Hickory FC Defeats Charlottetowne Hops FC 1-0

By Charlottetowne Hops FC

Charlottetowne Hops FC opened up the home portion of their 2024 NPSL campaign by welcoming league newcomers Hickory FC to the OrthoCarolina Sportsplex in Pineville, NC on Friday night.  Both teams were coming off of victories – Charlottetowne a 5-0 defeat of Port City FC on Monday night and Hickory a 2-0 win over Apotheos FC at home on May 4 – and were looking to build upon those wins.

The game opened up with the home side very much in control of the match as they took the bulk of the possession and the lion’s share of the chances through most of the first half.  The match began to even out and sagged a bit in its middle portion as the visitors grew into the game, and things began to tighten up.

But in the 38th minute, a mistake at the back led to the game’s only goal.  A poor back pass by Hops defender William Cardona forced goalkeeper Lucca Barros out of his box to clean up the mess, but Hickory was able to jump on the goalkeeper’s clearance and take a shot on a goal, which Barros parried away.

The rebound only went as far as Hickory attacker Pablo Obrador, who managed to get the ball past Barros and defender Eli Pilcher, leading to a 1-0 for the away side.

And then the rain started to fall soon after, sending much of the crowd to run for cover as the reminder of the half was played in a downpour that kept on through the majority of halftime with the visitors up by a goal.

While the rain stopped to start the second half, it was a much more back-and-forth affair during the match’s second frame with both teams creating and failing to capitalize on opportunities.  One in particular for the home side came midway through the half when Hops winger Gabi Lopes put in an excellent cross to his opposite number Drew Hansen, who took a touch and sent in a shot that appeared destined for goal.  But Hickory goalkeeper Jasper Rump, the clear Man of the Match for the away side, stopped that shot along with two additional attempts before Hops striker Tyler Trimnal skied one over the bar to end the threat.

The final chance came in the match’s final moments as Trimnal was played in on goal against the keeper but lost his footing on the rain-soaked turf and couldn’t finish the chance.  The final whistle came with Hickory taking home all three points.

For Hickory, it is their third win in as many NPSL matches, leaving them first place in the league’s Southeast Conference with nine points from three matches.  Charlottetowne sits in third in the conference on three points.

The Hops will host Greenville United next Friday at the Sportsplex, while Hickory will host Port City FC next Saturday.

Photo Credit: Molly Kosofsky

 

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