The Charleston Battery defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads by a score of three goals to one on Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium in front of 4,782. Midfielder Navion Boyd recorded an early goal, followed by finishes from Dane Kelly and Nicki Paterson in the second half to lead the Battery to its eleventh win of the season.
"Anytime you have a setback with a couple losses like we did there is pressure on the team to perform," said Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser "but the guys responded well early in the first half and scored two more great goals to put the game away giving us a deserved three points."
The win moves the Battery (11-6-0) into second place in the USL PRO standings and sets up a blockbuster game on Thursday night at Blackbaud Stadium as the league-leading Orlando City Lions come to Charleston to take on the Battery.
Charleston opened up scoring early in the match when Navion Boyd found himself in the box on the far side. Boyd dribbled with speed pushing the ball past two Wilmington defenders and fired a hard shot home out of reach of Wilmington goalkeeper Alex Horwath.
The Battery had several more threatening chances in the half including one before the whistle on top of the box when midfielder Ryan Richter smashed the ball just wide of the target.
The Hammerheads responded in the 47th minute with a volley goal scored by Andry Budnyy. The Wilmington forward capitalized on a loose ball after two failed clearances in the box to finish the chance and pull even 1-1.
In the 60th minute the Battery rallied with a connection from Ryan Richter to substitute forward Dane Kelly. Just off the edge of the 18-yard-box Ryan Richter played a perfectly bent ball in behind Wilmington defenders and found Kelly's head for him to tuck the ball home with a sharp headed finish.
Five minutes later, Charleston midfielder Nicki Paterson fired a long range shot from 35 yards out past Wilmington goalkeeper in the upper left corner of the net to put the Battery ahead 3-1 and take the game beyond Wilmington's reach.
The Battery's next match is Thursday, July 19th when they take on the first place Orlando City Lions at Blackbaud Stadium; kick off is set for 7:30 PM.