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Hammerheads Tie Montreal

by Marissa Blackman

For the second time this season, the Wilmington Hammerheads FC  competed against FC Montreal.

Although the first half of the match was competitive, both teams were lacking at times. There was a bit of disconnection in passes between the Hammerheads in the early minutes of the match which lead to some preventable turnovers. Montreal certainly made its presence known by maintaining a fair share of possession, but the Canadian club never did much with the ball. Each time Montreal attempted to approach the goal, the Hammerheads cleared the ball. There were virtually no moments in the first half where Montreal made a real threat of a goal. The Hammerheads made several goal attempts but none were successful. Although the first half was a goalless one, the Hammerheads seemed much more likely to score.

In the second half, Montreal had a larger presence. Though FC Montreal maintained possession in the first minutes after half time, the efforts did not force Hammerheads goalkeeper Andre Rawls to make any moves until the 59th minute. Subsequently, the match consisted of each club attempting to make plays before being foiled by the opposition. As the 90th minute drew closer, both clubs started playing with renewed urgency. Wilmington was absolutely relentless with attempts, some of which were well wide of the goal.

The final ten minutes of the match were the most entertaining. Pace increased substantially. Hammerheads newcomer Zev Taublieb made his debut for the club. Wilmington continued trying for a game winning goal. Especially in the final minute of overtime, Montreal made very feasible, well placed shots. The goalkeepers, Rawls for Wilmington and Paulmin for Montreal, were very impressive in this match. During the last crucial minutes, either team could have scored if the goalies were less vigilant, but they made their respective goals impenetrable despite the constant, at times unexpected, threats.

The Hammerheads played very promisingly. Scoring has been a challenge for the club this season, and Wilmington could have scored multiple goals in this match. The players were certainly not afraid to take shots. There were even instances where midfielders and defenders who would traditionally stay towards the back ran up to capitalize on goal opportunities.

This match and the previous one (a 1-2 loss at the hands of the Rochester Rhinos) prove that the 4-2 victory over New York Red Bulls II was not an isolated result. The Hammerheads scored a goal against Rochester and could have scored at least one tonight. This club seems to have found the right formula for scoring, which will undoubtedly lead to future victories.

There are only five more regular season games for Wilmington Hammerheads FC to complete. Next Saturday, there will be an away game versus New York Red Bulls II, which will be the fourth and final time Wilmington and New York play each other.

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