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REAL CENTRAL NJ MEN’S USL2 MATCH ENDS IN A HARD 4-1 LOSS TO THE OCEAN CITY NOR’EASTERS

(Central New Jersey) Sunday, June 23, 2024—The Real Central NJ (RCNJ) men suffered a rough loss against the Ocean City Nor’Easters (OCN) away at Carey Stadium Sunday night. Ocean City scored an early penalty and did not let off the pressure. RCNJ was able to get a goal late but could not mount enough of a comeback to seize the draw. 

Real Central NJ starting eleven shaking hands at center field before the game.
Photo Credit: Ira Jersey

“We could have played better,” Coach Brian Woods commented post-game. “We’re missing a few pieces tonight, which always happens this time of year. Losing Hugo and Martin hurt us a bit, but it is a situation we have to overcome. We just need to be better going into the next two games.”


MATCH RECAP

  • OCN - 14th minute: Goal came from a penalty after RCNJ goalkeeper Andrew Kempe landed on an OCN attacker while attempting to make a save. OCN 1, RCNJ 0

  • OCN - 36th minute: The second goal also came from a penalty, but this time while attempting to win a fifty-fifty ball in the box. OCN 2, RCNJ 0

  • OCN - 47th minute: A throw-in from the sideline was sent into the box, it was deflected down and found a Nor’Easters’s boot. OCN 3 RCNJ 0

  • OCN - 57th minute: A through ball was played across the penalty area; they took a touch and put one past the keeper. OCN 4, RCNJ 0 

  • RCNJ - Curt Calov 82nd minute: Calov dribbled through the Ocean City back line and beat their keeper one-on-one with a low dribbling shot. OCN 4, RCNJ 1


The first half was all Ocean City, as their persistent attack began in the fifth minute. Their first shot came off a corner kick that was played high and into the box, where it met the head of a Nor’Easter attacker and cruised well over the crossbar. 


Their next opportunity came from a throw-in just yards past the corner flag. Real Central NJ’s keeper, Andrew Kempe, punched the ball away, but Ocean City was still able to get their foot to the rebound. The shot made it past Kempe and met the foot of an RCNJ defender playing the goal line, who was able to clear it out wide to escape a sticky situation. 


The Nor’Easters did not go away, as they got another chance in the twelfth minute off another throw-in. The throw soared into the box and met the hands of Kempe, who was unable to secure it. Ocean City was able to find the ball with an open net, but Kempe intentionally fouled in the box in hopes of avoiding a goal; however, he was unable to save the penalty in the fourteenth. OCN 1, RCNJ 0


Ocean City found a few more attempts in both the nineteenth and the twenty-fourth, with both ending in saves for RCNJ’s Andrew Kempe. However, they found their second goal of the game in the thirty-sixth on another penalty following a chippy fifty-fifty ball inside the box.   OCN 2, RCNJ 0


To end the first half, the Nor’Easters found another chance in the forty-fourth. They played a ball into the D from the right wing; their shot was high and strong, and it bounced off the crossbar just above the top right corner of the goal. 


They struck again almost immediately out of the half, finding the back of the net again in the forty-seventh. The goal came off yet another throw-in; this time, after being deflected down, it sat right in front of a Nor’Easter attacker who was able to secure goal number three for Ocean City. OCN 3, RCNJ 0


Real Central NJ got their first shot on goal of the night in the fifty-fifth minute after being awarded a free kick following some rough contact nearly ten yards from the penalty box. Curt Calov was the taker. He rifled a shot low and drove it toward the bottom left corner; however, it was just shy of the near post. 


Ocean City’s final goal came in the fifty-seventh minute as they ran the ball down the sideline and played a through ball into the box. Their attacker received the ball, took a touch, and buried a shot past Kempe for their fourth goal of the game. OCN 4, RCNJ 0


The Nor’Easters had two more empty attempts, one in the sixty-third and the sixty-sixth. The first was a shot off a half-volley following a corner kick that banged off the crossbar. The second came from a first-touch shot that was sent bouncing hard toward the bottom left corner, which Kempe saved. 


At the end of the second half, RCNJ began putting together a couple of attacks. The first came in the seventy-sixth minute, as Christopher Cushing attacked from the left side of the field, dribbling in and out of defenders. As he found himself around the tip of the penalty box, he ripped a shot to the bottom left corner, but it was saved. 


The last attack of the game came from Curt Calov. In the eighty-second minute, he worked his way down the sideline through the Ocean City back line, where he ended up one-on-one with the keeper. Calov ripped a shot that bounced over the keeper's hands and into the back of the goal - making sure they did not leave empty-handed. OCN 4, RCNJ 1


RCNJ supporters were out in force, with more than two dozen fans cheering on the team and celebrating the late RCNJ goal.


“They were a very good team,” said Coach Woods. “With that said, I think we showed ourselves fairly well; we just played a good team. ”


Currently, mid-table, the RCNJ men have playoff potential. Two of the team’s next three matches are against second-place Reading United, while third-place West Chester has a hard road into the last week of the season. Winning out should get RCNJ the first playoff berth in USL2 play.  


The next match is a women’s home game against SJEB FC on June 25th at 7 PM at Rider University’s Ben Cohen Field. Purchase match-day tickets and season passes on the Real Central NJ Soccer website.


The men play next against Reading United AC on Saturday, June 29, at 7 PM at Alvernia University’s Makuvek Field. Stream the match here. 




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