After playing in six competitive matches without a goal, Matt Brown was relived the see the ball in the back of the net.
The English forward and Lansing United captain scored twice, in the 60th and 72nd minute, to help United move into a tie for first place in a 2-1 victory on the road against the Madison 56ers.
“If I’m not scoring goals, I’m useless,” Brown said with a laugh. “It feels good.”
Brown was part of a front line that combined for 13 shot attempts and dominated the ball in the attacking half. Cholo Petit played perhaps his best game in a Lansing uniform, taking seven shots with four on net while setting up Brown’s first goal.
The Paraguayan made a run to the left side of the box and evaded a defender before sending a pass to the front of the net. Brown was there and placed the ball behind Madison keeper Joe White to make it 1-0.
“I thought Cholo was going to shoot but he cut back and found me in the 6-yard box and I just put it away,” Brown said. “He’s got some great skills and he’s a good player.”
Just 12 minutes later, Brown scored his second of the match and 13th of his United career. James DeCosemo received the ball with space near the midfield line and sent in a beautiful ball to Brown, who was racing toward the box. Brown corralled it and flicked it over the keeper to put United up by two.
It was DeCosemo’s first career assist.
United’s defense held strong throughout the entire match, but Madison had two solid scoring chances in the first half and found the back of the net in the 89th minute.
In the fourth minute, the 56ers’ Lucian Parvu hit the crossbar with a shot from just outside the box. United conceded a penalty, the first they’ve given up in 2015, in the 33rd minute, but Parvu sent his attempt high of GK Wes Mink.
The 56ers got on the board late in the match courtesy of a Giedon Asante goal.
“It was a critical match, obviously,” United head coach/GM Eric Rudland said. “It’s good to get that first win on the road trip to put us back to the top of the table.”
The club left for Minneapolis early Thursday morning to take on the Minnesota TwinStars at Robbinsdale Cooper High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern.