by Neil Morris
The result was strangely appropriate for a game in which the RailHawks, playing without injured leading scorer Brian Shriver, should have scored more and their sometimes unsteady defense appeared destined to surrender multiple goals. After Breiner Ortiz squandered a one-on-one goal-scoring opportunity in the 36th minute, Austin Da Luz dispossessed Atlanta's DaniloTurcios in the 44th minute and fed a deft ball ahead to a streaking Zack Schilawski. The Carolina striker one-touched the ball past goalkeeper Daniel Illyes for his second goal this season the 1-0 lead at intermission.
Atlanta controlled pace and possession for most of the second half. However, they failed to put the ball on frame most of the night: only three of their 12 shots were on-target. Moreover, RailHawks keeper Ray Burse put on a terrific display to earn his second clean sheet this season, including a spectacular diving deflection of a Borfor Carr blast in the 78th minute and couple of header saves in the game's waning minutes.
Ty Shipalane, getting his first start since the May 12 match at Minnesota, blew two unabated scoring chances in the second stanza, both thwarted by Illyes, who compiled five saves of his own. However, in the 86th minute, Shipalane delivered a cross off the right wing that found the foot of second-half sub Brian Ackley in the goalmouth. Ackley directed the finish for the 2-0 final margin.
The win lifts Carolina (3-5-4, 14 points) into the sixth position in the NASL standings and only three points behind the 3rd-place Minnesota Stars FC. The RailHawks look to continue their winning way next Saturday, June 23 when they host FC Edmonton at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.