Saturday, July 30, 2011
Hammerheads Inch Closer and Closer to First Place in the American Division with a Dominating Show on the Road
Shortly after arriving at St. Johns University(Belson Stadium) for the FCNY vs. Wilmington Hammerheads game, the rain started coming down. Roughly an hour before kickoff it was nothing but a cloudy haze, then lightning struck and the teams were sent to the locker room until further notice.
Both teams were once again sent to their locker rooms and play was postponed. Shortly after the rain had stopped the teams made their way back onto the field. The game was almost called off due to extreme flooding on certain parts of the fields, but out of nowhere the field dried up and FCNY personnel took care of the excessively flooded areas.
I was extremely impressed with the FCNY staff and they really helped this game get done. Both teams are set to travel to away matches this weekend and a rematch was something everyone wanted to avoid. After starring at puddles on the field get bigger and bigger, once the rain stopped, I was amazed to see that this turf dried faster than any field I've ever seen before. One spot on the pitch was flooded, but at one point the whole field was flooded and sure enough it dried up and the game was back on.
The game was resumed finally at the 10:09 mark and Wilmington wasted little time getting on the board. Andriy Budnyy chipped the keeper ever so eloquently in the 29th minute giving the Hammerheads a 1-0 lead. The game would remain that way going into halftime.
With the rain gone and the field in better condition, other than a few moments, the second half was utter domination. The Hammerheads put consistent waves of pressure on FC New York, and in the 52nd minute Luke Mulholland got his goal, putting his team up 2-0.
In the 55th minute Gareth Evans blocked a shot attempt on goal with his hand and the referee wasted little time awarding a penalty kick for FCNY. Evans was issued a yellow card and Jhonny Arteaga had Brock Duckworth guessing the wrong way when he tucked it away to the right corner.
A few minutes later the New York had a chance to equalize when the ball was bouncing around near the Hammerheads 6-yard box, but no one could finish it off. The ball was eventually cleared away and led to a fastbreak opportunity for the league leader in goals. Mullholland netted his second goal of the game and put Wilmington in a great position with less than 30 minutes to go.
The team had two goals called back, one for offsides and one for a handball by Andres Cuero(shown below), which could've easily made the final score 5-1. Coach Irving used five subs in the second half, trying to rest some of the guys for their upcoming game vs. Harrisburg City Islanders.
Wilmington now sits on 36 points (11-6-3), moving into second place in the American Division. They play tonight at 7pm at Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.