Chris Lema (left), pictured with Jake Stroud last season, broke his teammate’s club record for most Red Bulls II appearances. (Photo courtesy of the Red Bulls II)

HARTFORD, Conn. — Red Bulls II buried itself with a two-goal halftime deficit and never recovered en route to a 2-1 defeat to Hartford Athletic in a USL Championship match at Dillon Stadium Saturday night.

NYRB II (2-6-0, 6 points) suffered its fourth successive loss.

Alex Dixon gave Hartford the lead in the 21st minute before defender Sam Strong tapped in a corner right in the 40th minute.

The visitors pulled one back in the 74th minute, when Caden Clark found Sebastian Elney in the box. Elney then placed it in the back of the net for his third goal of the season. Clark recorded his third assist of the year.

Current Red Bulls Academy goalkeeper Alex Bobocea got his first professional start, making three saves. Academy players Tapiwa Shumba and Bo Cummins also made their first professional starts.

Chris Lema, on loan from Red Bulls, made his 65th appearance for the club, passing Jared Stroud for most appearances in club history.

Midfielder Omar Sowe made his first appearance since picking up an injury against Philadelphia Union II Aug. 5.

NYRB II will welcome Philadelphia Union II to Red Bull Arena on Aug. 23 at 5 p.m.