Wilmington Wins 2-0 Over Richmond: 1 Step Closer to Playoffs

By / Local Sports / Monday, 26 September 2016 04:00

Wilmington, NC – The Wilmington Hammerheads hosted the Richmond Kickers in the final fight for playoffs on Saturday night at Legion Stadium. In front of 3,395 supportive fans, Wilmington and Richmond started toe to toe. Both teams had opportunities to score, but Wilmington’s first came in the 7th minute with a close cross by #22 Kyle Parker, missing the goal by a foot.
Wilmington fired another close shot in the 16th minute, which ultimately payed off. #9 Matthew Barnes Homer scored the first goal of the match, with an assist by #6 Liam Miller. With a pumped up crowd, Wilmington set the tone for the game. As the first half continued, Wilmington controlled the ball firing shot after shot. #10 Justin Moose, #7 Austin Martz, and Parker created several opportunities to score, continuously pressing Richmond’s defense. Aside from Richmond’s defense, Wilmington continued to fire shots on goal, testing the skills of goalkeeper #50 Andrew Dykstra. Unfortunately for Richmond, they were unable to gain momentum against Wilmington, and the Port City team ended the first half leading 1-0. Wilmington entered the second half carrying the momentum from their 1-0 lead at the half. Richmond’s defense continued to put up a good fight, as Wilmington continued to push offensively.
Wilmington earned a free-kick in the 63rd minute, which resulted in a series of unfortunate events for Richmond; when a rebounded ball opened the opportunity for #4 Michael Mecham to score the second goal of the match; assisted by #2 Tom Parratt.
Now down 2-0, Richmond attempted a counterattack in the 68th minute when #5 Michael Callahan went one-on-one with Mecham; only to shoot a wide, low ball. In the 71st minute, Mecham had an incredible save heading the ball just over the net after a shot on goal by Richmond.
Despite the score, Richmond had three close corner kicks in the second half alone, attempting to even the score. Wilmington counterattacked with Parker’s high shot during the 89th minute; Wilmington’s fifth shot on goal all game. Wilmington’s goalkeeper, #16 Eric Ati, proved his starting position with numerous saves throughout the match, preventing Richmond from scoring any goals.
As the second half continued, Wilmington dominated the field with meticulous passes and strategic shots. In the last minute of stoppage time, Richmond took a free-kick at the top of Wilmington’s 18. Regardless of Richmond’s attempts, Wilmington’s defensive wall blocked the shot.
Richmond played well, but Wilmington remained one step ahead of Richmond all night; resulting in a 2-0 win for the Port City. Head coach Mark Briggs elaborated, “What a performance to go out on. Now the pressure is firmly on Orlando City. The atmosphere tonight was fantastic, the fans were our 12th man.” Moose received the only yellow card of the game in the 70th minute.
Be sure to catch tomorrow’s game between Orlando and Bethlehem to see if Wilmington will make playoffs!


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