CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte Independence's Brian Brown tallied a second-half goal and it held up as the host side defeated Wilmington Hammerheads FC 1-0 on Saturday at the Ramblewood Soccer Complex. Goalkeeper John Berner earned his fourth clean sheet of the season. This marked the third meeting of the season between the two clubs. After drawing 1-1 on May 10 at Wilmington's Legion Stadium, the Hammerheads won 2-1 on July 9 at Ramblewood. Wilmington has not earned a victory since that game, now winless in six straight (0-5-1). Charlotte improves to 10-6-6 (36 points) overall and 6-4-1 at home. The Independence extended their unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-2). Wilmington falls to 6-10-6 (24 points) overall.
65' – CLT – Brian Brown
Three Things That Mattered:
1. Charlotte broke the scoreless stalemate with a strong individual effort from Brian Brown in the 65th minute. Brown was isolated on the left side and he shimmied his way into the box. As he cut to his right, Brown shot across his body and snuck his shot past Wilmington goalkeeper Eric Ati and inside the left post for a 1-0 win. Brown now has five goals this season.
2. The opening half was scoreless, with a couple chances for both sides brewing. Charlotte actually had twice as many shots in the opening 45 minutes, with each team posting one on frame. For Wilmington, the visiting side was the closest to notching a first-half goal when Wilmington's Jermie Lynch forced Charlotte goalkeeper John Berner into making a stretching save to parry the ball over the crossbar. The Hammerheads crossed the ball in from the left to Lynch making a run toward the right post. He headed the ball toward the upper right corner of the frame and Berner rose up to the challenge.
3. For the first time this season, Wilmington has been shut out in back-to-back matches. The Hammerheads had lost 2-0 to the Rochester Rhinos on Aug. 6. However, Wilmington certainly should have had an opportunity for a penalty kick at the close as a replay clearly showed that the Independence committed a handball in the box. Wilmington's defense showed some improvement on the road Saturday. It had conceded a whopping 15 goals in five games heading into the match.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Brian Brown, Charlotte Independence – Brown showed some individual brilliance to cut through Wilmington's defense for the lone goal.