Memphis 901 FC extends wins with 4-2 victory over Swope Park Rangers
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis 901 FC extend their win-streak to two matches with a 4-2 win Saturday at AutoZone Park over the Swope Park Rangers.
The Rangers opened the scoring, and Brandon Allen netted a second half brace to seal the come-from-behind win.
Memphis looked determined from the start. They went with a direct style of play which forced the Rangers to play out of their comfort zone.
Head coach Tim Mulqueen implemented a 4-3-3 formation and instructed his players to press after a possession loss.
Marcus Epps and Lagos Kunga played as the two wide forwards.
They immediately took advantage of the slower Swope Park fullbacks, when Memphis broke out on the break.
Epps found space on the right, in the 10th minute, beat his marker at the end line and whipped in a cross.
Forward, Allen timed his run with the cross and headed his shot off the crossbar.
Memphis nearly pulled ahead a minute later following a corner kick.
The Rangers opted to play with caution following the two chances.
They eventually punished Memphis on a counter attack, half an hour into the match.
Team captain Marc Burch was caught out of position, which forced Wes Charpie to dive into a late challenge inside the box.
Head official Lukasz Szpala signaled for a penalty kick and issued Charpie a yellow card.
Wilson Harris buried the penalty into the bottom right corner to open the scoring.
The goal marked the 27th time Memphis conceded a goal inside the final 15 minutes of a half.
Minutes later, the 901 FC’s Pierre Da Silva ignited the comeback.
Swope Park defender Rennico Clarke mishit his clearance inside the box.
Da Silva jumped on the end of the poor clearance and connected with a half-volley from 22 yards out to pull the match level.
Less than three minutes after the equalizer Josh Morton pulled Memphis ahead.
Lindley sent in an in-swinging cross from a corner and found Morton on the far side of the box.
The fullback lofted his header past the goalkeeper and into the bottom left-hand corner.
Memphis headed into the locker room with seven more shots, 62% possession and all the momentum.
They began the second half with a more relaxed style of play and were punished by the Rangers.
Swope Park’s Rassambek Akhmatov slotted a through-ball in between Liam Doyle and Burch, which left goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell in a one-v-one scenario.
Zé Pedro timed his run, took one touch and beat Caldwell from eight yards.
The exciting match continued with Memphis regaining the lead in the 67th minute.
Lindley once again unlocked the Swope Park defense with his passing expertise, this time with a 40-yard lofted through-ball.
Allen ran between two defenders, possessed the pass and beat goalkeeper John Pulskamp, near post.
The forward completed his brace and doubled the lead 12 minutes before the final whistle.
Substitute, Elliot Collier pulled down a long-pass with a soft first touch inside the box and slotted a pass across the face of goal to Allen.
The striker effortlessly scored at the far post.
The win marks the first time this season Memphis has won in consecutive matches.
They jumped from 16th to 14th and are eight points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Memphis have five days off before they resume their schedule Friday, September 13 at Loudoun United FC.
— By Caleb Hilliard