Tonight’s match pitted the NASL’s lowest scoring offense against the league’s most porous defense. In the end neither side was able to trump the other. FC Tampa Bat and the Atlanta Silverbacks played to a 1-1 draw at Progress Energy Park on Saturday night.
In the 7th minute a charging Silverbacks player crashed into FC Tampa Bay goalkeeper and reigning NASL Defender of the Week Daryl Sattler injuring his knee. Sattler would have to leave the game, eventually being driven off of the sidelines on a cart towards the dugouts.
Jeff Attinella stepped in making his professional debut and performing admirably in relief. However, the amount of time Sattler spent languishing on the field would be tacked on at the end of the half, and those long 5 minutes of stoppage time would allow Atlanta to sneak a goal in for the lead.
Mario Perez crossed a free kick into the box and Silverbacks defender Willie Hunt was able to knock it in past the green goalkeeper sending Ricky Hill and his boys into the locker room at a 1-0 deficit.
FC Tampa Bay once again held a strong lead in possession and, once again, outshot their opponents. They were able to take 20 shots to Atlanta’s 10. A lack of finishing showed up a number of times throughout the match, but a flash of brilliance would pull the home team even.
In the 74th minute substitute Aaron King chipped a beautifully weighted service to an onrushing Mike Ambersly who soundly thumped in his first goal of the season.
That goal would eventually earn FC Tampa Bay a single point, with the game ending in a 1-1 draw. Against a last-place team like Atlanta fans would hope to see more from their beloved club, but on the bright side the green and gold were, once again, able to generate plenty of chances. Next week, when they host the Carolina Railhawks, let’s hope they are able to put a few more of them into the back of the net.