Jimmy McLaughlin was inches away from winning the game in the 89th minute in Charlotte Friday night, but his shot attempt fizzed harmlessly wide right and the City Islanders (1-2-1) settled for a 1-1 draw.
McLaughlin and Dzenan Catic were loaned out for the game in Charlotte against the USL newcomers and Colorado Rapids affiliate Charlotte Independence.
Catic was much more involved and disruptive early into the match, but had just a shot right at the keeper in the 16th minute to show for his offensive production in his fourth match and third start. The rookie was subbed off in the 76th minute of the game.
Ryan Finley opened the scoring in the first half for the home side, making it look easy as he picked apart the Islander defense in the 18th minute for the score. Charlotte looked poised to add to their tally with a slew of chances when the Islanders nearly found an equalizer with a play McLaughlin helped create that ended with Ken Tribbett heading it off the crossbar in the 22nd minute.
Harrisburg’s equalizer would finally come in the 58th minute off the head of Dante Leverock off an assist from Enric Valles. The goal was just the second of the young season that wasn’t scored by a player on loan from the Philadelphia Union and the first from open play. Garret Pettis scored on a penalty kick in the first game of the season. McLaughlin, Zach Pfeffer and Antoine Hoppenot have the other Islanders goals this season.
The City Islanders are in North Carolina again Saturday, May 2, with a match against Wilmington Hammerheads at 7 p.m.