Coach’s Corner: Knoxville Force vs Atlanta Silverback Reserves
Knoxville Force vs Atlanta Silverback Reserves
Atlanta Silverbacks Park, Atlanta, Georgia
Head Coach, Stephen Lyons
Knoxville traveled to Atlanta for their last regular season game against the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves. With temperatures into the 90’s and a turf field the conditions to start the game were scorching.
The Silverbacks started well and moved the ball quickly, which caused us problems from the start. Their movement was good and we did not manage to organize our marking responsibilities early in the game. In the 6th minute their early spell of pressure saw an uncharacteristic mistake from Rummy Le Guelvels clearance that allowed Atlanta to pick the ball up and deliver a cross, which we failed to deal with, and saw the Silverbacks take the lead in the 6th minute. A quick response was needed and Robbie Hill provided it in the 14th minute when a good ball found him one on one with the keeper and he calmly slotted it into the net to make it 1-1. After organizing better through the defense and midfield we managed to continue creating chances through Andy Palumbo and Robbie Hill who were battling well against a very good Silverback defense. Robbie’s efforts paid dividend again in the 43rd minute when he was brought down in the box for a penalty. Niall McCabe stepped up to take it, but saw his attempt bounce back of the post and away from danger. At half time the score remained 1-1.
The second half started like the first with an uncharacteristic error from our defense allowing a quick counter and saw the Silverbacks striker in a one on one with Rummy that he managed to round with some quick feet and slot the ball home to make it 2-1 to the home team. Again our response was good and we continued creating chances and the efforts paid off in the 68th minute when we won a corner on the left hand side. Niall McCabe whipped in a quality ball that Jake Holt met and smashed into the roof of the net with his head to make it 2-2. Our continuous pressure again paid off in the 79th minute when Niall made up for his earlier penalty miss. From 30 yards out, he placed a free kick into the top corner to give us a 3-2 lead. A minute later Atlanta came close to an equalizer, but Rummy made a top drawer save to maintain the lead. The home team were reduced to 10 men in the 85th minute and we managed the final minutes of the game well to come away with a deserved 3-2 win on the road.
With a different line up from previous games there were a number of players who came in and did a great job especially a new midfield pairing of Jake Holt and Brian Beckham. There were also quality performances from Robbie Hill, Andy Palumbo and Niall McCabe. However, it was a team effort that got us the result we needed to finish 6-4 in regular season and give us a chance of qualifying for the conference final next week.