The Charleston Battery lost to the Wilmington Hammerheads by a score of two goals to one Saturday night at Legion Stadium in front of 4,657. After taking an early lead the Battery conceded twice before halftime and were unable to break down a resolute Wilmington defense in the second half.
The loss leaves the Battery in a tie for third position with the Hammerheads in the USL PRO standings. Charleston trails the second place Rochester Rhinos by four points with four games remaining.
Charleston started well and thought they had scored in the 6th minute after Colin Falvey's header from six yards out looped into the goal. The Battery players celebrations were cut short though as the referee disallowed the goal for an offsides call.
The Battery opened the scoring in the 27th minute after earning a corner kick on the near side. Zach Prince drove the ball to the back post where it was redirected across the face of goal. Forward Charlie Romero was first to react to the ball and flicked it up into the roof of the net past Hammerheads goalkeeper Alex Horwath.
Wilmington fought back and were level seven minutes later after the Battery failed to clear a long throw-in at the near post. Defender Gareth Evans beat his defender to the ball and snapped a header into the far corner.
The Hammerheads took the lead on the stroke of half-time with another well worked set-piece. This time it was a deep corner that was headed back across the face of goal to midfielder Corey Hertzog who bundled the ball across the line.
The game became very chippy after the break as the Battery fought hard to find a way back into the game. Zach Prince came close in the 48th minute but saw his hard shot well saved.
With ten minutes remaining substitute midfielder Navion Boyd swung a curling cross to the back post but forward Dane Kelly saw his headed attempt palmed away.
In stoppage time Charleston's evening took another turn for the worse as they were reduced to ten men after midfielder Mike Azira was sent off following a strong challenge on Manny Guzman.
Next up for the Battery is an away match versus the Harrisburg City Islanders on Wednesday evening kick off is set for 7:00 PM (1450 AM).