HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Harrisburg City Islanders earned a 1-0 win against Wilmington Hammerheads FC on a late Cardel Benbow goal, which gave the Islanders their first victory in almost two months.
Benbow's speed and skill had been frustrating the Wilmington defense all night but he had just enough left to storm past the defender after he received a ball from Jason Plumhoff on a breakout. He was in on the goalkeeper alone and rifled a shot over the shoulder to put the Islanders up for the deciding tally.
After controlling the pace of play for the majority of the game the Islanders were finally rewarded with a goal that kept the team undefeated at home and puts the Islanders right back into the playoff hunt.
The game started and it looked like the Islanders had the ball on a rope at times. They controlled the pace of play and very rarely surrendered possession. The defense held up against a Wilmington offense that has only scored 11 goals all season.
Benbow kept the pressure on early and often. His speed up the side kept giving the Hammerheads trouble. Benbow was swinging passes into the box and often finding Brett Jankouskas or Plumhoff. The best chance early on for the Islanders came off of a Jankouskas header that was volleyed away by Andre Rawls. City kept the pressure on with two corners kicks that just missed the net.
In the second half both teams had trouble stringing together quality play to result in any real threats on goal.
Harrisburg took its one chance on goal and converted. Plumhoff sprung out of his own end with two Hammerheads and Benbow streaking with him. He pulled up to play a perfect ball to Benbow that pushed him out wide and gave him options. City has had made a habit out of letting in late goals and Saturday night was almost no different.
Wilmington's best chance happened right after the Islander goal. They made a run that brought Nick Noble off his line, but Leverock was able to get behind Noble to blast the ball off of the line and preserve the win.