For 82 minutes, the Jesters looked as if they would have to settle for just three points on their second match, three-day swing through Tennessee. But New Orleans got two goals in the final minutes of the match to get a 2-2 draw and a huge road point in the Southeast Conference.
Coach Kenny Farrell said his team never gave up.
“If you’re in the 82nd minute two-nil down in Chattanooga, with their crowd, a lot of teams would just fold. They weren’t prepared to fold and I wasn’t prepared to fold. They never thought they were going to lose and when you have that mentality you have to nurture it.”
Chattanooga FC scored just two minutes into the match on a goal by Felipe Oliveira. The teams exchanged chances after that. The Jesters looked to have the equalized in the 66th minute, but Tom Peers’ shot hit the post, and the goal line before it spun away from the net. Fourteen minutes later, Luke Winter scored a second for the home side, and seemingly put the match away.
But, the Jesters fought back, and in the 85th minute Oliver Roberts got a long-range goal that slipped through the hands of Chattanooga goalkeeper Philip D’Amico to pull New Orleans within 1.
“We were working hard, and chances were coming our way but we just weren’t putting them away,” Roberts said when asked about his goal. “And luckily I had a shot and it was moving a bit and the keeper dropped it.”
Then in stoppage time, D’Amico mishandled a long range shot, and Tom Peers was there to bury it in the back of the net for the game tying goal. It is Peers’ fifth goal of the season in NPSL action.
Peers had a lot to say about the wild night.
“That one that bounced off the goal line, I thought it wasn’t my night but I got my goal in the end, and it’s a great feeling to get a goal in the last minute in front of that crowd. Credit to their fans, they were amazing as well, really enjoyed it.”
The Jesters get four points in their two matches at Inter Nashville and then two nights later at Chattanooga to bounce back from their loss at home a week ago against Greenville FC.
The Jesters return to action next Saturday night at Pan American Stadium against Georgia Revolution FC.
Contributor: Paul Boron/New Orleans Jesters
Photo Credit: Paul Boron/New Orleans Jesters