Second-half goal gives Wilmington win vs. Red Bulls Reserves
Saturday, June 15. 2013
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Wilmington Hammerheads midfielder Daniel Steres gave his side victory on Saturday night with his lone goal against the New York Red Bulls Reserves at Legion Stadium proving the difference in a 1-0 victory in front of 4,287 fans. The win was the Hammerheads' fourth of the league season, moving them within two points of the eighth and final playoff place.
Wilmington maintained the majority of possession as the match kicked off and forward Kyle Greig kept up the intensity leading the team down the field with multiple attempts on goal. A hard shot over the crossbar in the 17th minute by Greig came close to opening the scoring, and Paul Nicholson closely followed Greig with an attempt from the top of the penalty area that nearly went below the crossbar for a chance to put the Hammerheads on the board.
New York's Rafhinha had his side's first good opportunity in the 34th minute as he attempted to get the ball off his foot for a shot in the penalty area, only for the ball to be taken away by Wilmington defender Shawn Nicklaw, giving the Hammerheads possession and further opportunities as he carried it down the sideline. With the first half coming to a close, a sequence of passes between Wilmington's Cory Elenio and Daniel Steres made the perfect set up for Nicholson and midfielder Will Heaney to conjure a play that forced the Red Bulls to drop back in their territory and giving Nicholson another attempt at the back of the net, but goalkeeper Ryan Meara was on hand to save.
The lone goal of the night that would eventually give the Hammerheads victory at the final whistle came from Steres in the 57th minute off an assist by Gareth Evans. Shortly following his assist, Evans attempted a header on New York goalkeeper Santiago Castaño off a corner kick but the substitute goalkeeper answered as he deflected the shot away to safety.
After numerous attempts, Greig came close to giving the Hammerheads the insurance goal they needed but was called offside on a late call by the referee. Wilmington goalkeeper Troy Hernandez had his best save of the night as a shot from New York midfielder Marius Obekop forced him to leap in the air for an attempt that almost tucked into the top of the net in the 74th minute, and the goalkeeper again had to be sharp inside the final 10 minutes as the Red Bulls pushed for an equalizer. Wilmington was able to hold on as Hernandez finished with six saves to record the shutout.
The Wilmington Hammerheads will host the Charlotte Eagles on Saturday, June 22 at Legion Stadium. For further information regarding the Wilmington Hammerheads, please contact (910) 777-2111 or visit online at www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com.