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HomeProfessionalSecond half rally propels Appalachian FC to NPSL win over 865 Alliance

Second half rally propels Appalachian FC to NPSL win over 865 Alliance

By David Rogers. BOONE, N.C. — Rebounding from a frustrating first half, Appalachian FC rallied to score two goals against Alliance FC (Knoxville, Tenn.) in the second half to win the night, 2-1.

It was the fifth match of the young National Premier Soccer League season and the Sasquatch crew left with a 2-1-2 record. After tying a strong Apotheos team (3-0-2) on the road a week earlier, Appalachian FC head coach Dale Parker suggested after the June 3 tilt vs. Alliance that his side expects to come into every match here on out as the favorite.

“It was a bit unlucky that our schedule matched us with Apotheos in two of the first four games of the season,” said Parker, “but our guys rallied after that first loss and did what they had to do last week in Atlanta. Apotheos is a good side but we also came close to winning that match.”

Against Alliance, Appalachian FC played like they were the favorites, controlling possession an estimated 70 percent of the first half, mostly in the attacking half of the field. The just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net on multiple scoring opportunities but a lot of credit must go to a courageous defensive effort by the Knoxville, Tenn.-based opponents.

Unfortunately, in addition to not scoring, Appalachian conceded a goal to Alliance in the 35th minute when a shot caromed off the goal post and was headed into the net by a follow-up Alliance frontline player.

“Down 1-0 at halftime, I really didn’t have to say anything to the guys at halftime,” said Parker. “They knew what they had to do. We were disappointed to concede the goal like we did but you have to move on — and make the next goal.”

And it didn’t take long for them to do it. In the 51st minute, Rashawn Kellman, a native of Barbados and played soccer at Chicago State University, found the back of the net. Roughly 10 minutes later, British national Max Bolton scored to put Sasquatch & Co. up, 2-1.

“I think in the end the better team won, which is always nice,” said Parker in assessing how the night unfolded for Appalachian. Alliance is a good team with some good players. In the first half we played exceptionally well but couldn’t put them away. When you don’t score at this level, you leave yourself open. We made one mistake in the first half and they capitalized on it. So halftime was massively important. We could not afford to just let up. We had to make sure got out there in the second half and carried on, doing what we needed to do.”

Good, competitive play on both sides was marred by a number of yellow cards, mostly awarded to Alliance team members after bringing down an Appalachian player dangerously.

“Physical play does not bother us,” said Parker, later. “When we are the favorites coming in, you expect the opposing team to try and knock you around a bit as part of their game strategy. Of course, we are always concerned for our players’ safety.”

On June 10, Appalachian FC travels to McDonough, Ga., to take on the Georgia Revolution, currently listed in the NPSL Southeast Division standings at No. 2, with a 3-2-0 record.

The next home match for Appalachian Fc is June 13 in a non-conference challenge by DC United Under 20, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. at Ted Mackeroll Stadium.

NPSL SOUTHEAST DIVISION STANDINGS

  1. Apotheos FC (3-0-2)
  2. Georgia Revolution (3-2-0)
  3. Appalachian FC (2-1-2)
  4. 865 Alliance (2-2-1)
  5. Charlottetowne Hops (1-3-0)
  6. Georgia Storm (0-3-1)

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