“It starts with the disappointment of the last week,” said head coach Colin Clarke. “We’d been on the road and picked up four points following our last home game against Edmonton. We came home and felt like we dropped three points against San Francisco. Not taking anything away from [San Francisco], but this is our home and we don’t get beat here too often. It was a bit disappointing last week and that’s been our focus for this week. Even though we fell behind early on, I thought we showed a lot of character and guts to come back and win the game.”
NCFC is undefeated in its last five fixtures against Jacksonville and has never lost a home match to the Armada.
The club nearly opened the scoring immediately, as Lance Laing got through on goal in the sixth minute. However, Jacksonville’s goalkeeper, Caleb Patterson-Sewell did well to rush in and block the shot with his body. Jacksonville made the most of its first attack and scored in the 12th minute from Jack Blake’s penalty after a foul in the box.
Trailing 1-0, NCFC responded just 15 minutes later. James Marcelin scored the equalizer with a blast from 20 yards out in the 27th minute. Billy Schuler teed up Marcelin to earn the assist. The goal was Marcelin’s first of the season. After conceding a foul near its own 18-yard box in the 36th minute, NCFC relied on some brilliant goalkeeping from Brian Sylvestre. The shot stopper flew into action and deflected Blake’s free kick, which was bound for the top corner, over the bar.
Laing provided the highlight of the night and pulled NCFC in front with a wonder goal in the 41st minute. His perfectly-placed shot curled over the head of the keeper and dropped into the back corner of the net for his third goal of the season. Nazmi Albadawi provided the assist. After halftime, NCFC came out strong and continued to attack the Jacksonville goal.
The pressure paid off and Laing doubled NCFC’s lead with his second goal of the night in the 69th minute. After being pulled down in the box, Laing converted a penalty kick to score his fourth goal of the season. NCFC held strong on the defensive end and rode out the final 19 minutes to clinch the result.
- James Marcelin scored his first goal of the 2017 season with a powerful shot in the 27th minute.
- Billy Schuler earned his first start of the 2017 season and provided an assist on NCFC’s first goal of the night.
- Lance Laing became the team’s leading goal scorer for 2017 after adding his third and fourth goals of the season. His third was a beautiful shot that floated over the keeper and into the back of the net and his fourth was a penalty kick.
- Nazmi Albadawi continued to cause problems for Jacksonville as he’s done throughout his career. His assist tonight brings him to two goals and four assists in his career against the Armada.
- Jacksonville scored its first away goal in series history with Jack Blake’s converted penalty kick in the 12th minute.
- Albadawi, Connor Tobin, Steven Miller, Christian Ibeagha and Brian Sylvestre all started their seventh-consecutive game.
- The club is leading the league in home goals with eight scored this season.
NCFC: Brian Sylvestre; Paul Black (Kareem Moses 45’), Connor Tobin, Christian Ibeagaha, Steven Miller; Saeed Robinson (Bolu Akinyode 88’), James Marceclin, Nazmi Albadawi ©; Austin da Luz, Lance Laing (Tiyi Shipalane 78’); Billy Schuler
Subs not used: Macklin Robinson, Dre Fortune, Jonathon Orlando, Matt Fondy
JAX: Caleb Patterson-Sewell; Drew Beckie, Mechack Jerome, Kalen Ryden; Aaaron Pitchkolan ©, Jack Blake (Danny Barrow 71’), JC Banks, Kevan George, Zach Steinberger; Derek Gebhard (Jonathan Glenn 71’), Jemal Johnson (Charles Eloundou 60’)
Subs not used: Nicklas Maripuu, Devon Fisher, Kyle Nasta, Michael O’Sullivan
- NCFC: 3
- JAX: 1
- NCFC: Marcelin (Schuler, 27’), Laing (Albadawi, 41’), Laing (PK, 69’)
- JAX: Blake (PK, 12’)
- NCFC: --
- JAX: Beckie (26’)
- NCFC: --
- JAX: --