By Georgia Storm
Georgia Storm went on the road to Metro Louisville FC for its first-ever away match in the NPSL. The match kicked off at 7:00 pm at the King Louie Sports Complex with both teams ready for the battle ahead.
Metro Louisville started the match well by pressing Georgia Storm deeper into their half. Eight minutes into the match Isami Takeuchi went in on a strong tackle for Storm on Metro Louisville’s David Imbrahimkadic. The clash led to a stray elbow from Imbrahimkadic, giving the referee a difficult decision. After conferring with the fourth official, the decision was a red card, and the player was sent off. The match took some time to settle back down.
In the 25th minute, Storm right winger Charlie Hill received an overhit cross from Faraz Gorgi. With some composure, he delivered a cross to Stephen Bivens who smashed a header into the top corner. Minutes later, Metro Louisville responded with a quick piece of play at the top of the box, leading to a great hit where Bas Markus for Storm dove sharply to his left to push it around the post.
As the half was closing, Georgia Storm was pushing to extend their lead when Hunter Jumper chipped a pass behind the Metro Louisville back four where Storm striker Stephen Bivens was too quick for the Metro Louisville center back, giving the defender no choice but to bring Bivens down.
The referee again had no choice but to send Metro Louisville’s Arnold Martinez off, brandishing the red card. After a very eventful first half, Georgia Storm went into the locker room up 1-0. With a two-man advantage, Storm’s coaching staff discussed some changes to make in the second half.
The second half began with Storm on the front foot, taking the tempo to Metro Louisville. As the half grew on, Metro Louisville put in a massive shift, giving full effort. Georgia Storm made four changes in the 70th minute to bring some fresh legs on. After several good passages down the right wing, Georgia Storm created an additional two or three gilt-edge opportunities in the first 15 minutes of the second half, but they failed to capitalize.
With the renewed energy, Storm worked the ball down the left side. Pedro Valenzuela dropped a pass to Kevin Barajas who quickly played Gary Shorrow.
Shorrow lifted his head and bent an inch perfect cross to Stephen Bivens who sealed the three points with a clinical finish from six yards. In the closing moments, Stephen Bivens drove to the left before being fouled at the edge of the 18. The game saw Georgia Storm pick up five yellow cards.
Georgia Storm closed the match out with their second clean sheet on the trot. Stephen Bivens claimed his brace with goals in the 25th and 85th minute. Georgia Storm will travel to LSA Athletico Lanier next Saturday, May 29th in second place. It will be a big rematch from May 15 where Georgia Storm beat them 2-0, and LSA coming off a 1-1 draw with Appalachian FC tonight.
Photo Credit: Matthew Dingle