Game Recaps presented by Wells Fargo
CHARLOTTE, NC (Aug. 13, 2016) — The Charlotte Independence on Saturday night defeated in-state rival the Wilmington Hammerheads 1-0 behind Brian Brown’s second half goal in the Southern Derby at Ramblewood Stadium.
With the win, the Independence extended their point streak to five-straight games (3-0-2) and boosted their playoff position in the Eastern Conference. But to do so, the Independence had to fight off a physical Wilmington team that drew three cautions from the referee.
“It’s a big win for us – tonight was important to re-establish ourselves at home because I don’t feel like we’ve been as good here,” said Independence Head Coach Mike Jeffries. “We needed to win this one for ourselves.”
Charlotte controlled possession from the get go. Enzo Martinez came close to putting the Independence ahead just two minutes in, but saw his attempt from in close pushed aside by Wilmington goalkeeper Eric Ati. Brown and Joel Johnson then each saw their low crosses inside 10 minutes cleared away by the defense, as Charlotte kept the Hammerheads trapped inside their half.
Independence goalkeeper John Berner kept the score level with the Wells Fargo Save of the Game when he tipped Jermie Lynch’s header over the bar on the stroke of halftime.
“I have to give credit to the team – they really limit chances and make my life easy,” Berner said. “My job is to make saves when called upon and it just so happened to be at the end of the first half in a critical moment.”
The Independence maintained the pressure after the break when Caleb Calvert nearly rolled the ball in at the far post. Wilmington then had a chance to break the deadlock against the run of play but Austin Martz – alone on goal – sent his shot soaring over the bar.
Brown scored his fifth goal of the season in the 65th minute when he powered into the box before hammering a shot past Ati. Never looking to double the lead, the Independence were able to battle off a late appeal for a penalty.
The Independence (10-6-6) face a quick turnaround and are back in action at Ramblewood Stadium on Wednesday, Aug. 17. They will host Orlando City B (8-7-7), who is coming off a 5-1 loss to New York Red Bulls II. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm ET.
Charlotte: Berner, Slogic, Kalungi, Duckett, Johnson, Hilton (Herrera 46), E. Martinez (Clowes 70), Davidson, Estrada (A. Martinez 46), Calvert (Metcalf 82), Brown (Hassan 82).
Unused subs: Mizell, Pfeffer.
Goal: Brown (65).
Wilmington: Ati, Poue, Mecham, Perone, Fairclough, Miller, Taublieb (Miller 85), Binns (Sousa 70), Moose (Barnes-Homer 70), Martz (Defregger 70), Lynch (Townsend 80)
Unused subs: Smits, Parratt.
Bookings: Taublieb, Binns, Mecham.
Referees: Guido Gonzales Jr., Benjamin Wooten, Rick Rogers, Gustavo Solorio.
— compiled by Allen Gunn, Charlotte Independence