Wilmington Hammerheads FC opened its 2016 home slate on Friday night as the local pro soccer club earned a nil-nil draw against the Richmond Kickers at Legion Stadium.
With the weather holding off in the Port City, the Hammerheads had a large turnout of supportive fans despite the on and off rain throughout the day. After both clubs settled in over the opening 20 minutes of the match, Wilmington began controlling possession until one of the closest chances presented itself when Richmond’s Yudai Imura pushed the ball wide of frame.
Wilmington had some searching sequences, but also wound up short of completing their attack, such as their 31st-minute opportunity when Mael Corboz crossed into the zone looking for Justin Moose, only to see Richmond goalkeeper Ryan Taylor snare the chance.
The closest effort for either side to a goal came in the 38th minute when Brazilian striker Luiz Fernando struck the post for Richmond.
The second half of action had a similar start as Taylor was called upon with a couple of early saves. In the 56th minute, Richmond’s Braeden Troyer came close to hitting the upper right corner, but pushed the ambitious shot just off frame.
The Hammerheads had a scare in the 71st minute when Richmond built up a nice sequence from Troyer and then to Samuel Asante, who was searching for Jason Yeisley in the box. Hammerheads goalkeeper John Smits was able to lunge on top of the ball before Yeisley had a clear chance to get to it for a potential score.
The game opened up down the stretch, but when all was said and done, neither club could put away a chance as the two sides moved to 1-0-1 in Eastern Conference play.
Wilmington Hammerheads FC return to the pitch for a road match against Charleston Battery on Saturday, April 9th at Blackbaud Stadium.