In soccer parlance, the phrase “playing on the front foot” is used when one side is putting the opposition under pressure, playing with confidence and showing itself to be a constant threat to score.
On Saturday afternoon at Dietz Stadium, Kingston Stockade FC spent the full 90 minutes showing itself to be the embodiment of playing on the front foot, as Stockade went at New York Athletic Club early and kept the pressure on throughout, en route to an impressive 4-1 victory.
The home side went up in the seventh minute, thanks to a lovely, powerful strike from forward Victor Guirma. The goal was the Howard University product’s second in as many matches, coming on the heels of his impressive goal against Hartford City FC last weekend.
Stockade then doubled their lead in the 28th minute thanks to a poised breakaway goal from David Nikansah-Siriboe. The Marist College forward made an impressive run and found himself one-on-one with the NYAC goalkeeper. Rather than blast it from a tough angle, however, Nikansah-Siriboe dragged it past the goalkeeper with a lovely dribble and then passed it calmly into the back of the net.
Scott Zobre then made it 3-0 with a well-driven follow-up in the 82nd minute. Playing at right back rather than higher up the pitch as he normally does, Zobre made life very difficult for NYAC all afternoon with an impressive mix of pacey runs and expert tackling.
But perhaps the gem of the day came from winger Pedro Espindola. Espindola also found himself on a breakaway with the NYAC sticksman, but rather than fire hard at the net or try to go around the keeper, the SUNY Albany product converted via an extremely impressive chip from close range that barely flitted beneath the crossbar before nestling into the back of the opposition goal in the 83rd minute. Espindola then ran straight to the home stand and celebrated his bona fide golazo with the Stockade fans, much to the crowd’s delight.
NYAC’s Laurin Vogel then scored the final goal of the day in the 85th minute, which led to the final score of 4-1. While the goal denied Stockade goalkeeper David Giddings a shutout in his first appearance of the season, Giddings still had an impressive day in net, as he made a handful of crucial, difficult saves that kept the visitors operating at a deficit for the duration of the match.
The 4-1 win means Stockade duplicated its offensive output earlier in the season against NYAC, as Kingston won 4-0 on the road on May 22.
The home match paid tribute to Kingston’s local first responders, as policemen, firemen and emergency personnel from the community were all given two free tickets to the match. Official attendance was announced at 693.