Equalizer waved off in stoppage time as Hammerheads fall to New York

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New York Red Bulls II found just enough to pull off their 1-0 road result against a tough Wilmington Hammerheads FC side on Friday.

Dan Metzger’s goal in the 59th minute was the difference as New York moved to 3-0-2 overall, grabbing three points as the number one team in this week’s United Soccer League Power Rankings.

Wilmington Hammerheads FC fell to 2-2-0 overall on Friday. Photo courtesy- Wilmington Hammerheads FC
Wilmington Hammerheads FC fell to 2-2-0 overall on Friday. Photo courtesy- Wilmington Hammerheads FC

“USL games tend to be that way,” NYRB II Head Coach John Wolyniec said. “They’re good, competitive games and, when the score line [is] tight, the end of the game is a bit of a free-for-all.”

With its fourth straight clean sheet, Red Bulls II (3-0-2, 11 points) has not allowed a goal in 405 consecutive minutes, improving to 2-0-0 on the road.

With Wilmington pushing forward in stoppage-time, the Hammerheads looked to find the equalizer, but Bruno Perone’s strike was nullified after a questionable foul call on Kyle Parker as he collided with goalkeeper Rafael Diaz. It would be the closest scoring chance of the night for the Hammerheads, who dropped to 2-2-1 on the season.

“I think people know in and around the league that Wilmington is a different team this year,” said Wilmington Hammerheads FC Coach Mark Briggs. “When they come to Legion [Stadium], they’re going to be in for a fight. They’re going to be in for a battle.”

Both teams played to an even first half, with a few scoring chances each as New York held a 5-4 shot advantage after 45 minutes of action. Jeff Michaud had an early left foot strike from just out the 18-yard box, but Diaz was up to task coming off a shutout one week ago against Rochestor.

After Metzger’s goal, emotions soared on and off the field, with difficult calls from the referees and a yellow card on Wilmington’s Ashani Fairclough in the 72nd minute.

Wilmington Hammerheads FC embarks on a two-match road swing beginning Saturday, April 30 with a date at FC Cincinnati.