The Mighty Oak finished off a season sweep over FC Columbus at home thanks to a 4-1 victory. Having already played on Friday and only managed a draw (despite a clean sheet), some rotation was necessary and it helped spur AFCAA to a big victory in the NPSL playoff hunt. Whether in possession or out of possession and in the counter, it seemed that AFC were comfortable in the match and a four goal outing made the match even sweeter.
From the start of the match, AFC were able to get control of the match thanks to an early goal off a corner kick. James Vaughan send a lovely ball into the box and Yazeed Matthews finished with a header into the net at the near post in just the fourth minute. Matthews would rattle the post just minutes later with another hard attempt. The next minute would see Ian McGrane pressed into action with a nice save off a free kick, but these frantic opening ten minutes would be just the start of the excitement.
In the 29th minute, Columbus gave the ball away in their third and Sebastian Chalbaud needed only a touch to help it onto Matthews’s feet. The rest was Matthews dicing up the Columbus defense as he finished in a similarly cool fashion. Then, in the 37th minute, Jake Rufe made an incisive pass through the heart of the of the defense. Joseph Musgrave came all the way out of his net to try and clear, but Jarred Dass got a touch on it to round him and finish easily into the net. At halftime The Mighty Oak equaled their three scored in Columbus.
The opening fifteen minutes of the second half were comfortable for AFCAA, and they would ultimately add a fourth. Thanks to a bit of loose play out of the back, Matthews would find Vaughan in the box, but his shot was saved well. Chalbaud was continuing a forward run, though, and he would finish the play by drilling the ball into the back of the net. The game would get chippy at times, but The Mighty Oak kept cool heads. They would concede in the 87th minute with Devyn Etling following up a well-saved long shot by Spencer Ward.
The four goals in the match were the most scored this season for AFCAA and will make up 40% of the team’s current NPSL goal output. A brace from Matthews was nice to see and means that all three of his goals came in the two matches against FC Columbus. Additionally, Chalbaud contributed both a goal and assist to the cause while in the back, things remained steady as ever. Against a dangerous attack, the back line held strong and all four men in defense deserve credit for 87 minutes of goalless football.
The Mighty Oak will be back in action next Friday, June 14th, on the road against Toledo Villa FC. Results elsewhere mean that while Grand Rapids and Detroit City have a game in hand, they are within a point of GRFC, and a point ahead of DCFC.