KINGSTON, NY – Hartford City FC proved too much for Stockade FC as the visitors spoiled Kingston’s 2022 National Premier Soccer League season opener with a comeback 2-1 victory in the Wooden Shoe Derby at Dietz Stadium on Saturday.
“We had some good energy our reserves came in and gave us some good energy,” Kingston Coach Jamal Lis-Simmons said. “It’s a tough way to start the season, especially in front of our home supporters like this.” Stockade drew 990 fans, a new record for a Kingston opener.
“It took us a while to really find a rhythm offensively, that, of course, we didn’t put away,” Lis-Simmons said. “In the end hats off to them. They were the better team in the end. ”
Trailing 1-0 at half after Scott Zobre put Stockade (0-1) on the board in the 11th minute and playing off strong momentum late in the first, Hartford got off to a roaring start in the second with Alec Hughes drawing it even in the 46th minute.
“Giving up a goal like that in the first minute like that was definitely deflating,” Lis-Simmons said.
And Hartford City did not let off the gas through the first 20 minutes of the half, with Tim Ennin firing in the deciding goal for the visotrs (1-0) in the 65th minute.
After a number of substitutions, Stockade started to regain its composure, with Kingston finding some chances Andrew Cutler-DeJesus fired a strike right at the net in the 76th, but it was scooped up by the Hartford keeper.
Hartford found another chance on the counter minutes later, but Kingston keeper Lorenzo Nunez came up with the ball to keep Kingston in the contest.
Stockade found a couple of more chances on a corner in the 87th and 89th minutes on a free kick taken by Cutler-DeJesus but couldn’t finish off either one.
Hartford managed to get the ball across the face of the goal in stoppage time before Stockade found one more chance that rolled just right of the near post as the final whistle approached. And for the second-straight meeting, it lost to Hartford, which defeated it in last year’s division championship.
“The conference is challenging all the time, whether you’re at home, or on the road, you’re facing good opponents,” Lin-Simmons said. “You’ve got to be on your A game to take away three points and we weren’t on our A game tonight.”
Looking forward to next Saturday’s road contest against the brand new NPSL side Syracuse FC at 3 pm Lis-Simmons said Kingston needs to work on pretty much everything.
“A lot of it’s just getting these guys familiar with each other,” he said. “We’ve got to get better offensively, defensively than we were tonight if we want to win this conference.”