MEMPHIS, TN - Nashville SC returned to action after an 11 day break, and took home all three points from their in-state rivals.
Head coach Gary Smith sent out an attacking side, returning to a 4-2-3-1 formation after using a back three in recent weeks.
With Matt LaGrassa out through injury and Michael Reed returning to full health, Bolu Akinyode and Vinnie Vermeer were paired in midfield, ahead of a defense that saw loanee Jimmy Ockford make his club debut.
After starting the match brightly, Nashville was pinned back by Memphis for a decent stretch in the first half, with Memphis possessing the ball deep in Nashville's half and creating a few half chances. 901 FC thought they had taken an early lead through former Nashville striker Brandon Allen, but the goal was disallowed for an offside earlier in the buildup.
After the disallowed goal, Nashville got more of a foothold in the match, creating a couple of chances before eventually taking the lead. A deep freekick from Lebo Moloto found Jimmy Ockford in the box, and the centerback was able to get the slightest of touches to direct the ball home.
Nashville doubled their lead just after halftime. Ockford made a brilliant tackle in his own box to deny Memphis a shot, springing Alan Winn on the counter. The winger drove the ball at Memphis before splitting their defense with a ball to the feet of Daniel Ríos, who smashed his shot into the top corner. It was the striker's 12th goal of the season, tying him for the lead in the USL Golden Boot race.
The remainder of the match saw half chances for both sides, but Nashville were able to see out the match in a fairly routine performance to secure all three points. This is their second win over Memphis this season (both by a scoreline of 2-0), and sends the Boys In Gold into 5th place with 32 points. Memphis drops into 16th place with just 14 points on the season.
Nashville SC will have the weekend off before taking on third-place Indy Eleven on July 27th at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.