(Central Jersey) - The Real Central NJ Soccer (RCNJ) lost a heated match against West Chester United 2-1 in the club’s USL League Two home opener. This was the first game of the season and was filled with excitement down to the last minute!
West Chester United opened the scoring in just the 4th minute when Harrison Coron passed to Dominick Bachstein when they scored on their first shot of the game. Bachstein’s shot was just inside the box, being hit to the top left corner of the goal.
Throughout the first half, RCNJ had some good crosses come in from the left side of the field from multiple different players. The target at the end of those services was Hale Lombard who headed those crosses just over the goal.
At the start of the second half, it was an even battle of close chances by both teams. It wasn’t soon after that RCNJ would have their breakthrough in the 53 minute. Martin Chladek played a long ball driven on the ground from defense to Hale Lombard. Lombard had drawn the defense towards him so he smartly let the ball run by him, which let Nicolas Theberge run onto the ball behind the defense unmarked. Theberge was able to go 1-on-1 with the goalie and slot it by him in the lower left corner to tie up the game.
The game continued to go back and forth with a lot of grit, causing multiple yellow cards given to both teams. The game seemed to be winding down to the last few minutes looking like it was going to end in a tie.
However, in the 90th minute of play, West Chester United scored. There was a lot of scramble in front of the net. A player on West Chester sent a low shot that was scuffed and landed right to the feet of Michael Hewes who was unmarked just a few feet in front of the goal. Hewes was able to tap it right in.
There was four minutes of extra time added on to the 90 minutes at the end of the game where RCNJ was scraping to get a final equalizing goal. Real Central thought their prayers were answered when they were granted a penalty kick when a player was taken down in the box. However, after the referee checked with his sideline ref, it was taken back. It was a momentum crusher for Real Central having that taken away from them.
The game ended in a 2-1 win by West Chester United S.C.
“Now, we've got the first game jitters out — first game out on the big new field,” said goalie, Eric Wnorowski, explaining how it's only going to get better from here. “Not the result we wanted. Rough start in the first five but the fact that we pulled it back and was able to compete for 40 minutes and come out in the second half and get a goal and fight to the end was tough.”
Real Central NJ Soccer’s USL team returns to Rider University's Ben Cohen Field at 7pm on Saturday, May 20th to face off against the Ocean City Nor’Easters, who went undefeated during the 2022 season.
“The guys just didn’t give up and had a great belief,” said head coach Brian Woods. “The first two weeks of training got the guys playing like a team and today’s performance shows it. But we can’t let up. Ocean City is always a solid side.”
While the score may not have stacked up as the team wanted, the event was a great success with fans young and old enjoying the pregame activities, passionate soccer, and host facilities. The RCNJ women’s home opener is Sunday, May 21st at 5pm also at Ben Cohen Field at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ.