Match Recap: Shaw Nets a Brace, MOBA Defeat Silverbacks 3-1
Sometimes, all it takes is one. Coming into Wednesday, MOBA were looking to bounce back after the season opened with struggles, with Peachtree City recording only one point through three games. With a two week break before the next league match, Peachtree City needed to stay fit and in form, and the best way to do that is take on the reigning NPSL South Atlantic Conference champions in the Atlanta Silverbacks.
Following a heartbreaking defeat at home against Mississippi Brilla FC, MOBA needed to get out to a quick start and score goals if they wanted to have a chance, and early on, they did just that. Right out of the gate, MOBA had a number of early opportunities, as Jordan Smith-Williams and Daniel Valenciano spearheaded the attack for the home team. In the fifteenth minute, Peachtree City got the breakthrough they needed, as Valenciano tackled the ball away from a Silverbacks defender, turned the corner, and took a beautiful stroke that keeper Matt Carr had no chance to stop, and Peachtree City took an early 1-0 lead. Having gotten off to a perfect start, the Silverbacks now looked to retaliate, as just three minutes later, a violent attack from Atlanta led to a shot that was saved beautifully by keeper Luke Oesterle. Two minutes later, however, MOBA were not quite as fortunate, as a ball played into the box was expertly chipped in and Atlanta tied the score at 1-1. The teams continued to swap blows for the remaining twenty-five minutes, but neither could take the lead, and the match went into the half at 1-1.
Finally having scored at home following the season opener, MOBA needed to carry any available momentum into the second half. Coming out of the locker room, Peachtree City looked to be the stronger side, as the Silverbacks struggled to get anything going. Continually playing balls over the top and being called offside, the MOBA defense had the Silverbacks on edge, and they needed to take advantage. Making a number of subs at halftime, including Daniel Shaw at left back, MOBA had plans to turn the match back into their favor. Early on it was Todd Fidler and Isaac Walker who stepped up to the plate, but their chances would not go, and MOBA needed to change their strategy. Enter stage left: Daniel Shaw. A promising young midfielder and defender, Shaw earned his spot on the roster in training over the opening few weeks and looked to solidify his role as a playmaker for Volker Harms. In the sixty-second minute, midfielder Jordan Smith-Williams made a run into the box and laid it off for Valenciano, who failed to convert and the ball rolled back to Williams. Looking to reset, JSW played the ball out of the box to Matthew Wooling and who took a few touches and found Danny Shaw out wide. Shaw, who took just two steps after receiving the pass, stared down keeper Matt Carr and took a shot on goal from twenty yards out. All it took was one. To the disbelief of everybody in attendance and everybody on the field, Shaw's rocket grazed the fingertips of Carr and sailed into the net, putting MOBA up 2-1. With all the momentum toward the home team now, MOBA wanted to put the game away fast, and in order to do that, they dialed up young Shaw again. Not a minute later, MOBA found themselves on the attack once more, and Williams knew exactly where to go with it. Near the penalty spot, Williams turned, found Shaw, who had come forward from his defensive position once more, and Shaw drove the ball on the ground toward the far corner and in, and MOBA went up 3-1, as Shaw seemingly solidified his role with the team for the weeks to come. The game was all Peachtree City from then on, as the Silverbacks had no offense for the remaining thirty minutes. MOBA had a chance to go up three goals late, as Todd Fidler made a seventy yard run down field and found Khallil Stewart, who charged toward the box unimpeded and took a shot toward Carr that just barely bent wide. Atlanta could not find their equalizing goals, and Peachtree City knocked off the Atlanta Silverbacks in the first meeting between the two sides.
Undoubtedly a huge stepping stone for the coming weeks, MOBA will need to carry the momentum of this match into training and prepare for a highly anticipated rematch against Nashville SC U23. The last time the two teams met, Nashville embarrassed MOBA in a 6-1 road rout where Peachtree City seemed off balance and unenergetic the whole night. Hopefully a friendly victory and the home crowd can help carry MOBA to their first win of the 2017 PDL season and potentially start a long string of success for the yellow and black. Tickets are still on sale at MOBASoccer.com/tickets.
Match Highlights Below: