In the closing seconds Saturday night at Finley Stadium, John Carrier had the ball at his feet and nothing between himself and the goal but Rocket City United goalkeeper Stephen Lunney.
The Chattanooga Football Club midfielder dribbled deep into Rocket City territory -- the crowd of 2,356 roaring at the chance for a last-second game-winner -- and his shot went just wide of the left post. It was that kind of night for CFC, which had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Chattanooga FC (2-1-1) didn't dominate possession, neither team controlled the midfield, but the team had the superior scoring chances.
"We created, by my count, three one-on-ones [in the second half], and we had a free header at the back post on a cross [in the first]," CFC coach Bill Elliott said. "We have to score those."
CFC's other great chances in the second half came when Felippe Lawall got free on a breakaway and had only Lunney to beat. The far-reaching goalkeeper blocked Lawall's first attempt and recovered enough to deflect the second when Lawall tried to flip the ball over his head.
In the 23rd minute CFC's Rafa Faria sent a header past Lunney, and it was nudged into the left side of the goal by Michael Brooks for a 1-0 lead.
Elliot had a great view of all the action because he opted to watch most of the game from one of the third-floor luxury boxes. He had enjoyed the bird's-eye view during the reserves game earlier in the day -- CFC's reserves beat United's 2-0 -- and stayed up there for nearly all of the first half.
He came down at the 68-minute mark of the second, just in time to see Rocket City (0-1-2) draw even, in the 76th minute, with a pretty, bending shot that CFC goalkeeper Greg Hartley could only flail at before it hit the net.
The goal was just the second allowed by CFC in four games this season.
"I think we're pretty solid," CFC defender Andy Stewart said. "We're disappointed to concede [a goal] -- we don't expect to concede -- but we're playing pretty well. We're just not scoring goals, and that's putting a lot of pressure on us defensively."
Chattanooga FC, which has scored three goals in four games, hosts the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves next Saturday.
John Frierson is in his fifth year at the Times Free Press and fifth year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...