As soon as the tents went up, the rain came down. For Asheville City, the stormy weather created quite a stir among fans and players alike. Due to spontaneous spouts of rain, kickoff for the matchup between the Blues and Carolina United ultimately fell back to an 8:30 pm starting time. However, for the loyal and loud crowd gathered in the aluminum stands, nothing would silence their spirit. The rain or shine mentality of the South Slope Blues truly redefined dedication for the City, and as always, the cold beverages provided by Hi-Wire Brewing aided their efforts. As fans of all ages took their seats, the stage was set for another exciting night of Asheville City soccer.
Early in the match, the Blues took command of possession and stayed on the ball. Controlling the flow of the game, captain Ryan Murphy played extremely confidently while creating opportunities in the midfield. Sticking to an offensive strategy, the Blues worked the ball into the opposing end of the field and earned numerous corners. Pressing for the go ahead goal, shots by Asheville City were narrowly denied by the crossbar on two separate instances. Unfortunately, as the first half came to a close, the score remained tied with neither team earning a goal.
As the second half got underway, disaster struck the City as FC Carolina United scored to go ahead 1-0. However, the drive of defender Jack Miller would not be diminished. With his team down late in the match, Miller found himself in possession of the ball and spiraled a soaring pass into the box. The beautifully executed pass then met the foot of striker Elma N’For who netted the equalizer. For the fans in the stands, and those watching the live stream provided by iamavl, this was an all too common sight. The leading goal scorer for the Blues had once again provided a spectacular finish and tied the match 1-1.
In the closing minutes of the match, Ben Chapal and Cameron Saul entered the game as substitutions for the Blues. With fresh legs on the field, Asheville City continued its 90-minute constant pursuit of victory. Creating opportunity after opportunity, the strikers attacked relentlessly, missing out on a game-winner by near inches. In the end, the match was ultimately determined by those inches. Once the referee blew the final whistle, Asheville City walked away with a single point for the Southeastern Conference table.
Next week, the City faces Inter Nashville FC in the last regular season game of the inaugural season. Fortunately, the closing match will be played under the lights at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm on July 8th. As always, be sure to follow @ashevillecitysc on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for highlights, recaps, and everything you need to know about the Blues.