By Kristian Dyer/NPSL.com
A first half goal and an assist by Nerlin St. Vil was not enough to lift FC Motown, the NPSL club losing 3-2 to West Chester United SC on Tuesday night in the First Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
A goal in the fourth minute of extratime by substitute Jacob Gosselin proved to be the winner for West Chester. Gosselin got on the end of a cross from the left side of the penalty area, the forward powering a left-footed shot from six yards away past a helpless David Greczek in Motown’s goal.
Playing at Montclair State University’s Soccer Park, north Jersey based Motown started the match strong. In the 10th minute, Motown’s Ryan Peterson served in a cross from the left side, the bouncing ball deflecting and falling via a deflection to Nerlin St. Vil. The pacey and skilled winger put away a bouncing ball from 12 yards out, powering his shot to the left of West Chester goalkeeper Cameron Sanders.
FC Motown, the more aggressive side in the first half, nearly doubled the lead in the 29th minute when West Chester turned the ball over in their own end but Peterson’s shot from 15 yards out just barely missed the near post.
West Chester seemed slow to figure out Motown, who created the majority of solid chances in the first half despite the visitors enjoying the majority of possession.
In first half stoppage time, Motown doubled their lead. Sanders punted and St. Vil nodded his head onto the path of Joseph Fala. The forward collected the ball, took one touch, rounded the goalkeeper and with his left foot put the home side up 2-0.
With the influential duo of Dilly Duka and St. Vil substituted out at halftime for Motown due to injuries, it was West Chester who took control of the match. Duka and St. Vil were arguably the best players on the pitch, and their absence in the second half saw the visitors wrestle control of the match.
“Listen, all credit to West Chester, they are a team that never gave up and they’re a great team,” said FC Motown head coach Sacir Hot after the match. “I think losing Nerlin and Dilly affected us in the second half. Perhaps our level dropped a bit. You can never write off West Chester. Those guys always play, from minute one to minute 90.”
West Chester pulled one back in the 56th minute when Levi Maruca received the ball in the final third. With space and no one challenging him, Maruca carried the ball and unleashed a beautiful right-footed shot from 22 yards out and into the top corner, past an outstretched David Greczek in Motown’s goal.
Then in the 79th minute, West Chester drew even. Blaise Milanek did well to get to the head of a Maruca cross from the left channel. Milanek rose up in traffic and snapped a header across goal and past Greczek for a 2-2 scoreline.
And when West Chester pulled ahead in the opening minutes of extra time, Motown simply didn’t have much left in the tank to find an equalizer. Gosselin’s deadly finishing from six yards out left Motown chasing the game and on the wrong side of the result.
“My team knew what was on the line and they left it all out there,” Hot said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more. They knew that winning this game would bring them a step closer to playing a professional club. I’m proud of what they did tonight against a quality side with some fantastic players. There’s a lot for us to build on here.”