When it looked like an equalizer was not in the cards for Wilmington Hammerheads FC, Liam Miller came through with a massive score in stoppage time to give the visitors from the Port City a 2-2 draw against Orlando City on Sunday night.
Playing down a man for nearly 40 minutes after Bruno Perone received a straight red card, Miller’s first goal of the season came in the dying seconds of the match as shorthanded Wilmington pushed numbers forward. Logan Miller picked up his second assist of the game after dropping the ball to Liam Miller, who found the upper right corner of the frame to level the score two-all. It was a huge moment for the Hammerheads, who conceded a Tony Rocha goal just eight minutes earlier to put Orlando City in front, 2-1.
Momentum swung back-and-forth from the opening kick as Orlando held two leads – one after a Michael Cox penalty kick in the 27th minute, which was followed by Rocha’s tally on an 82nd minute go-ahead score.
Ashani Fairclough leveled the match early in the second half, but the Hammerheads created a big hole four minutes later when Perone was sent off.
Newly signed Michael Binns made his first appearance and start for the Hammerheads on Sunday and the Jamaican played a significant role in set piece opportunities throughout the match. He was responsible for the setup work leading to Wilmington’s opening score with a deep left-footed corner kick from the right. The service found Logan Miller, who headed it toward the edge of the six to Fairclough. Fairclough stuck his right foot out and redirected the ball into the back of the net to tie the score 1-1 in the 48th minute.
Wilmington moves to 6-7-6 (24 points) overall and 3-4-3 on the road. Orlando City is now 6-6-7 (25 points) overall and 3-4-5 at home. Both clubs remain in the mix for the final playoff spot in the USL Eastern Conference Table.
The two teams will square off one more time during the regular season on Sept. 7 at Wilmington’s Legion Stadium. The Hammerheads return to the their home pitch for a match with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on July 30.
27’ – ORL – Michael Cox (penalty)
48’ – WIL – Ashani Fairclough (Logan Miller)
82’ – ORL – Tony Rocha
90’+ – WIL – Liam Miller (Logan Miller)