Over 300 fans came out to Conyers on Friday to watch Georgia Revolution take on Carolina RailHawks NPSL. In their first meeting this season, the Revolution played their reserves and ultimately lost 4-0. This time, the Revolution deployed a full strength lineup in hopes of a better result.
Here's how the Revolution lined up in a 4-5-1: Sebastian Jones replaced Bjorn Kammholz, Scott Redding filled in at right back, and Jarrel Smalls started for injured Marcelle Francois.
As the Georgia Revolution looked for just their second win of the season, the game didn't start as the home side would have hoped. The RailHawks put in a cross from the left side, Kofi Yankey tried to head clear but ended up heading it back into his own net. Sebastian Jones had no chance of keeping it out.
The early RailHawks goal didn't prevent the Revolution from settling into the game, however. Less than ten minutes after conceding, the Revolution equalized through Jarrel Smalls. Smalls picked the ball off the RailHawks center half, charged toward goal, and rocketed a shot past the goalkeeper into the top corner.
Credit: Above and Beyond Highlights
After the Revolution equalized, the game was intense, but there weren't many clear chances on goal besides set piece opportunities. As the ref made several inconsistent calls, tensions boiled and there weren't many good spells of possession.
In the thirtieth minute, Jarrel Smalls scored the go-ahead goal. After the Revolution committed a foul in the attacking third, the RailHawks left back tried to play a quick ball back toward their centerback. The rushed passed was wayward and Smalls got on the end of it first and beat the goalkeeper to make the score 2-1.
Credit: Above and Beyond Highlights
The RailHawks had a chance to level the scoreline in the 38th minute when they had a free kick less than 25 yards from goal on the right side but Revolution goalkeeper, Sebastian Jones, handled it easily. Just before halftime, the Revolution had a huge opportunity to extend their lead through Sajaad Delane after Jarrel Smalls held up the play then put Delane through on the left side with only one defender to beat. After several stepovers in a very Gyasi Zardes-like moment, Delane shot wide left, no where near the goal. The Revolution ended the half with a 2-1 lead.
The Revolution made no changes going into the second half but were struck by disaster in just the 48th minute. The Revolution made a mess of a cross and the RailHawks equalized just minutes into the second half. The Revolution were once again plagued by small mistakes and gave up a lead. The remainder of the second half was similar to the first as there weren't many chances on either side and the match ended 2-2. Georgia Revolution remain in last place with only four points from six games
Jarrel Smalls was my man of the match with two goals. The lone striker applied pressure when needed and did well with hold-up play. I particularly liked the decision to play Scott Redding at right back. The Revolution don't seem to have a regular right back and playing central midfielder Adam McCabe in that position did not end well last week. Scott Redding had the discipline to get back but also provided options going forward.
Here are more highlights from Jarrel Smalls during the match that includes both Revolution goals:
Later this week, Georgia Revolution have their last two matches at home. The first, on Thursday against Tobacco Road at 7:00 PM and on Saturday against Knoxville Force at the same time.