Any time Bloomfield and Nutley meet on the soccer pitch its a safe bet that the respective team's records can be ignored.
BLOOMFIELD, NJ--On Tuesday afternoon in Bloomfield, Charlie Contini scored off a throw-in with eight minutes remaining in the second half to lift Nutley to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Bengals.
The loss snapped a season-high three-game winning streak for Bloomfield, which fell to 4-3. Nutley (2-3) won for just the second time this season and snapped a two-game scoreless streak.
"It was exactly what you would expect from a Nutley-Bloomfield game," said Bloomfield head coach Mike Aiello. "Both teams fought really hard and each team had a lot of chances. They are well-coached and played a great game against us."
After a scoreless first half, Nutley scored 15 minutes into the second half on a penalty kick by senior Nick Kirby.
"Our goalie, George Silva, actually got a hand on the PK but it just had too much speed on it to stop totally," said Aiello.
Bloomfield knotted the game, 1-1, when junior Nathan Russell scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season off a free kick in the 62nd minute.
Nutley went ahead for good when Contini corralled a throw-in, turned and found the back of the next in the 72nd minute.
Contini, a senior, now owns two of Nutley's four goals this fall.
Nutley goalie Sebastian Lembo finished with eight saves while his counterpart, Silva, halted six shots.
The loss was a non-division one for Bloomfield, which still owns a 3-1 mark in the Liberty Division of the Super Essex Conference.
Since a 3-1 loss at Verona on Oct. 10, the Bengals had earned victories over Newark Academy (1-0), Technology (2-1) and Orange (7-2) entering Tuesday's showdown with Nutley.
Russell, a forward, now has five goals and two assists with Nicholas Rizzi, a senior midfielder and three-year starter, adding three goals and two assists.
Scoring has been spread out this season with seven other players - Alex Capet, Justin Delgado, Shayne Hinton, Cosme Imbert, Jairo Pantoja, Tristan Severin and Owen Stockel - each scoring once.
"We're a young team and start just three seniors," said Aiello. "But we've already matched last season's win total (4-12). And we played well (today); we had a couple of set pieces and must've put two or three off the crossbar.
"Its always a dogfight with Nutley and this was no different."
Bloomfield will now look to get back on track when it plays host to Belleville on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 10 a.m. Belleville is 1-4-1 overall and 0-2-1 in the Liberty division.
"We're in a tough Liberty along with teams like West Orange and Glen Ridge," said Aiello. "So we'll need to bounce back against Belleville on Saturday."