Category: Archive

New Jersey Emeralds battle to draw

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The Emeralds F.C. fought to a wild 4-4 draw at Pompton Lakes, overcoming 2-0 and 4-3 deficits to grab a point in the North Jersey Soccer League’s "A" Division. Pat Burke and Jon Gallagher scored a goal each, and John Dillon added a pair.

The Emeralds got off to a strong start, controlling midfield play and creating a number of good chances. Frank Heavey, Pat Burke, and John Dillon all went close but didn’t force the keeper to make any saves. Karl Brody’s well-struck shot was right at the Pompton Lakes goalkeeper and was easily saved. Pompton Lakes opened the scoring midway through the first half on a throw-in. The home side’s attacker slipped in ahead of the Emeralds’ defender and left Bill McQuillen without a chance as he nodded the ball into the open net. Pompton Lakes continued their pressure, going wide with some good chances. Minutes before the break, Pompton Lakes doubled their lead. After beating the defense to a long ball played down the right wing, the Pompton Lakes forward pushed a hopefully cross into Emeralds box where they had numbers. Finbar Mackle inadvertently deflected the attempt into his own net and again Bill McQuillen was left with no chance to make a play.

The Emeralds went into the second half down by two but were clearly still in the match and wishing they had finished better on earlier chances.

The second half again saw the Emeralds get off to another strong start, and within minutes they cut the deficit to 2-1. Pat Burke met John Gallagher’s corner kick at the far post, nodding it back across the goalmouth, where John Dillon beat the defense and the goalkeeper to open the Emeralds’ account. The score gave the Emeralds the momentum and within minutes they found the equalizer. John Dillon sent Pat Burke in alone with the Pompton Lakes keeper, and he knotted the score at 2-2 with a clever chip in the far side netting.

With the home side’s defense back on their heels from two quick strikes, John Gallagher gave Emeralds their only lead on the day with the goal of the match. Seeing the goalkeeper just off his line, Gallagher drilled a high shot inside the far post from about 35 yards. With the home side in disarray and ahead 3-2, the Emeralds unwisely took their feet off the pedal and looked to protect the lead. The defense thwarted numerous attacks and McQuillen easily collected a number of poorly placed crosses and lead passes, but Pompton Lakes pressure eventually breached the Emeralds defense. After winning a corner, Pompton Lakes again outhustled the Emeralds defense and turned a header by McQuillen into the net despite Mick O’Connor’s efforts to hold it at the line. To make matters worse, Finn Mackle left the match with an injury and the defense was forced to scramble to recover their form.

Minutes later Pompton Lakes was again on top at 4-3. After catching the Emeralds flat-footed after a questionable throw-in call, Pompton Lakes scored on a well-placed shot from just outside the area that eluded Bill McQuillen’s dive. Five minutes from time, John Dillon saved the day and earned the Emeralds a point when he eluded two defenders and wrong-footed the goalkeeper, sending him right then beating him at the left post. The game ended at 4-4. Emeralds remained undefeated, starting the season with back to back draws.

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