WILMINGTON – Facing a winnable contest against a struggling Pittsburgh side on Saturday night, the Wilmington Hammerheads were unable to find their stride in a 4-1 setback at Legion Stadium.
Two goals late in the opening 45 minutes gave the Riverhounds a 2-0 lead at the break and Pittsburgh secured its first road win of the season with a pair of scores during the second half of play to improve to 3-12-4 (13 points) overall. Meanwhile, Wilmington saw its win-less streak go to four games, falling to 6-8-6 (24 points) this season.
The Riverhounds entered Saturday’s match having scored only two goals in its previous six matches, but gained some much-needed momentum heading into halftime as Kevin Kerr’s left-footed strike in the 45th minute and Corey Hertzog’s tally in stoppage time was a result of some shaky defense by the Hammerheads. Wilmington was playing down a pair of starters on the back line as center backs Bruno Perone and Ashani Fairclough both served a one game suspension. Perone was red carded in last weeks draw against Orlando, while Fairclough missed because of yellow card accumulation.
However, Wilmington cut into the deficit when Jermie Lynch tallied in the 62nd minute during his first appearance for the club after the Hammerheads picked up the Jamaican on loan from Saint Louis FC earlier in the week. But, Pittsburgh responded with goals by Stephen Okai and Nick Thompson to grab the victory. Hertzog was named Man of the Match with one goal and a pair of assists after the break.
Qudus Lawal was sent off late in the second half for Wilmington with a straight red card, marking the second time in as many matches the Hammerheads had to play short-handed.
The Hammerheads will play their next two games on the road beginning with a trip to New York for a date with the Rochester Rhinos on August 6.
45’ – PGH – Kevin Kerr
45’+ – PGH – Corey Hertzog (Mike Green)
62’ – WIL – Jermie Lynch
69’ – PGH – Stephen Okai (Corey Hertzog)
90’ – PGH – Nick Thompson (Corey Hertzog)