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Hickory FC Fall in Regular Season Home Finale

Hickory FC gave up an early goal to Appalachian FC Saturday night at Moretz Stadium, as Hickory FC lost 1-0 in front of a franchise record crowd.

Hickory FC started out hot, and somehow missed a pair of opportunities that hit the crossbar after two different strikes in the same possession in the 25th minute.

After that moment, Appalachian FC started to get hot. Just as it looked like Appalachian was about to sneak one over the Hickory FC goalies head, Roger Sanguinetti sacrificed himself with a spectacular kick to avoid a goal, but wrapped himself around the side of the goal. He would catch his breath and stay in the contest.

Appalachian FC was issued three yellow cards on the night, and the first came in the 27th minute. After a rough tackle, Bobby Turner was issued the first booking. However, seven minutes later, Elie Bokota, from the University of Memphis, knocked in the games only goal.

The second half saw back-to-back yellow cards issued, first on Hickory FC’s Jorge Jimenez, the Bunker Hill product, and Appalachian’s Vincent Montoya in the 67th minute. In the 71st minute, after words were exchanged with an official, Appalachian’s Rashawn Kellman was issued a straight red card, forcing Appalachian FC to play the remaining 19 minutes a man down,

The final booking of the contest came in the 87th minute, again on Appalachian FC, on Charlie Leech.

Despite the rough play, Appalachian FC were able to control the contest and limit Hickory FC’s shot opportunities, especially late in the contest. Due to the excessive heat, each half saw a five minute hydration break for both teams.

Hickory had five wins, two losses, and one tie, enough for 16 points in the Southeast Division of the National Premier Soccer League’s standings. They have almost qualified for the four team playoff. Appalachian FC and Apotheos FC each have 17 points and Charlottetown Hops joins Hickory FC with 16 points. Currently in fifth place with seven points is 865 Alliance, who Hickory FC will play in the regular season finale. However, up next for Hickory FC is sixth place Bristol Rhythm AFC, on the road Saturday at 7pm.