By Michael Heilman/Atlantic City FC
With a playoff berth on the line, FC Monmouth and Atlantic City FC took to the field in front of
a strong and lively crowd. Atlantic City FC did not get off to a good start early on in the first
half. FC Monmouth’s offense penetrated the Aces defense only to be met by goalkeeper Matt
Perrella, who stopped the attacking opposition by deflecting several shots.
FC Monmouth got on the board in the 20 th minute as Brain Hawkins, with an assist from Sam
Decencio, lofted one past Perrella to give Monmouth a 1-0 lead. The Aces would tie the game
up in the 28 th minute when Joao Brum rebounded a shot from goalkeeper Jake Leahy, who
punched one right at Brum. Then Brum faked out a Monmouth defender and scorched one to the
right corner of the net to make it a 1-1 game. Brum’s latest goal gave him six goals for the
The Aces would take the lead in the 30 th minute when Walter Calderon, with the assist from
Jacques Francois and Michael Bello, chipped a shot by Leahy to give the Aces a 2-1 lead.
Monmouth made one last charge to try and tie the game, but the whistle was blown to end the
At the start of the second half, FC Monmouth would again pressure the Aces defense.
Monmouth’s aggressive play would help them tie the game up when Perrella left the goal box to
try to recover the ball only to have Bryant Knibbs prevent the attempted save and launch one into
the net to tie the game up at 2-2 in the 51 st minute.
The Aces would take command of the game from there and in the 75 th minute Walter Calderon
scored his second goal of the game, with an assist from Joao Brum, putting the Aces on top 3-2.
One minute later Calderon would complete a hat trick, with an assist from David Nigro. The
latter set up a long pass to Calderon, who rocketed one by Leahy to put the game away with a 4-
2 final score. This was Calderon’s second hat trick of the season and ties him with fellow Aces
Joao Brum and Alex Satrustegui with six goals a piece. Calderon was named Man of the Match.
The Aces improved their record to 6-2-1 and clinched a playoff spot in the Keystone Conference.
The Aces close out the regular season Saturday afternoon against FC Motown at Egg Harbor
Township High School’s Silver Eagle Stadium at 4:00 pm.
Photos Courtesy of Atlantic City FC