#Lexington

Greenville scraps a point away from Lexington

Lexington SC (7-7-11, 28 points) hopes of victory were ripped from their hands when the Greenville Triumph (10-7-8, 37 points) found a stoppage-time equalizer to draw 1-1 at Toyota Stadium to kick off a packed Labor Day weekend in Lexington. The results move Lexington back into 9th in the USL1 table, moving past Richmond, while Greenville moves up to 5th over Madison based on goal difference.

The first half was a tightly fought battle, with neither club giving the other an inch of space. Lexington looked terrific in the first 20 minutes, putting attacking pressure on a Greenville side, arguably one of the best defenses in the league, controlling 52% of the first-half possession and rifling off 3 shots – all on target. Diouf and Brown’s attacking combo is very dangerous, as they both had multiple chances in the first half but could not crack the Triumph defense. However, Greenville’s strong counterattack also had Lexington’s defense put to work, managing 5 shots with 3 on target and all but 1 from inside the box. The first half also saw Greenville pick up 2 yellow cards, with Lexington just getting 1.

The 2nd half is where things get exciting and controversial (especially if you ask Lexington fans). Tate Robertson gave Lexington the lead early in the 49th minute, scoring (in my opinion) the best goal of the season for Lexington on a curling shot from the left-side corner of the box into the upper right-hand corner of the net. This goal forced Greenville to go on the attack. They would dominate possession in the 2nd half by controlling the ball 58% of the time and would send 11 shots with 4 on target at the net in just the 2nd half. Still, Lexington’s defense and keeper stood firm, with Amal Knight making another insane save in the 87th minute – the save should earn Knight a save of the week nomination. However, Greenville’s constant pressure and attack finally cracked through in the 98th minute to steal 3 points from Lexington off a curling corner kick across the box. On a positive note, the 2nd half did see the first-ever USL1 appearance for Lexington native defender Kimball Jackson, whose last appearance was back in the US Open Cup match against LouCity, where he got the start.

Now, the controversies in the 2nd half lie primarily on the refs. As noted above, Greenville picked up 2 yellow cards in the 1st half but none in the 2nd half, while Lexington was shown 3. Sam Stockley’s club is one of the more aggressive sides in the league. Still, multiple fouls by Greenville warranted a yellow, especially with how fouls were being called throughout the match. Multiple fouls were called. Based on whether possession was kept rather than if a foul was committed, there was the controversial addition of 7 minutes of stoppage time. The refereeing was so questionable that Coach Stockley beelined for the refs at the end of the match, had a very heated-looking conversation with them, and declined to conduct the traditional post-match interview that he does after home matches. 

I think Lexington played arguably their best game as a complete unit in this match. The attack forced Greenville’s defense onto their backfoot often and capitalized on any inch given by Greenville’s league-best defense; they could not find that 2nd goal that would have sealed the 3 points. The defense was a wall the entire game – 10 interceptions, 5 blocked shots, 19 clearances, and 4 saves. As painful as this draw feels, the Boys in Green played arguably their best game ever and have shown the rest of the league that they are a completely different team from the one that dropped 5 straight matches. Now, this change may have come a little late for a chance at playoffs (and they needed those extra 2 points for that), but they are going to fight until the end and will be looking for revenge when they travel down to Greenville for the final match of the season.

Man of the Match – Tate Robertson

Lexington SC goes on the road for a 2-road match stretch next week – facing a NoCo side looking for payback from the 4-3 thriller on Wednesday (kickoff 9 pm EST/8 pm CST) and going back out to Fuego (kickoff 10 pm EST/9 pm CST) to show Central Valley just how much they have changed since their first clash back in July. Check in next week for our preview of those matchups, and stick to Bluegrass Soccer Cast (@BGSoccerCast on all social media platforms) for full coverage of Lexington SC, and everything soccer in our beautiful Commonwealth. 

Photo by Lexington Sporting Club 

Author

  • Jon Hunt

    Jon Hunt is an avid and enthusiastic soccer podcast host. Originally from the Detroit area, he now resides in central Kentucky. Jon brings passion and his love of soccer history to the Bluegrass Soccer Cast community. His ultimate goal is to continue the growth of soccer in America with a focus of the thriving soccer scene in Kentucky. #ProRelForUSA

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