A second half rally wasn’t enough for Middlesboro on Monday as the Yellow Jackets lost 2-1 against Whitley County. It was the first time Middlesboro lost to the Colonels this season.
In the previous two meetings, the Jackets won 3-2 and 2-1. The win on Monday also gave Whitley County their first victory of the year.
“It’s just one of those things that when you are successful as a team against another team, you kind of forget what got you that success,” said Jacket head coach Tim Millett. “That’s what happened to us. We came out flat. We stood around, and we were waiting on someone else to do something instead of everybody trying to move together and getting things done the way we have in previous games.”
Millett said the team wasn’t very aggressive or intense during the outing.
“Dylan Neal did his job as goalie. It’s hard for him to take care of the whole goal, and he took care of the strong side. The weak side was just wide open,” said Millett.
The Colonels scored their first goal on a direct kick.
“We just kind of stood around and watched it go in,” said Millett about the goal.
The second goal came off a hand ball inside Whitley County’s box. The score put Middlesboro down 2-0 going into the half.
“We started the second half the same way we started the first half,” said the coach. “About 10 minutes into it, we started playing the way we had been playing. We were aggressive, and we were intense.”
The Jackets put their only goal on the board in the second half on behalf of Caleb Heck. He kicked the ball from about 40 yards out. A Colonel defender attempted to clear the ball and deflected it into their own goal.
Middlesboro pushed to tie the game up following the goal. The team had five shots on goal during the remainder of the period but came up short each time.
“I told the kids they (Whitley County) would be fired up and ready to play. We’re on their field,” said Millett regarding Whitley County. “They (Whitley County) were intense. We were just flat footed until about the last third of the game, and then we came alive. It was just too little too late.”
The coach said the team really has to play hard from the opening whistle to the end of the game to be successful.
“We’re not the type of team that can just turn it on when we feel like we need to turn it on,” said Millett. “We turned it on, but it was just too little too late. If we had played that way the whole game, I think we would have been successful again. Unfortunately, we didn’t.”
Middlesboro (3-3) will host Knox Central (2-4) on Thursday. The teams have split one game apiece. The Jackets won the last game 2-0 at Knox Central.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN