North Carolina FC 0 – 2 Forward Madison FC
Cary, NC—Some nights, no matter how hard you work, things just don’t go your way.
From the start, it looked like this would be Forward Madison FC’s night. Right out of the gate, they pushed down the field, testing the NCFC defense within the first 25 seconds. Derek Gebhard’s shot was blocked by goalkeeper Nicholas Holliday, but the rebound went right to the feet of Christian Chaney, who blasted the ball over the crossbar.
North Carolina answered with a chance in the second minute when Madison’s clearing attempt was intercepted just outside the box. The ball pinged to Louis Perez who uncorked a shot that clanged off the goalpost.
While it looked from the first few minutes that there might be a shootout at WakeMed Soccer Park, the Dead Whales had trouble cranking their attack, ultimately falling to the visiting Flamingoes 2-0.
MARTINEZ BANGER PUTS THE ‘MINGOES ON TOP
The visitors broke through in the 14th minute on a certified banger of a goal from Isidro Martinez that, like a sudden summer storm, came up out of nowhere.
Madison had been cycling the ball along the left side when Jake Crull shifted a pass inside for Martinez. The midfielder took a touch that bought him a moment to look up before he uncorked a rocket from 25 yards out that whistled over a fully outstretched Holliday to put the Flamingoes in front.
Oalex Anderson came so very close to leveling the score for North Carolina in the 32nd minute after Rafa Mentzingen delivered a beautiful long ball into his path. Anderson took a couple of touches to get closer to the goal and, with defender Mitch Osmund closing in, fired a shot that would have gone top shelf were it not for the heroics of goalkeeper Bernd Schipmann, who got a hand on the ball to preserve Madison’s lead.
HARD WORK, NO REWARD
You can’t look at NCFC’s performance Saturday night and criticize the effort, especially after the game when bodies were sprawled around the field. The Dead Whales just couldn’t find that finishing touch (and when they did, the goalkeeper—and goalpost—saved the day for the Flamingoes). And Madison simply did a good job of thwarting NCFC’s attack, whether it was by being physical or playing North Carolina attackers offside.
Head coach John Bradford was pleased that his team fought through a “sluggish” start, “…defensively it just seemed like we were five yards off of every opportunity where we could have squeezed things a bit more.
“And then obviously to give up a goal gives them a bit of momentum and we have to get back to the drawing board and have to figure some things out. So, not a great start…the group kept fighting, which is great, but at the same time, the quality wasn’t there tonight.”
Osmund iced the game for the visitors in the 68th minute when he climbed the ladder to get his head on the end of a Martinez corner kick. The Flamingoes captain found the seam between Holliday and the near post to make it 2-0 for Forward Madison.
First @ForwardMSNFC goal for the captain, and what a goal it was — USL League One (@USLLeagueOne) May 14, 2023
Mitch Osmond's headed finish has the unbeaten 'Mingos even closer to a massive three points!#NCvMAD // #OneForAll pic.twitter.com/sbZdPH4PES
Bradford pointed out in his post-game remarks that it was disappointing to give up a goal on a set piece because his team has been doing a good job of defending them recently.
SO, WHAT’S THE GOOD NEWS?
You don’t have to search far to find the silver lining after Saturday evening’s loss.
- They play again on Wednesday against Richmond (who also played Saturday night).
- NCFC is still top of the table.
“I do appreciate the fact that it’s a quick turnaround,” Bradford said. “I think for us, it’s stay the course with what we know has been good football and good competition. And the good thing is that we have a couple of days to recover, just like Richmond does from the game that they had and we’re right back out here on Wednesday. So, looking forward to turning it back around immediately.”
NCFC is right back at it Wednesday night when the Richmond Kickers come to Cary. It’s the last home game before a three-game road trip that keeps them away from WMSP for a month. Get your tickets at northcarolinafc.com/tickets.
North Carolina FC (4-4-2): N. Holliday; C. Lue Young, D. Navarro©, G. Fernandes, N. Flores Blanco; L. Arriaga (S. Adams 72’), M. Maldonado, L. Perez (R. Somersall 72’), J. Servania (D.J. Benton 84’); R. Mentzingen (P. Popp 84’), O. Anderson (G. McLaughlin 72’)
Forward Madison FC: B. Schipmann; S. Payne, M. Osmond©, T. Mehl, J. Crull; I. Martinez, A. Wheeler-Omiunu (A. Mesias 75’), J. Onen (M. Chichero 61’); N. Bartman (W. Prentice 75’) D. Gebhard, C. Chaney
North Carolina FC: 0
Forward Madison FC: 2
North Carolina FC: none
Forward Madison FC: I. Martinez (J. Crull) 14’; M. Osmund (I. Martinez) 68’
North Carolina FC: D. Navarro (YC) 47’; L. Arriaga 60’
Forward Madison FC: J. Onen (YC) 45+2’; I. Martinez (YC) 90+2’; B. Schipmann (YC) 90+7’