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Persistence Pays Off #WILvMTL

by Marissa Blackman

This afternoon, Wilmington Hammerheads FC faced FC Montreal for this first time of the season. The result was a 2-0 victory with goals spread evenly between the halves.

In the first half, the Hammerheads were certainly in control, but Montreal wasn't completely ignorable either. Qudus Lawal scored in the sixth minute. In addition to creating chances in open play, the Hammerheads also made the most of opportunities from corner kicks. The team collectively showed tenacity by persisting in trying to salvage goals even after the initial attempts from corners were foiled.

One aspect of the first half that was especially memorable was the quality of the shots taken. There were no haphazard attempts. Every shot was beautiful and feasible. Many of the shots that were missed were so skillful that they elicited cheers from the crowd.

In the second half, the Hammerheads lost some of their earlier potency. Although Montreal played with an increased sense of urgency, the Canadian club was never able to score. Matthew Barnes-Homer headed in what would be the last goal of the game in the fifty ninth minute. Even with the decrease in Hammerheads' momentum, a combination of persistency and fresh legs from substitutions kept Montreal at bay.
As always, John Smits was a real wall in the goal. Between his ability and the misalignment of Montreal shots, there were few moments when a Montreal goal was more than a missed chance.

This result boosts the Hammerheads up to fourth place. Interestingly, the Hammerheads, the Richmond Kickers and the Charleston Battery are all tied in points and goals scored and have earned the same number of points on the same number of games with the exact same record. The club that inches ahead of the others first will move up to second place.

Wilmington's season continues with another home game this Friday against second place club New York Red Bulls II.

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