In a matchup of the defending regular season Southeast Conference champions and a new member looking for its first victory, it was expansion Greenville FC getting the win Saturday night at Pan American Stadium by a margin of 2-1.
The Jesters took a late first-half lead in the 39th minute, when a deflected ball found the feet of Tom Peers. He buried it far post for his fourth goal in all competitions this season and his third in NPSL play.
The Jesters missed several opportunities after that and Greenville FC made them pay with two goals just two minutes apart late in the second half.
First, Regsan Watkins got behind the Jesters back line for the equalizer in the 74th minute. Then two minutes later, Dalton Souder got the game winner off of a free kick opportunity from the side of the Jesters penalty area.
The match was also marred by some physical play at times. The teams combined for 10 second-half fouls, and Jesters right back Mason Morise was sent off on a red card late in the match after an altercation with a Greenville FC player.
“We dominated play and if you are going to dominate play and create chances, you have to put them away,” A disappointed Jesters Coach Kenny Farrell said after the match. “We didn’t put the team away and this is what happens to you. We have to learn from it. We have got a very good squad of players and can play good football, but you have to turn out results.”
Despite his goal scoring effort, Tom Peers said the result was disappointing.
“We controlled the game for all first half and dominated for most part of the second half but they scored two goals and it hurts to lose. But we need to go again. We have got two big games next week.”
The Jesters fall to 1-1 on the season and now head out on the road next week with matches at Inter Nashville FC, the team that beat New Orleans in last year’s playoffs. That match is Thursday night and then the Jesters travel to face their biggest rival, Chattanooga FC, Saturday night.
Contributor: New Orleans Jesters
Photo Credit: John Cage