Wilmington Hammerheads FC and Charlotte Independence finished with a 1-1 draw at Legion Stadium on Friday night. Hammerheads forward Nick Zimmerman tallied his first goal of the season off a penalty kick in the 43rd minute, but Enzo Martinez equalized the score for Charlotte midway through the second half to give each side one point in the USL standings.
Zimmerman had his first attempt of the night in under a minute of play going one-on-one with Charlotte goalkeeper John Berner, resulting in a high shot to the right of the goal. Charlotte’s Ryan Finley responded moments later with a shot on Hammerheads goalkeeper Larry Jackson that set the pace of the night for both teams. Minutes later, Finley made contact off a far cross for a header on goal, but Jackson refused to allow access.
Hammerheads defender Anthony Peters had his chance at a goal attempt following a breakaway, but was denied the opportunity following an offsides call. After several attempts from both sides, it was after Wilmington’s Andrae Campbell was brought down in the box resulting in a penalty kick that put the Hammerheads on the board.
Zimmerman hammered a hard ball into the back of the net past Berner to take the lead for the Hammerheads right before the end of the first half.
After the break, Finley continued to take attempts to try and decrease the one point deficit for Charlotte, but struggled to find the net. Seconds following his entry into the game in the second half, Hammerheads midfielder Marc Godelman was close to securing a second goal for Wilmington in the 64th minute after Berner came off his line and he volleyed a soft ball over his head that rolled near the penalty area before being cleared out of bounds.
It was the 71st minute that Martinez scored his first goal of the season and tied the match for Charlotte on a low ball that slipped beneath Jackson on the dive.
The intensity was clear on the field as both teams looked to find another goal before the end of the match. Ultimately, each side earned one point in the league standings and will meet on the pitch against one another two more times during the regular season.