WILMINGTON, N.C. – Wilmington Hammerheads FC and the Charleston Battery played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night at Legion Stadium as O’Brian Woodbine’s long-range strike earned the Battery a point on the road in the Southern Derby clash. The Hammerheads took the lead with 10 minutes to go in the first half when a free kick by Michael Binns took a deflection off the defensive wall and found the left corner of the net, but the Battery hit back with an outstanding goal by Woodbine from 30 yards in stoppage time to leave it level at the break. Wilmington went close to regaining the lead as Matthew Barnes-Homer shot wide on the hour-mark. The Battery almost struck moments later as Maikel Chang had a shot cleared off the line by Hammerheads defender Ashani Fairclough. Charleston’s Dante Marini then hit the right post with a shot from the left side of the penalty area, while the Battery’s Forrest Lasso had to make a goal-line clearance for the visitors as Kyle Parker’s header almost found the net. Wilmington goalkeeper Eric Ati also made a big save with four minutes to go to deny Quinton Griffith’s header from a corner, but the game ended all square as lightning struck as the game entered stoppage time.
35’ – WIL – Michael Binns
45+’ – CHS – O’Brian Woodbine
Three Things That Matter:
1. The Battery got a wonder-strike from O’Brian Woodbine with the final kick of the first half to earn a point against the Hammerheads, but the result will not what they would have been looking for as they slid to seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Battery were in contention for a top-four position a few weeks ago, but strong runs of form by Charlotte and Richmond saw both sides overtake them this week, and the pathway in the playoffs could be very difficult for Charleston if the side can’t put a run of its own together in the closing stretch.
2. The game was chippy affair in the first half, as you might expect from a rivalry game, but once the teams settled down there were some very bright passages of play from both teams as they looked to find a way to take all three points. Each side came close, too, as big defensive plays by Wilmington’s Ashani Fairclough and Charleston’s Forrest Lasso kept the game all square into the final 15 minutes, while Eric Ati’s save for the Hammerheads from Quinton Griffith saved his side from conceding a late decider.
3. The Hammerheads played far better than they had of late, but the end result was another big blow to their hopes of reaching the playoffs. With seven games to go, and now a six-point deficit to make up on eighth-place Orlando City B, time is fast running out on Wilmington as it faces the prospect of a second consecutive season without postseason action.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
O’Brian Woodbine, Charleston Battery – Woodbine had a positive performance overall, but his piece of control to take a cleared corner down and set up a strike from 30 yards will go down as one of the Battery’s top highlights of the season.
Wilmington Hammerheads FC at Pittsburgh Riverhounds – August 24, 7 p.m. ET, Highmark Stadium
Charleston Battery vs. Charlotte Independence – August 27, 7:30 p.m. ET, MUSC Health Stadium