extremely hard to break tonight, but when he got his one solid chance of the night he made no mistake and got the goal.
Andy Thoma: Running up and down the left flank all night long. Thoma and Peay are developing really well with T2. Peay looks so much better as a right back than centerback though, so Thoma gets the mention tonight.