Monday’s night’s NPSL contest at Dietz Stadium in Kingston, NY between TSF FC and Kingston Stockade FC ended 4-3 in favor of the visitors. A record crowd of 1129 was treated to an end-to-end contest that featured multiple lead changes.
While both teams appeared evenly matched from the start, TSF held possession for a large part of the opening few minutes. In the sixth minute TSF’s Luis Mendoza put a shot on target, but it was handled by Kingston goalkeeper Stephen Skonieczny. Just moments later TSF’s Junior Batista tried to latch onto a poor back pass, but Skonieczny managed to beat him to the ball. Kingston took the ball the other way, but the attacking movement was blown dead as TSF defenders executed an offside trap. Not to be deterred, Kingston continued attacking, bursting into the box and firing a left footed shot that was handled by TSF’s Danny DiMarco, a TSF Academy U16 player.
Shortly following Kingston’s attacking spell, Batista again found himself in a dangerous attacking position, only for the Kingston keeper to claim the ball. Kingston could have opened the game’s scoring in the 16th minutes, but a shot was kept out by a great kick save from DiMarco. The 19th minute saw Batista again showing how dangerous of a player he is as he powered into the box only to have his shot snuffed out by Skonieczny.
The next couple of scoring opportunities came from the Stockade, as a free kick in the 27th minute was headed just wide left of goal. Several minutes later a Kingston attacker breaking towards goal was met by an onrushing DiMarco, who brought an end to the attacking move.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 38th minute when TSF FC’s JP Gonzales, a TSF Academy product, bent a right-footed effort around Skonieczny and into goal. It took less than ten minutes for Kingston to answer as Eric Fortier latched onto a low cross and put the ball in the back of the net from close range. This sent the game into halftime with a score of 1-1.
Early in the second half, TSF earned corner kick, only to see Kingston launch a counter attack. This produced a shot, but that was ultimately saved by DiMarco. Shortly following that, TSF’s Mendoza broke up play in the midfield and got the ball to Andrew Nino, whose shot was saved by Skonieczny.
In the 52nd minute Gonzales struck again to give TSF the lead back. Just moments later Batista almost extended the lead as he got in on goal, but his left-footed effort was saved, resulting in a corner. Despite TSF maintaining some possession off of the corner kick, no goal was produced. In the 57th minute Kingston again equalized with Eric Fortier putting his second goal in from close range. Hoping to inject some energy into his side, Luis Mendoza made a couple of substitutions, bringing on Calvin Carbajal and Teddy Forson.
The 68th minute saw Kingston take the lead off as a Mateusz Koziol shot from distance was deflected in. Not to be dismayed, TSF began a period of relentless attacking. A 70th minute free kick was punched away by the Kingston keeper, and the ensuing corner could not produce an equalizer. The next minute a Luis Mendoza shot was blocked away by Skonieczny. TSF earned another free kick in the 74th minute, which led to another corner kick.
Again hoping to bring fresh legs into the game, TSF brought on Ken Santos and Ritchie Barry. This had the desired effect as Batista equalized in the 81st minute following a beautiful pass over the top of the Kingston defense by Kevin Santamaria. Just a few minutes later Batista gave TSF the lead, beating Skonieczny for the game-winner in the 87th minute. TSF FC held its ground for the game’s final few minutes as the Stockade poured everything they had into attacking, but TSF still came away with a 4-3 victory.
Next up for TSF FC is a huge home game against conference leaders Elm City Express on Saturday, July 8th at DePaul Catholic High School in Wayne, NJ.