On a steamy evening in Cincinnati, neither Toledo Villa FC nor Kings Hammer FC were able to break the deadlock, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw.
Toledo Villa FC had to deal with some squad rotation and we saw a new formation from the starting whistle. Coach Johnson decided to roll out a new look, 3-4-3 formation from the start of the match. The extra central defender would provide extra defensive solidity as the group had two away matches in one weekend. Francis Kwashie, the Canadian Freshman defender from Spring Arbor University, was finally available to play, and he slotted in alongside Joey Akpunonu and Anouar Adam in central defense. Up front, we saw Nathan Masters slot in as a withdrawn forward, flanked by Kainan Dos Santos and Josh Hughes.
We had a fantastic opportunity to get a goal in the opening two minutes. The ball was played into Nathan Masters up top, and he was able to combine with Kainan Dos Santos to get him in behind the Kings Hammer defense. The Kings Hammer goalkeeper came off his line well and deflected the shot. Masters was able to follow up, but his effort was deflected out by a defender for a corner kick.
The weather was hot and humid, and definitely had an effect on the pace of the match. Neither team looked to build too quickly due to the heat. This led to a slower back and forth without much threatening play. Kings Hammer had former FC Cincinnati midfielder Kenney Walker patrolling central midfield, and the veteran’s presence made things difficult for our possession game. The score remained scoreless heading into the break.
The second half, both teams were able to find a few more chances. In the 58th minute, Kings Hammer had their best opportunity of the match. They had some good combination passing down their right flank. This allowed them to get the ball into the center for an open shot. Goalkeeper David Coffey sprawled out and his arm deflected the shot into the post and crossbar. The ball looped toward the back post, where the Kings Hammer player won a header, but it went just wide of the post.
Our best opportunity came a few minutes later in the 65th minute. A corner kick was partially cleared by Kings Hammer. Brian McGivern picked up the ball and hit a floated cross to the back post for a wide-open Joey Akpunonu. His header hit the outside of the post and out for a goal kick.
The game lacked a cutting edge for the rest of the match, ending into a 0-0 draw. The result left us at 2-1-3 on the season for 9 points. Kings Hammer FC remained ahead in the standings with 11 points. The boys had to rebound quickly, because the next match was against Dayton Dutch Lions on Sunday June 6th.