Match Recap: Peachtree City-Birmingham Finishes Level at 2-2
That one, that one is going to hurt for a bit. At long last, Peachtree City are showing signs of success, signs that they can compete and that they can win, only to have all of that snatched away at the death. After a 2-2 draw in their opening match with South Georgia, MOBA were craving a win, but that satisfaction will have to wait at least three more days.
In the opening minutes, it was Birmingham who were dominating possession, as they saw a number of chances early, but nothing seemed to be working against a much-improved MOBA defense. After the first quarter of an hour, things quickly began to shift in favor of the home side, as Dean Foster and Kai Bennett saw some chances fly wide or get saved. The momentum continued to go back and forth with neither side able to break the other, and the minutes continued to tick toward halftime. On forty-one minutes, however, Peachtree City found themselves in a prime position to open the scoring. Zion Gray's corner kick was cleared out of the danger area by the Birmingham defense, but the clearance fell right to the feet of Brandon Beresford, who, with some brilliant foot work, found captain Jerry Wiltshire at the top of the eighteen. Wiltshire brought the ball down and put his foot through a beautiful shot that was saved by James Teal. Teal's save fell right to MOBA's Chris Davis, who casually stepped in and buried the rebound to send MOBA into the break up 1-0.
A situation that this club will need to grow accustomed to, Peachtree City found themselves in the lead with forty-five minutes to play, and, to this point, they had looked the better team. Following the second half kickoff, MOBA were quickly on the press for a second, and they had an argument for a penalty three minutes in when Luke Biasi looked to be fouled in the box, but the referee said play on. The next half hour was all Peachtree City, as halftime sub Jerren Nixon took over the center forward position. In the sixty-fifth minute, Nixon made a fantastic run into the final third, but his shot was sent wide and out for a goal kick. Just five minutes later, it was Dean Foster threatening on the ball, but his curling effort was saved well by Teal. It was beginning to look like MOBA might just run out the clock and walk away with the 1-0 victory, but in the seventy-sixth minute, a ball in the box bounced around for far too long in front of goal, and eventually it was Khalil Bell who got a foot to it and leveled the score at one. With the clean sheet gone, most teams would have packed things up and hoped for a draw, but Jerren Nixon had other plans. After a loose ball was recovered by MOBA's Gus Fidler, he touched the ball over to Beresford who sent the ball forward to Foster. Foster saw Nixon making a run through the middle and played a brilliant through ball to him, and Nixon was off to the races. With just the keeper in his way, Nixon just pushed the ball a little to the side and made Teal leave his feet. With Teal out of the play, Nixon calmly collected the ball and slotted it in the net to put the home side up 2-1 with just eight minutes remaining on the clock. MOBA nearly added a third when Nixon once again found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but this time he played a great pass across the box to a charging Jose Manzo, but Manzo mishit his shot and sent it well over the bar. As the ninety minutes expired, the three points seemed to be MOBA's, but stoppage time was just a minute too long. In the third minute of free play, the ball was once again in the MOBA box for too long, and this time it was Phillip Makinde who scored the last second equalizer that split the points in Peachtree City.
Overall, it is easy to say that Peachtree City should have won that game. The play of Luke Biasi, Kai Bennett and Brandon Beresford in the middle of the park was phenomenal, and the attack was really clicking for the first time in recent memory. The back line stood strong for ninety-two minutes, and goalkeeper Jack Hudson had a second very solid start. Ultimately, it was two simple errors that cost Peachtree City two huge points, but if they can get those wrinkles ironed out, this MOBA side could very easily find themselves near the top of the division table come July.
Across the division, Tormenta FC topped Tri-Cities 1-0 at home, and Mississippi Brilla FC defeated Memphis City FC 2-0 in Clinton. Saturday's results find Peachtree City in third in the Deep South with two points, two points back of Brilla and Tormenta. Peachtree City have a chance to leap over both of those teams on Tuesday, however, as they face SC United in the final match of this three-game home stand. Tormenta and Brilla don't play again until Saturday when they face SC United and Birmingham, respectively.