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Photo courtesy: Dani Nicosia

Asheville City SC Prevails 3-1 Over East Atlanta FC in Tightly Contested Match

By Mitch Stone, 06/02/24, 5:00AM HST


Photo courtesy: Dani Nicosia

The Men of Asheville defeated third-place East Atlanta FC 3-1 on Saturday night, putting them 5 points ahead of Dothan United at the top of the South Central Division table. The Blues overcame a 0-1 deficit thanks to a brace from Kemy Amiche and a converted penalty from Rodrigo Robles.

The action kicked off in the seventh minute when Kemy Amiche almost opened the scoring with a powerful strike from the middle of the box, rattling the crossbar. Following a dangerous cross and an excellent William Blake save, the ball fell to Amiche, who powerfully struck it first-time against the bar, nearly scoring his first goal of the season. 

In the 15th minute, the Legends secured an early lead with the help of multiple fortunate deflections in the box. As Tom Akinola quickly collected the ball, Fletcher Hedge took it off his foot and blasted a shot first-time, unluckily deflecting off of several Asheville defenders into the net to make it 0-1. 

The Blues found their equalizer in the 25th minute off an excellent chip from Amiche. With Simon Carlson playing the corner, Amiche swiftly received the ball, executed an incredible Cruyff turn and expertly lobbed a shot just over Blake’s head for Asheville’s first goal of the evening, sending the Greenwood Field crowd into elation. 

The first half was much closer than expected, as EAFC’s physical play-style and direct passing proved to be a challenge for Asheville. However, the Blues’ combinations through the middle and through-balls down the wings created the better chances. 

In the 40th minute, leading-goal scorer Sebastian Tregarthen nearly capitalized off a brilliant opportunity, in which he took a long ball down with his thigh, bursted towards the middle with speed and bent a strike towards the left corner, forcing Blake to make a save. The first half would end with the score tied at 1-1. 

Just four minutes into the second half, Simon Carlson played an amazing long ball across the field to the running Tregarthen, who skillfully took it into the box and curled a shot towards the near post, just missing the target. Although Tregarthen failed to score tonight, he posed a constant threat going forward, generating shot after a shot up until his substitution. 

In the 55th minute, the men of Asheville capitalized off a timely mistake by the East Atlanta goalkeeper. After a poor giveaway by Blake, Rodrigo Robles smoothly played a ball across the middle to Amiche, who bent a brilliant left-footed strike first-time into the upper left corner, ricocheted off the post and in for the brace. 2-1 to the Blues. 

Following Amiche’s wonderful goal, it was Robles’ time to take over. In the 60th minute, the new TST 7v7 Inter Milan attacker gracefully spun around an EAFC midfielder and hit a dipping strike from beyond the box, prompting Blake to fully extend on the save. 

Six minutes later, the Blues were awarded a penalty after a controversial hand-ball call in the box. A bouncing Tregarthen cross would strike the arm of EAFC center back Manuel Shelton, giving Robles the opportunity to score his fourth goal of the season from the spot. With composure, he smashed the ball into the back of the net to secure the 3-1 victory for Asheville. 

After the match, Coach Scott Wells stated, “we really struggled in the first half and I was really disappointed with the boys to be honest with you. But in the second half, to go through that resilience, to be one goal down and win three to one, that’s a sign of a winning team.”

Despite failing to find the mark, striker Sebastian Tregarthen’s threat in the final third earned him the Highland Brewing Man of the Match. The Uruguayan has had an excellent season thus far, scoring three goals in four matches. 

Coach Scott Wells post game wrap

The men of Asheville will next travel to Birmingham on June 6th to face the Birmingham Legion, who currently sit in fourth place with five points. The women will also hit the road next week as they face Tennessee SC on June 4th in a battle for first place.