By Ian Bolger/Florida Roots FC
The Florida Roots Futbol Club (0-4-1) suffered their fourth-straight loss against the New Orleans Jesters (2-2-1), 1-0, on Thursday evening at Tommy Oliver Stadium. It is the Roots’ second loss at home this season, while the Jesters pick up their second win of their season.
This win for New Orleans brings them up to seven total points in the stacked Gulf Coast Conference, while the Roots remain with only one point on the season that came from their draw against Tallahassee SC in the season opener.
“I think we’re right there,” defender Taylor Bradley said about falling short of their first win in NPSL history. “We’ve had a couple tough breaks recently and we’re still looking for that first one. It’s hard we didn’t get it in front of the home fans tonight, but I think we’re right there. We got the pieces in place, we just all have to come together and put it together.”
The game started with empty opportunities from both sides starting with the Roots, who had midfielder Andrew Beasley miss on a hard shot at the goal that was deflected by a defender in the area. New Orleans returned the favor with a great cross attempt just minutes later, but goalkeeper Zach Moenter was able to get his hands on the ball and block the shot for the Roots.
The exchanges kept on coming between the two teams, as the Roots tried a cross of their own, but the ball sailed over the head of Sammy Sanchez and out of play. The Jesters had a chance to score on a corner kick later in the half, but the Roots’ defense stood strong once again.
In the 36th minute, a long pass by New Orleans’ midfielder to their attacker helped put the ball in the net for what everyone thought was the first goal of the night, but the officials called offsides on the play and the game stayed tied up.
Play started to get physical late in the first half and early in the second half with multiple fouls being assessed to both teams, as well as injuries that occurred during that time.
In the 62nd minute, New Orleans attempted a header on goal, but the shot went right into the hands of Moenter. Just two minutes later, the Jesters executed the exact same way and were able to put the ball in the back of the net to give them the 1-0 lead in the second half.
The Roots tried to score on a header of their own, but it landed just off the target in the 76th minute. There were ample opportunities for the Roots to score in the final minutes of the game, but none of the chances were successful and they fell for the fourth time this season.
“I definitely think we’re making progress,” said midfielder Andrew Beasley after the loss on Thursday night. “We’re getting better and better every game we go. The win is right there for us and as soon as we get that [first win], the floodgates will open and we’re not getting stopped.”
The Florida Roots will head back out on the road this weekend when they take on Port City FC on Saturday, June 5th at 7:00 pm.
Photo Credit: Paul Kearns