With the end of the National Premier Soccer League regular season arriving in just a few weeks, teams have been scrambling to find their form and ensure themselves a part of the 2014 NPSL postseason. This past week’s fixture list, which started Tuesday, included five matches and 16 goals.
Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves (3-1-2) were the first team to kick off the week with a trip just up the road to Conyers, GA as they face their instate rivals, Georgia Revolution (1-4-0). The Revs were coming off a 2-0 defeat to the hot New Orleans Jesters the week before, the ‘Backs had drew even with the Knoxville Force.
Just 14 minutes into the match the Revolution grabbed a fortuitous bounce when a corner deflected off the Silverbacks’ goalie Sienkiewicz and ended in the net for the own goal, giving the Revs to 1-0 advantage. Less than ten minutes later, the Silverbacks would have their answer with a bit of team work.
Tornubari Nyonebue chipped a great pass to Mario Oliveira, who made the precision pass that Christian Vallejos flipped into the net and gave Atlanta the equalizer. It looked very much that 1-1 was going to be the final score line, but a brilliant counter attack that started with a clearance from the 18 yard box by Palamin Fotana, that was put away by Sajaad Delane to give the Reserves the 2-1 win.
The win gives the Silverbacks them three on the year and prepares them for a home weekend fixture with the Knoxville Force.
The other match of the night was to feature Nashville FC (3-1-2) heading to Alabama to face Rocket City United (2-2-1), but much like the previous weekend in Huntsville, the game was a wash and will be replayed on Tuesday June 24th.
On a unique Friday the 13th, four clubs took to the field as each had good reason to think that they could come out on top. The New Orleans Jesters (4-1-1) found themselves in Alabama for their first of two games in consecutive nights. With the consecutive rainouts, United had not played in nearly two weeks when they drew on the road with Nashville FC. The Jesters were coming off a 5-1 thumping of Nashville and had won two in a row scoring seven and allowing only one in those games.
The Jesters would continue their hot hand as Phil Dean would put in a rebound and give New Orleans the 1-0 lead just ten minutes into the game. Just over ten minutes later, Jordan Hulme would collect his second in as many matches as the Jesters played a nice bit of soccer. Rocket City would collect a yellow on a tough tackle, but the referee played on and Dean found Hulme, who hit the ball into the corner of the net and gave New Orleans the 2-0 advantage.
New Orleans quickly regrouped after the half and Dean put his second of the night in minutes into the second half and gave the Jesters the comfortable 3-0 lead. New Orleans have scored in every game so far this season and have failed to score at least two goals twice in 2014.
Just as the Jesters had started the match, Rocket City ended it. Juan Hernandez scored his first goal as a member of United in the 60th minute. His initial shot was cleared off the line by the Jesters defense, but his second shot hit the net and RCU had life at 3-1. Substitute Andrew Nkurunungi hit another late goal for the Reds and as he beat his defender, beat the goalie as well, but the 83rd minute strike was not enough as the Jesters win 3-2.
Rocket City will play four matches in two weeks, which starts Wednesday June 18 in a makeup with Chattanooga FC.
As for Chattanooga, their second match of the weekend was a wild one. They welcomed the Revolution, which were seeking their first win since the second week of the season and looked to have that win. Warren Visha scored a header in the 18th minute and Scott Redding hit his in the 34th and all was looking peachy for the Revs.
Luis Trude scored his second goal of the year right after the hour mark, but CFC was greatly helped by Visha’s red card just minutes later. 15 minutes from time with a man up, Chattanooga got the equalizer with a Niall McCabe goal and ten minutes from time Thibald Charmey gave CFC the go-ahead goal.
The other match of the night saw Nashville FC hold the Jesters to a scoreless draw in Tennessee.
Knoxville Force (0-4-2) had to wait until to Sunday to kick off their weekend as they welcomed the Georgia Revolution. The Force were still looking for their first win of 2014, but have tied two of their last three.
It looked that both these clubs would be headed to a scoreless draw, but the last half an hour had all the fireworks needed. Knoxville took the lead on Mark Hanlon’s second goal in as many games. The Revs fiund their equalizer just over ten minutes from time with a strike from Sean Grisham off a Revs corner.
The Force looked to have the game winner then Lucas Siqueira notched his first of the year as he squeezed the shot into the left corner. But, it was not meant to be as Harry McGregor’s magical strike from 30 yards out again equalized and gave both clubs a point.