KENNESAW, Ga. – Jackson Conway scored the fourth hat trick in Atlanta United 2 history as he led his side back from a halftime deficit to a 4-1 victory against the Charleston Battery at Fifth Third Bank Stadium after the visitors were reduced to 10 men shortly before the break.
Charleston took the lead in just the sixth minute as DZ Harmon regained possession after having a cross from the right blocked and quickly shifted into the penalty area. Harmon’s low shot to the far post was parried by Atlanta goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira, but Aidan Apodaca was on hand to put away the rebound. The hosts went close to an equalizer in the 21st minute when David Mejia fired a shot from the left side of the penalty area that clipped the far post and caromed away to safety, while five minutes later Alex DeJohn was denied by Battery goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky after a free kick from the left drifted through to the right side of the box.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men in first-half stoppage time, however, as Matt Sheldon was sent off for his second yellow card of the contest, and Atlanta set about making their advantage count. The equalizer arrived in the 56th minute as Conway skied over his marker to head home at the back post following a chipped cross from the right side of the penalty area by Jonantan Villal. Seven minutes later, Conway struck for another header as he rose at the top of the six-yard area and nodded home Mikey Ambrose’s cross from the left.
Conway completed his hat trick with 12 minutes to go after Villal controlled a cross from the left in the right side of the penalty area and delivered a pass inside that Conway controlled on the turn and shot into the bottom-left corner of the net. The hosts then wrapped up their first win of the season in stoppage time as Darwin Matheus put home an emphatic finish after Conway had mishit a shot off a low cross by Ajani Fortune.
USLChampionship.com Player of the Match
Jackson Conway, Atlanta United 2 – Conway scored the first hat trick of the 2022 USL Championship season and did so in style with three good finishes to help Atlanta to its first three points of the campaign.
CHS – Aidan Apodaca 6’
ATL – Jackson Conway (Jonantan Villal) 56’
ATL – Jackson Conway (Mikey Ambrose) 63’
ATL – Jackson Conway (Jonantan Villain) 78’
ATL – Darwin Matheus (Jackson Conway) 90+4’