MATCH REPORT: Islanders Rally But Unable to Find Game Winner to Stay in USL Playoff Race

USL MATCH REPORT

MILLERSVILLE, Pa. – The Harrisburg City Islanders found a late equalizer from Bobby Warshaw as they played Wilmington Hammerheads FC to a 1-1 draw on Saturday at Pucillo Field on the campus of Millersville University. The City Islanders’ postseason hopes came to a close though, and for the Hammerheads, it was a missed opportunity to move into the driver’s seat in the race for the postseason. With Orlando City B falling 1-0 to FC Cincinnati on Saturday, Wilmington was in position to move ahead of OCB in the Eastern Conference standings with one match remaining, thanks to Austin Martz’s third-minute tally. The Hammerheads were not able to hang on as they had to settle for a point and is now one point behind Orlando for that coveted eighth and final East spot in the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs. Wilmington moves to 7-12-10 (31 points) overall and 3-7-5 on the road. Harrisburg is now 7-15-7 (28 points) overall. The City Islanders finished the home slate winless in their final 10 games (0-6-4).

Scoring:
3’ – WIL – Austin Martz (Liam Miller)
78’ – HAR – Bobby Warshaw (Paul Wilson)

Three Things That Mattered:

1. Wilmington was the aggressor in the early minutes as Austin Martz gave the visiting side a lead in just the third minute. Bobby Warshaw lost the ball in the defensive third with a pair of Wilmington players on him and the Hammerheads poked through the City Islanders’ scattered defense. The Hammerheads’ Liam Miller sent a through ball toward the penalty spot, a dangerous area for Harrisburg goalkeeper Nick Noble who didn’t have enough time to collapse on Martz making his run from the right. Martz reached the ball first and slotted it home easily for his fourth goal of the season and an early 1-0 advantage.

2. With the early deficit, Harrisburg finally was able to make the necessary offensive push in the second half. They created some good chances in the 54th and 64th minutes, the first of which came from Cardel Benbow at the near left post, but his shot took a deflection and went out for a corner. The 64th-minute chance, Paul Wilson found a clear channel to shoot and Wilmington goalkeeper Eric Ati made a diving save to his left.

3. In the 78th minute, the City Islanders pulled even with Bobby Warshaw finding the back of the net to tie the score at 1-1. Harrisburg crossed the ball in from the left and eventually Wilson wound up with the ball at the end line. He spotted Warshaw who fired it into the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season. For Wilson, he is tied for the team lead in assists with six alongside Jose Barril.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Austin Martz, Wilmington Hammerheads FC – Martz put his side in a strong position on the road with the game’s opening goal as Wilmington now trails Orlando by just one point for that final postseason spot.

Upcoming Games:
Harrisburg City Islanders at FC Montreal – Sept. 24, 2 p.m. ET, Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard

29481d7a-bce2-485c-b5a6-6c44c9ff7c9e

Scoring:

3′ – WIL – Austin Martz (Liam Miller)

77′ – HAR – Warshaw (Paul Wilson)

City Islanders Starting XI: Nick Noble (GK); Jamie Thomas, Liam Doyle (Danny DiPrima 90), Dante Leverock, Shawn McLaws; Cardel Benbow, Bobby Warshaw, Mohammed Dabo (Brett Jankouskas 81), Cam Vickers (Craig Foster 68); Paul Wilson (Matt Bolduc 90), Jose Barril

Substitutions not used: Keasel Broome (GK), Youssef Naciri, Chris Hill

Wilmington Hammerheads Starting XI: Eric Ati (GK); Tom Parratt (Michael Mecham 82), Ashani Fairclough, Bruno Perone, Peabo Doue; Austin Martz (Quadus Lawal 75), Liam Miller, Justin Moose, Zev Taublieb; Jeff Michaud (Stefan Defregger 68), Matt Barnes-Homer (Jermie Lynch 81)

Substitutions not used: John Smits (GK), Logan Miller, Kyle Parker

Disciplines: 

HAR – Jamie Thomas – YC (40)

WIL – Liam Miller – YC (40)

WIL – Tom Parratt – YC (53)

WIL – Zev Taublieb – YC (59)

WIL – Qudus Lawal – YC (83)