It was a long game, it was a tough game, it was a boring game, it was exactly what I said it would be. Just like most home-and-home series are in their 2nd match, the two teams battle in the midfield and not many goals are scored. That's exactly what happened at Dekalb Memorial Stadium Saturday Night. But a lot of what happened, didn't have too.
The Silverbacks surprised some people by not dressing Guy Valcourt (If their was an injury, I was not aware) and Bosnia Midfielder Coralic was to make his home debut in a Silverbacks uniform. Also not dressing for the game was substitute forward Stilian Shishkov, meanwhile, Matt Davenport was a surprise dress for the game.
There were almost no chances for Atlanta early in the first half. Hershey had a few but they couldn't make the most of them. Early in the game a Hershey Forward found himself behind the defense and tried to kick it into the corner with his left foot, but Tony Roberts was up to the task, smothering the ball before it could go into his net. The next chance came with less than a minute to go in the first half. Striker Patrick Beech beat two defenders at the corner of the 18 before being taken down to force a penalty kick. Iggy Moleka took the PK and rolled it into the corner for a 1-0 lead.
The second half was extremely rough. Very few chances were accumulated. While Hershey failed to mount a decent chance, they became extremely frustrated. The Silverbacks were winning the battles everywhere, in the air and on the ground. In the 76 minute, Iggy Moleka was taken down as he went up for a header and the Hershey player received a yellow. But then Moleka, upset that no red card was issued charged the ref and argued the call. He too would receive a yellow seconds later. Then in the 80th minute (still no major chances for either team), Josh Henderson was taken down while dribbling the ball up the sideline and got up upset. He got in the player whom had taken him down's face. Words were exchanged and slowly the tension began to mount. A few more Silverbacks and Wildcats players joined into the shouting match, and then Patrick Beech threw a punch at a Hershey player and a fight ensued between both teams. Beech was sent off the pitch and forced to watch the rest of the game from the dressing room. Despite being down a man, the Silverbacks held on for a 1-0 victory and their lead never seemed in doubt the last ten minutes of the game.
It was rough, it was boring, it was tough. It was just like I said it would be. But at least we hung on for the W. Thats all that counts.
Top 3 Quotes of the Week
3. "We just made a few mistakes in the back, it was a fluke really."
Defender Sylvan Bednar after I asked him about the onslaught at Raleigh.
2. "You can't pass on this field."
Goalkeeper Tony Roberts on the condition of Dekalb Memorial Stadium.
1. "One of the reasons we played so well in the back was because we haven't played well as a team."