The Georgia Revolution FC and Atlanta Silverbacks first met in 2012 when the than NASL Silverbacks and the Revs met in the second round of the US Open Cup. On that day the heavily favored Backs squeezed out a close 1-0 victory. Since then, they have become the most anticipated games of the year because the fans know both teams will leave everything on the field.
Last Saturday was no different. On an evening still filled with gray clouds from the earlier storms, the Revs hosted the Backs in front of over 600 fans in their new home of N. Mt. Carmel Park in Hampton, GA. Both teams’ supporter groups were in full voice and setting off smoke bombs as the teams took the field for their first meeting of 2017.
The Silverbacks started attacking the ball from the first whistle, earning a goal in the seventh minute when captain Avery Shepard put a diving header into the back of the net. Late in the half Adnan Bangura was shown a red card, putting the Silverbacks down a man. At the start of the second half the Revs subbed out Clancy Laudermilk for longtime captain and fan favorite Scott Redding who aggressively attacked the right side.
The half continued with both teams created opportunities. Strong physical defensive play and outstanding goalkeeping by both Thomas Hunter (Silverbacks) and Bryce Billington (Revolution), kept the game at 1-0.
In the 76th minute, Revs defender Adam McCabe received a straight red card for dissent.
With the fans behind them, the Revs found the energy to continue to press and challenge the Backs defense. In the final seconds of the game, Marcelle Francois had a glimmer of an opportunity to secure the draw but wasn’t able to beat Hunter, who was a dominant force in goal for the Silverbacks.
The game ended with the same score as very first meeting between the teams, the Silverbacks earning a 1-0 victory in a game that lived up to its reputation of a bitter rivalry. When the Revs visit the Silverbacks on July 8th, it will be another excited installment of this crosstown derby.
Photo Credit: Missy Morrison, Dave Williamson, Shelly Alonzo