The Atlanta Silverbacks topped the league-leading Carolina RailHawks, 2-0 on Saturday night in front of 4,716 fans at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
“I didn’t care how we got it,” said Silverbacks coach Brian Haynes of the win. “We needed to get back on a winning streak and we did that tonight. We’ve worked hard and I’m proud of the boys.”
Goals from forward Ruben Luna and defender Martyn Lancaster paced the Silverbacks past the RailHawks, who saw defender Floyd Franks sent off early in the second half for a challenge on Silverbacks midfielder Danny Barrera.
Luna raced clear of the offside trap on a breakaway, rounded keeper Akira Fitzgerald, and slotted the ball home from an acute angle with defender Paul Hamilton unable to clear the ball off the line.
Luna had another glorious opportunity go just wide of the goal midway through the first half, with RailHawks goalkeeper Fitzgerald coming up big to tip it wide. The final 10 minutes of the half belonged to the visitors, however, with numerous scoring chances coming close to resulting in the equalizer.
Fitzgerald was also called into action three minutes after the break when he tipped a goal bound effort over the cross bar to keep Carolina in contention.
But Lancaster settled the issue in the 76th minute by climbing to power home a close range header that gave Fitzgerald no chance.
The Silverbacks, who are now just a point off first place, remain home this week in preparation for their game against the San Antonio Scorpions next Saturday at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
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