By Asheville City SC
Asheville City SC was unable to secure a fourth-straight victory as it fell 2-0 to Chattanooga FC
in the first leg of the Blue Ridge Derby.
It was a rainy day in Asheville, but the weather cleared up perfectly for the match. Chattanooga
had played three games in 10 days while Asheville City had two weeks of rest. Both teams
looked like they had two weeks to prepare as the match started with an up-tempo style of play.
Chattanooga earned the first corner of the night in just the fourth minute and gained another in
the seventh. Although the visitors spent a lot of time on the offensive, no dangerous shots were
produced. Unfortunately for the Asheville City offense, it was the same story. Hady Sarr
threaded a ball through to Frank Rosenwald but the forward wasn’t able to get enough on it.
The visitors looked to have the first goal of the night when Everson Lima sent a whistling header
past goalkeeper Pijus Petkevicius. Luckily for the hosts, the referees deemed Lima offside. Both
sides spent the rest of the half trading possession and the Asheville City backline did an
admirable job of keeping Chattanooga from scoring. The first half ended in a stalemate.
The second half was a different story. Chattanooga went on the offensive immediately,
repeatedly testing the Asheville City backline. That backline had bent, but it finally broke in the
58 th minute when Alun Webb sent a perfect cross to Markus Smarzoch for an unstoppable header
into the bottom left corner.
Asheville City almost equalized immediately but Chris Allan couldn’t quite get the touch right.
Down but not out, the hosts strung some solid attacks together. Chattanooga goalkeeper Phil
D’Amico stood on his head to make a double save in the 65 th minute.
Petkevicius did his best to keep the visitors from scoring their second as he made a pair of great
saves in the 86 th minute. The visitors got their clinching goal just a minute later when Caleb Cole
calmly gathered the ball and slotted it past Petkevicius.
Asheville City played well, but the offense couldn’t get enough going to secure points. The
Blues will be back in action at the Georgia Revolution on June 22.
Photo Credit: Tori Heck