Michael Vang’s second-half goal was enough as Forward Madison FC defeated Chattanooga Red Wolves SC 1-0 Saturday afternoon at Hart Park.
Chattanooga created the first quality chance of the match in the 13th minute. Ricky Ruiz made a run down the left flank before sliding a pass into Greg Hurst inside the 18-yard box. Hurst struck a low shot on frame forcing Chris Brady into a kick save at the near post. The rebound fell to Conner Doyle who struck a half volley on frame, forcing Brady into another save.
Madison created a chance of its own moments later after a good exchange through midfield. Eli Lockaby played an entry pass into Eric Leonard whose clever flick found the feet of Noah Fusion. Fusion turned and poked a first-time shot on frame, but Alex Mangels was equal to it.
Doyle struck another stinging shot on frame from 20-yards out just before halftime, but Brady made the save to send the two sides into the break scoreless.
The Flamingos broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half asVang scored his third goal of the season. Paulo Jr. created the chance, curing an out-swinging cross from the left flank. Wojciech Wojcik nodded the cross on frame, forcing Mangels into a reaction save and Vang calmly finished the rebound.
Hurst curled a dangerous ball in behind the Madison back four five minutes after Vang opened the scoring. His pass put Ronaldo Pineda through on goal, but a recovery run from Jiro Toyama prevented Pineda from getting a shot off and preserved the hosts’ lead. Toyama’s well-timed tackle sprung Madison on a counterattack the other way, which led to a Wojcik shot that nicked off the outside of Mangles’ left post and stayed out.
Madison continued to push to double its advantage and nearly had a second in the 72nd minute. Don Smart drove a low cross through the six-yard box that just missed the runs of both JC Banks and Wojcik. Smart put another dangerous cross into the same area minutes later, but that too evaded the Flamingos’ attackers.
The hosts continued to control the pace in the final 20 minutes of the match and the Red Wolves struggled to play out of their defensive third. Chattanooga didn’t put a shot on target in the second 45 minutes, struggling to connect with quality crosses from Hurst and other flank players and test Brady.
With the win, Madison moves into fifth place in the League One standings, while Chattanooga remains in second place prior to tonight’s matches.
MAD (50'): Vang (third)
Forward Madison FC: October 3 v. FC Tucson (H)
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC: October 7 v. North Texas (H)