Expansion 2020

FC Monmouth Defeats Torch FC 3-1

By Evan McMurtrie/FC Monmouth

FC Monmouth moved up to the top of the Keystone Conference table for the first time in club
history after defeating Torch FC at Count Basie Park, 3-1, on Saturday night.

“This, I guess in this day and age, is called a ‘trap game’,” said FC Monmouth head coach Brian
Woods. “Knowing that we were going into three of the biggest matches of the year, and
especially playing [FC] Motown, I could see us overlooking this team (Torch). I did all we
could to make sure that we didn’t overlook this team.”

The visitors took a surprise lead in the fourth minute off of what was their fourth corner kick in
that span. A cross was sent in and headed down by forward Corban Crosley. It bounced just
inside of the right post to give Torch the early edge.

After dominating possession as they searched for an equalizer, FC Monmouth got it in the 35th
minute from forward Anthony Rovito. Defender Zach Pereira chipped in a cross from the right
wing that found its way to Rovito through traffic and untouched at the back post. The forward
side-footed the ball into the roof of the net from close range with his first touch to level the score.

“It was a great service from Zach, unbelievable,” Rovito said. “Whipped in right behind the back
four, between them and the keeper, and I was able to get there and get the finish.”

FC Monmouth came out firing less than 60 seconds into the second half, as REFIX Man of the
Match Bryant Knibbs scored a goal just as beautiful as his long-distance strike on Wednesday.
After passing his way through the Torch defense off of forwards Brian Hawkins and Regsan
Watkins, Knibbs took a touch past the last defender in the box and slotted the ball into the corner
to put the Blue and Gold in front.

“Knibbsy again, the same way as he did the other day, he really just took over the game,” Woods
said.

“Goals are goals, but at the end of the day, three points is all we want,” said Knibbs. “It’s
[REFIX MOTM] an honor, but again, it’s about the end result, it’s not just about me.”

Ten minutes later, Watkins extended FC Monmouth’s lead to two. After a shot was spilled back
out in front of goal by the keeper, Watkins was in the right place at the right time to tap the ball
into the back of the net from inside the six yard box.

“In the second half we came out with more urgency, more purpose,” said FC Monmouth
assistant coach Peter-John Falloon. “So the end result showed the change in attitude and
mentality, I think that was the biggest difference.”

From there, FC Monmouth cruised their way to victory for the remainder of the second half, as
Woods gave extended playing time to defender Mike Tapp, midfielders Paul Ramsey and Dakota
Dobrovich-Fago, and forwards Anes Mrkulic and Sebastian Rodriguez.

“I was also happy that we got some guys some real quality time in this match, some guys who
haven’t seen the field all that much,” said Woods.

With the win, FC Monmouth now faces three tough opponents to end the regular season: FC
Motown, Atlantic City FC, and West Chester United SC, respectively.

Rovito said, “Mentally, we’re more than ready for any challenge that comes our way — next
week, the week after that, continuing on.”

Photo Credit: Mike Langish

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