Carolina Lightnin’ 2, Nashville Diamonds 0 (07.24.82)

Nashville 0-2 Carolina

July 24, 1982 — Brentwood Academy (Brentwood, Tenn.)

Scoring Summary
CAR — Redmond Lane 12′
CAR — Pat Fidelia (Don Tobin) [second half]

Diamonds Lose New Home Debut

(Nashville Tennessean, 07.24.82)

By Ted Power

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — The Nashville Diamonds fled to suburbia last night and found some more fans, but still couldn’t find the goal.

The Diamonds doubled their paid attendance for the season last night as 997 fans paid their way into Brentwood Academy’s football field. However, the Diamonds also suffered their third consecutive shutout, this time 2-0 at the hands of the defending American Soccer League champion Carolina Lightnin’.

It was the Diamonds’ first game at the private school after fleeing Tennessee State University’s Hale Stadium, where poor attendance left the team’s future in doubt.

Total attendance last night was estimated at 2,000, which included the 997 gate admissions and approximately 500 fans who purchased their season passes earlier in the season.

“This is a good barometer of what we can expect. This is an indication that the fans are here to support the Diamonds,” said team media director John Swauger.

The Brentwood debut was pleasant for most all parties concerned, including the players and Brentwood Academy football coach Carlton Flatt.

“I’m relieved at how good the field looks. I was concerned about that after seeing all the rain we’ve had recently,” said Flatt, whose school intends to use income generated from the Diamonds’ rent to add more bleachers to the 2,500-seat stadium.

Asked if he would have the Diamonds back next season should they plan a return to the area, Flatt said:

“From my standpoint, it would still be a financial thing. I’d like some more stands.”

The ASL waived not only a requirement concerning minimum seating capacity but also one concerning the dimensions of the field. But though the smaller playing surface bunched up the players last night, the lush, green surface was a welcome sight for both teams.

“The smaller field makes the game faster, but there aren’t so many mistakes because the field is so pure. The first time I saw it, I walked out here and almost cried,” said Diamonds defender Kurt Swanbeck.

“This field is so pure, perfectly flat. It makes for a perfect game … if the players play perfectly,” added Swanbeck.

But as far as the game itself, Swanbeck had no answers for the Diamonds’ inability to find the net. Nashville, 2-13-3, has not scored a goal since they tied Oklahoma City 2-2 two weeks ago at Hale Stadium.

Twelve minutes into the game, Carolina led 1-0, thanks to a Redmond Lane blast from 16 yards out, when Dario Ochoa gave the Diamonds their best chance of the game hen his header off a Dave Strecker corner kick glanced off the Carolina goalpost.

Ironically, early in the second half, Carolina set up the exact same play. Don Tobin, whose corner kick in the first half set up Lane’s goal, took another corner, crossed the ball in front of Nashville goalie Brien McInerney and on to the head of Pat Fidelia. He didn’t hit the goalpost and it was 2-0.

The Diamonds rallied late in the second half, they wound up outshooting Carolina 20-12, but never could get anything past Carolina goalie Scott Manning, who registered his fifth shutout of the year.

Carolina is now 7-9-2.

The Diamonds return to action here Friday night against the Detroit Express.