The Charleston Battery defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads by a score of four goals to two Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium in front of 3,699. Charleston jumped out to a four goal lead in the first half but had to fight off a Wilmington come-back after the break in a heated second 45 minutes that saw a player from each team red-carded.
The win lifts the Battery (5-1-0) into second position in the USL PRO standings.
The Battery got off to a flying start with goal in only the second minute after Nicki Paterson played a clever ball over the top for Dane Kelly to chase. Kelly shrugged off the challenge of Wilmington defender Gareth Evans and finished neatly into the right side of the goal.
Ten minutes later Charleston doubled its advantage as Nicki Paterson beat the off-side trap with a deep run from midfield. Paterson controlled the ball with a quick touch and then drilled home a shot past Wilmington goalkeeper Phil Tuttle.
Wilmington conceded a third goal on the 21 minute mark as the Battery continued to attack with purpose. After a spell of pressure the ball ran loose at the top of the penalty-area and midfielder Zach Prince clipped a curling right-footed shot around Tuttle and into the far corner.
Charleston added a fourth goal nine minutes later with a good individual effort from defender John Wilson. Wilson dribbled forward on the left side and then cut past his defender onto his right foot before putting a perfectly placed shot into the right corner of the goal.
The Hammerheads fought back after half time and Paul Nicholson scored two goals in quick succession in the 53rd and 59th minute. With Wilmington in the ascendency the game changed as both teams had players sent off. The Battery's Cody Ellison was shown a red card for his part in a scuffle at the edge of the penalty-area and then minutes later Gareth Evans was ejected after tangling with Dane Kelly.
The ejections took the steam out of the Hammerheads attack and Charleston was able to see the remainder of the game through for the victory.
The Battery heads to Charlotte, NC on Tuesday night for a 7 PM match versus the Charlotte Eagles (Sports Radio 1450 AM).