Match Preview: Peachtree City Meet Sliding Birmingham Away
With just four matches remaining in the 2018 regular season, time is running short to make a run for the top of the table. Peachtree City have taken some advantage of their last few matches, picking up five of a possible nine points on the back of a club-record three match unbeaten streak, and following their draw with second-place Mississippi Brilla FC, Peachtree City now take a brief trip west to Birmingham for a battle with a sliding Birmingham Hammers side.
After jumping out to a very quick 1-0 lead against visiting Mississippi Brilla FC on Thursday, MOBA looked solid all around during the first half of the season's most physical match. The second half saw Brilla equalize with an absolute rocket from Gerber Chavez, and as time burned by, no winner looked imminent as fouls continued to pile up and prevent either side from gaining any momentum. As the eightieth minute passed, things got interesting when Mississippi had a chance to steal the lead, but a communication error resulted in the visitors missing an open net. In the eighty-fifth minute, Jerren Nixon was finally able to pass the ball into the net and give MOBA the lead, but that was short-lived, as Brilla equalized again with Georgios Charkoutsakis' goal in the eighty-seventh minute. A third draw this season that really felt like loss, MOBA need to find some way to hold on to late leads, otherwise it will be a long time before Peachtree City find a way into the playoffs.
One of the sides responsible for those draws is Birmingham, who came into Peachtree City early in the season and stole a point from the hosts at the last possible second. The Hammers have had some mixed results since that match, as they now sit 3-4-2 on the season, sixth-place in the Deep South Division. The Hammers are the only PDL side that has beaten Mississippi this season, however Birmingham have lost three of their last four matches, including a 2-0 loss to Tri-Cities on the 26th. The Hammers will be looking to turn things around and close the season on a high, which could spell danger for Peachtree City.
Keys to Success:
- Don't Get Rattled: Birmingham will be looking to press, especially considering their goal-scoring troubles as of late. They will be coming fast and hungry, and MOBA cannot let that take them away from their game plan. If Peachtree City find a way to take control of the match and play how they want, the match will go smoother.
- Finish: This can go two ways: be able to finish in the final third, and be able to finish in the final minutes. Both have been a bit of an issue for MOBA, as the finishing has needed some improvement as of late, and late goals continue to really hurt results for MOBA. Going forward, Dean Foster, Jerren Nixon, and new signing Rashid Alarape really need to take advantage of opportunities and put the ball in the net.
Kickoff for Peachtree City MOBA vs. Birmingham Hammers is scheduled for June 30th at 8:30 PM at Samford University in Birmingham. There are no details on a livestream.