The New York Shockers faced the Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds for their first home match at the Afrim’s Sports Park Saturday night in a game that offered plenty of action. Despite the chilly weather and cloudy skies, the Shockers treated their home support to a show of offensive and defensive prowess putting 4 goals past the Rough Diamonds all the while maintaining a clean sheet.
The beginning of the match was dominated by the Shockers who saw a lot of the ball inside of the Rough Diamonds half putting their defense under constant pressure. Shockers’ best chances of the half came off of a number of corners and free kicks from all sides of the Lowell box, but they all failed to find the back of the net. Playing primarily a counter-attacking offense, the Diamonds attack was able to stretch the Black and Yellow defense on a few occasions, but the rock-solid back four kept everyone in check. Other than some physical challenges and a yellow card to a Rough Diamonds defender for a challenge just outside of the box, the first half ended scoreless.
Both teams came out for the second half looking to take control of the match, but it was the relentless attack of Shockers #10 Adetayo Adefioye in the 52nd minute that eventually broke the game open. Using his quickness in behind the Diamonds’ defenders he earned himself a penalty which he confidently put past the keeper. The first Shockers goal scored at home seemed to only boost the already brimming confidence being shown from the Black and Yellow side and they turned up the pressure on the Diamonds. In the 67th minute only moments after being subbed on, #16 Ryan Kim for the Shockers got a hold of the ball right on the edge of the box and sent a beautiful curler past the outstretched hands of the keeper to add to the home side's advantage. After this goal both sides started making use of their 6 allowed substitutions, slowing down the game a bit but not enough to stop the Shockers’ attack. In the 70th minute, Adefioye added to his opening goal with a crashing effort that only strengthened the Shockers’ hold on the match. Completing the hat trick in the 85th minute with his third goal, the Shockers’ #10 capped off a dominating performance that stretched and tested the Diamond’s defense for all 90 minutes.
At full time it was clear, the Shockers were the class of the day winning 4-0 and seeing off any legitimate threat to their own net. Outstanding performances across the whole Shockers’ roster on the night but the clear-cut difference maker and Man of the Match has to be the Shockers forward Adetayo Adefioye. He worked hard from the start of the match and continually tested the Diamond’s defense in completing his hat trick that felt inevitable. The Shockers’ (3-1-0, W-L-D) will travel to Revere, MA to face Boston City FC on Saturday June 5th for their next match of the regular season.