The Kickers first team suffered their first loss of the season, losing 4-2 to Stael Maelic. The Kickers started slow, went down 1-0, but eventually crawled back to a 2-1 lead after a beautiful volley from Brian Morris and a cross played across the box ricocheted off the foot of a defender and into the net. For the last third of the game, the Kickers failed to press high up the field and allowed a mediocre opposing midfield to turn half-chances into three soft goals, and steal three important points.
The first half was dominated with composed possession for the Kickers. Stal Mielec pretty much allowing free movement through the midfield made for some nice Kicker combinations. However the combination play would always break down in the final third as a result of overpassing and no shots. The second half continued with strong pressure on the Stal back line with more shots on goal. The Kickers breakthrough happened on a free kick from 40 yards out 10 minutes into the second half. Jared H. hit a driven ball to the back post connecting with returning Kickers legend Michael Kahn, who was able to head the cross back to the far post of the goal. Pressure was kept on as 2 minutes after the opening goal, co-coach/player David won the ball wide in the Stal half. He was able to drive the ball to the goal line and provide a low cross back to the top of the box where Tommy was positioned to have a pass in goal and put the kickers 2-0 up. It must be said that kickers intensity dropped momentarily after the second goal. Stal’s only goal of the game came as a result of a (very avoidable) goalie error. Chris passed back to fill in keeper who picked the pass with his hands. Stal took advantage and took a quick free kick to score. The Kickers kept composure and were able to utilize the wings to feed crosses into the box. One of those crosses was spilled by Stal’s keeper and pushed in by Jared L.
The Kickers started with 11-players with several players playing out of position. Hoboken had time and space in the midfield most of the first half taking shots from inside the 18 with nary a defender in sight to prevent the easy look at goal. Hoboken punished the Kickers four times in the first half, we looked lifeless. The only answer the Kickers had in the first 45 minutes was a nice service ball from Marko (Honorable Mention) to Nick Bill (MVP) for the convincing strike.
In the Second Half, the Kickers showed some they had life. When newcomer Niccoslo Ball, crossed it into the box where Nick Bill headed it home. A few minutes later, Marko Loncar would hit the free kick strike from 30 yards out to the low post and the Kickers were back in it. A few minutes later, Marko would strike home the PK equalizer after Hoboken was called for a hand-ball in the box. The come-back was complete. Our confidence was up and a few minutes later, Nick Bill's thrown-in would be headed home by Seamus Kelly for the go-ahead goal. The Kickers were on-top of it again with 10 minutes to go. But those 10 minutes were precarious as Hoboken pushed forward and had several quality looks at goal. Ulrich Lehmann was steady down the stretch between the pipes until the 89th minute when Hoboken caught the Kicker defense on the back foot and slipped the equalizer to the back post and that's the way it ended (5-5).
In spite of the courageous come back, we feel like we left points on the field. With one or two more quality players, this match would have tilted the Kickers way. With all the injuries and missing starters from our run at the Cup last season, we are not a complete team and need to find a way to get points when the opportunity is there for the taking.
Kickers Legends managed a resounding victory over 0-39s debutant, and former 0-30s Champions, NYGreek Americans today at new home ground Bush Terminals, recording a 6-1 win. Although the first half was a frustrating affair with the skillful and well organized Greek Americans parking the bus well to deny Legends any goals in the first 40 minutes. Jesse Vozick surging forward from center back position had three excellent chances denied by the surprisingly agile if rotund keeper; two diving headers and an open goal. It was left to Dylan to open scoring with a 40 yard daisy cutter to give Legends to slim lead at the half. But the Greek American spell was broken and Legends poured in the goals.John Balson started the rout in the 3rd minute of restart, lobbing the keeper from close range. Kevin followed up with a cracker of a first time shot from the top of the box off a one-two with Scott. Joe did not miss on being slipped in by Yadh. Wale curled one into the right, and then finished another on the line, magnanimously conceding it to Yadh, whose placed shot was creeping in anyway. Greek Americans managed to get a consolation goal through a well placed free kick that fell fortunately to their striker. Final score 6-1. All played well with special mention to Dave Stopforth in midfield, and the return of John Slover.