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Jon Gallagher helps secure home point as ATL UTD 2 draw Penn FC 1-1

The Irishman ties it in the 63rd minute as ATL UTD 2 finish level with the former Harrisburg City Islanders at Coolray Field.

ATL UTD 2 found itself trailing for the first time this season, but a second-half goal by Jon Gallagher - his third of the young USL campaign - helped it battle for a 1-1 draw at Coolray Field against Penn FC.

The opening half-hour of the match didn’t feature any clear cut chances that would trouble either ATL UTD 2 keeper Nico Caraux or Penn FC man Romauld Peiser. But in the 31st minute, Penn FC struck first. Richard Menjivar broke off a nice run toward the box and kicked it back toward the top to an unmarked Tommy Heinemann, who fired it to the left of a flatfooted Caraux to make it 1-0 for the visitors.

ATL UTD 2, though, found itself back even in the 63rd. Off a Penn FC corner, Lagos Kunga forced a turnover and found Yosef Samuel flying down the middle of the pitch. Samuel dealt it off to Kunga on the left wing, who sent in a perfect cross to Gallagher and set up the Irishman for the pretty headed finish to level the match.

“We were finding it tough to get any chances to start the game,” Gallagher said. “The ball kind of got left. Me and Lagos switched wings and he delivered an absolute peach of a ball. From there I just kind of tried to get my head on it and put any service on it to the goal.”

Regardless of the draw, Scott Donnelly’s side were left wishing that they were able to claim all three points in front of a home crowd.

“We’re happy with the response, but we’re no happier with the tie than we were last week,” said Donnelly. “The silver lining is they showed a lot of toughness (and) the ability to come from a goal down to get a point. It’s quite a young team, and there’s a lot of lessons to be learned from even a game where you leave a little bit dissatisfied.”

ATL UTD 2 are off until April 21, when they remain home to face defending USL champion Louisville City FC. Kickoff is set for 7pm at Coolray Field.

Starters: Nico Caraux, George Bello, A.J. Cochran, Jack Metcalf (c), Kendall Edwards, Ollie Shannon, Lagos Kunga, Jon Gallagher, Andrew Kendall-Moullin, Chris Goslin, Yosef Samuel

Bench: Devon Sandoval, Jose Carranza, Kevin Barajas, Shawn Nicklaw, Paul Christensen

ATL UTD 2 Substitutes: Sandoval 71’ (Samuel); Carranza 76’ (Shannon); Nicklaw 87’ (Kendall-Moullin)