FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. – The Carolina RailHawks won their first road game of the season, topping the Fort Lauderdale Strikers FC 1-0 at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday.
The team’s positive finish snapped a six-game winless streak, and helped head coach Colin Clarke claim his 50th career win with the RailHawks.
“We came on the road and showed a lot of character and fight,” Clarke said.
“It was the first clean sheet of the season. I think this is a great victory for our confidence and our overall psyche.”
During first-half play, recently acquired goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald made a handful of saves to keep the game scoreless.
Despite Fort Lauderdale’s persistent pressure, the RailHawks (2W-4D-2L, 10 pts) mustered a late offensive push.
Nacho Novo set up Ty Shipalane to post his third goal of the year in the 44th minute – the eventual game winner.
Both teams pressed at both ends throughout the second half.
Fort Lauderdale (2W-1D-4L, 7 pts) put together a variety of attacks, but Fitzgerald helped to thwart each of them.
In the 81st minute, he extended his body across the goal line for a diving save.
The Strikers were granted one final chance at the end of stoppage time with a long free kick, but Fitzgerald absorbed the ball and the RailHawks’ first clean sheet of the season was preserved.
Carolina returns to WakeMed Soccer Park on Wednesday to face the Charlotte Independence in the third round of play in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The team will continue NASL action on Saturday when it heads out on the road again to face Jacksonville Armada FC.
CAR: Fitzgerald; Low, Danso, Tobin (C), Knight; Hlavaty (Osaki 87th), Thompson, Shipalane, Anderson (Wagner 77th), Albadawi; Novo (Catic, 82nd)
FTL: Brown; Sanfilippo, Adeleye (Angulo 79th), Kling, PC; Marcelin, Freitas, Frimpong (Chin 65th), Moura, Ramirez (Sanchez, 64th); Stefano
GOALS: CAR: Shipalane (Novo) – 44th; FTL:
CAUTIONS: CAR: Anderson (54th), Fitzgerald (62nd) Novo (70th); FTL: PC (59th) Adeley (67th)
EJECTIONS: CAR: –; FTL: —