USP Pro Release
The Wilmington Hammerheads claimed their fourth consecutive league victory as they took a 2-1 victory against the Charlotte Eagles on Saturday night at the Queens Sports Complex. Toronto FC loanee Manny Aparicio and Steven Miller scored first-half goals for the Hammerheads, while Drew Yates pulled a goal back late for the Eagles, but Wilmington was able to claim all three points to continue their move up the USL PRO standings.
The opportunities for both teams started off with a free kick in the fourth minute for Wilmington that was blocked by the Eagles defense. The Hammerheads came out strong and capitalized on their opportunities in the first half, outshooting the Eagles 6-2, and opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Aparicio took a through-ball from Samuel Ochoa and slotted the ball past Brock Duckworth. The Eagles created some chances and had an opportunity came from Wells Thompson in the 26th minute but his shot went just wide of the post.
In the 28th minute Wilmington threatened again but their corner was saved by a Matt Gold header off the line. Four minutes later, however, the Hammerheads struck again when Miller's shot took a deflection off Bilal Duckett that wrong-footed Duckworth and found the back of the net for a 2-0 halftime lead.
The Charlotte coaching staff made some changes in the lineup, inserting Jorge Herrera, Drew Yates and Juan Guzman hoping to inject some life into the squad at the break. Ben Newnam had a good chance when he ripped a shot towards Wilmington goalkeeper Quillan Roberts but it was well saved by the Toronto FC loanee. Charlotte created another opportunity from David Geno in the 66th minute, but again the shot was scooped up by Roberts.
Tensions came to a high in the 72' when the Hammerheads were given two yellow cards in less than five minutes, and that trend continued for the remainder of the game as the Hammerheads ended up taking 12 fouls in the second half alone (17 fouls total).
The Eagles got on the board in the 90th minute when Yates rocketed a right-footed shot past Roberts into the upper corner of the net off a pass by Geno. The Hammerheads would see out stoppage time to earn all three points, and avenge their only loss in the league this season.