By Evan McMurtrie/FC Monmouth
FC Monmouth completed their stretch of back-to-back Pennsylvania road trips with a 3-2 victory over Electric City Shock SC at the University of Scranton on Wednesday night.
“We’re getting better and better every time we play with each other and it’s showing out on the field,” said forward Regsan Watkins. “As long as we keep playing together and keep playing confident, the sky is the limit for us in this very short season.”
Midfielder Bryant Knibbs opened what would prove to be a hectic opening 45 minutes with a goal just eight minutes into the match. After taking the space in front of him, Knibbs unleashed a strike from outside of the box that smacked off of the bottom of the crossbar and into the back corner of the net to give FC Monmouth the early advantage.
“I was hoping going into this game I would get an opportunity to get my first goal for the team and kind of contribute,” Knibbs said. “I got a lot of space to go forward and then the defender stepped to me, so I just let one rip.”
“Nothing’s gonna top Knibbsy’s goal,” Head Coach Brian Woods said. “That was probably the best goal we’re gonna see maybe all year… I thought that they had no answers for him in the first half, that was the best I’ve seen Knibbsy play in a long time. That first half [team performance] was because of his ability to get to the box and make things happen.”
Five minutes later, the hosts equalized with a cross into the box that was headed in by midfielder Sergio Bortolon.
FC Monmouth re-took the lead almost instantly through Watkins. A free kick was sent into the penalty area and was deflected into the path of Watkins off of a defender. The forward slotted the ball into the far corner with his first touch to make the score 2-1.
“As a striker, you’ve got to be in those positions to score and fortunately it fell there and I just made sure I had good contact and put it away,” he said.
In the 24th minute, Watkins became FC Monmouth’s all-time leading goalscorer with a close-range finish. Forward Brian Hawkins brought the ball to the byline and sent a low cross into the middle, where Watkins was perfectly positioned to place the ball past the goalkeeper.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for this club,” Watkins said. “But I think it’s a good representation of the work the team does to put me in positions to score, so it’s an overall effort and not just the product of one person.”
The 3-1 lead that FC Monmouth went into halftime with nearly held for the full 90 minutes, until Electric City pulled one back in stoppage time after catching goalkeeper Trevor Zabilowicz off his line.
Unbeaten in their last four games, FC Monmouth heads into Saturday’s match at home versus Torch FC with a record of 4-1-1.
“They’re [the three points] extremely important,” said Woods. “To come away [from the Pennsylvania trip] with six points puts us in a very good position, but we need this win on Saturday just like we need every win.”
Photo Credit: Joey Dicamillo/FC Monmouth