Greenville FC’s inaugural squad played their first home match ever against Inter Nashville FC at Eugene Stone Stadium on the campus of Furman University. In a hard-fought match Greenville FC lost to Inter Nashville 2-1 in their home opener in front of an incredible official attendance of 2,077.
Greenville FC’s first match was a roaring success in terms of attendance and atmosphere. At the start of the match Eugene Stone Stadium was packed on both stands, in the beer garden, and in a line outside the stadium of people still coming in. The supporters group, The Mill Town Operatives, came early and cheered all night.
Lee Squires lined up his squad in a 4-4-2. The starting line-up consisted of Paul Tyson (GK), Aiden Wixted (RB), Lewis Norvock (CB), Dalton Souder (CB), Gian Scalise (LB), Jack Hoey (CDM), Danny Kierath (CAM), Quinn McNeill (CAM), Malcom Frago (LW), Manuel Perez (RW), and Lee Wattam (ST).
Greenville FC fans were not disappointed as Greenville got off to a fast start with goal from right winger Malcom Frago in the seventh minute of the match. The goal came off a pass from striker Lee Wattam as Frago caught Inter Nashville off guard to take the 1-0 lead.
However, this excitement was soon meet with disappointment as Inter Nashville retorted with two goals in quick succession. By the 11th minute it was 2-1 Inter Nashville.
Nevertheless, this became a rallying cry as Greenville FC took the game back to Inter Nashville. Midfielder Quinn McNeill and left back Gian Scalise advanced the ball to provide great chances for the forwards from the back. Center back Dalton Sounder hit a header that bounced just over the goal. Despite dominating possession, Greenville FC’s chances bounced off the woodwork or missed wide.
In the second half, Inter Nashville FC held their line as Greenville FC head coach Lee Squires made offensive substitutions to attack Nashville’s back line, such as forward Regsan Watkins for center defensive midfielder Jack Hoey. Nashville was able to repel Greenville’s attacks even creating chances of their own. Greenville had two chances in the final minutes as Greenville swung crosses into Nashville’s box. The match ended 2-1.
The Carolina Dental Group Man of the Match went to Malcom Frago whose seventh minute strike was Greenville FC’s only goal of the match. Frago also came close to scoring on multiple occasions and played the full 90 minutes.
Despite the loss, the attendance and atmosphere made up for any bad feelings anyone may of had walking away from the match.
“These guys put their heart out there for that team,” remarked one fan.
Defender Toby Sims had a number of thoughts on the atmosphere.
“It was unbelievable. I did not expect anything like this. It just erupted after we scored. Everybody was backing the lads and I hope to see them back for the next game.”
Greenville FC plays their next home match against the Savannah Clovers on Wednesday, May 16th at home in Eugene Stone Stadium on the campus of Furman University at 7:00 p.m.
Contributor: Greenville FC
Photo Credit: Blake Schultz