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Asheville City SC Take 8-Point Lead at Top of Table with 3-0 Victory Over Birmingham Legion FC

By Mitch Stone, 06/16/24, 4:15AM HST


Photo courtesy: Aiden Armstrong

The Men of Asheville continued their great run of form on Saturday night, securing a 3-0 victory over Birmingham Legion FC at Greenwood Field. The win puts the Blues 8 points clear at the top of the table, ahead of their highly anticipated matchup against Dothan United on June 22nd. 

Tonight’s action kicked off in the 7th minute when a Birmingham cross into the box found Nathan Tozzi, whose header bounced just wide of the near post. Just as in the previous matchup, Legion FC dominated the initial 15 minutes of the match, controlling much of the possession while playing multiple dangerous crosses into the box. 

Despite the early struggles, the Blues remained patient and eventually regained control of possession. Kasper Davidsson and Oskar Magnússon played a crucial role in doing so, as their ball-winning skills and superb passing abilities allowed for Asheville to conquer the middle of the pitch.  

Asheville’s first real opportunity came in the 27th minute when Alex Horveno dribbled down the sideline and lofted a perfect, left-footed cross into Diego Ossa. The Chilean sent a powerful header across goal, forcing goalkeeper Brock Marlow to extend for the save.

The Men of Asheville took the lead in the 41st minute thanks to a wonderful piece of play between Sebastian Tregarthen and Arnezha Astwood. In the buildup, Tregarthen received an excellent long ball from Kasper Davidsson with a perfect touch and sped past his defender, playing a pinpoint pass across the top of the box to Astwood. The University of Nebraska-Omaha right back seized the opportunity and struck a bending shot over Marlow to make it 1-0 to the Blues. Asheville would go into the half with the one-goal advantage. 

In the 55th minute, Rodrigo Robles found the net just two minutes into his return following a brief stint with Inter Milan’s 7v7 team at The Soccer Tournament. A long throw-in sailed over a Legion FC defender and fell to Ossa, who skillfully headed it through two defenders to an unmarked Robles in the box. The Spaniard took it first-time and slotted a low, powerful shot into the bottom right corner for his 5th goal of the season. 

Tregarthen nearly made it 3-0 in the 64th minute in an effort that should’ve been converted. A deflection off a Robles strike miraculously fell to the Uruguayan, who took a quick touch and surprisingly blasted a strike over the crossbar from point-blank range. 

10 minutes later, Charles Harper made an excellent goal-line clearance to preserve the clean sheet. Ensuing a Mao Wong giveaway, Dominic Hart received the ball in the box and slid a shot past Grant Calvert, only for it to be cleared by the outstretched Harper. Overall, Asheville’s backline was excellent tonight, allowing for very few opportunities in the final third. 

In the dying seconds, Robles put a lid on the match with a simple tap-in finish following a spectacular turn and cross from Carson Wood. The goal would secure the 3-0 victory for the Blues and the double over Birmingham. 

Goalkeeper Grant Calvert was named Highland Brewing Man of the Match in his first start, keeping an impressive clean sheet. Coach Scott Wells praised the keeper, stating, “sometimes, we always talk about the best performer, but Grant has come in knowing Johnny has been the number one and not one time have we had to worry about his attitude or discipline… due to his attitude and effort, he deserves it (man of the match) for sure.”

Goalkeeper Grant Calvert, Highland Brewing Player of the Match

The man of the match wasn’t satisfied just yet after it was announced that the Blues were #2 in the USL League Two national rankings, expressing, “we got one more spot to get to. Everyone here is so great, everyone knows the quality we have and we want to get a national championship.”

Coach Scott Wells post game interview

The Men of Asheville will host second-place Dothan United in a heavyweight matchup on June 22nd at 7:30pm at Greenwood Field. The Women will also return to action on Tuesday, hosting the Chattanooga Lady Red Wolves at 7:30pm.