WILMINGTON, NC -
The Charleston Battery lost to the Wilmington Hammerheads by a score of two goals to one on Friday Night at Legion Stadium. After conceding twice the Battery fought back to score a late goal but the attempted comeback fizzled as the Hammerheads snapped the Battery's three-match winning streak.
Despite the loss Charleston (10-6-6) remains in fourth position in the USL PRO standings with 36 points and four games remaining. The top eight sides will advance to the post-season.
Wilmington opened the scoring in the 39th minute after an attempted clearance by Cody Ellison fell straight to a Wilmington midfielder on the right side of the penalty area. The ball was squared quickly to forward Kyle Grieg who slammed the ball past Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper into the goal.
The Battery tried to respond before the break and came close five minutes later after Jose Cuevas latched onto an errant clearance eighteen yards out. Cuevas spun on the ball but his right-footed curling attempt went wide of the target.
The task became harder for Charleston in the 56th minute after a late challenge by Dane Kelly led to a scuffle between the teams at the half-way line. After the dust settled the referee showed winger Quinton Griffith a red-card reducing the Battery to ten men for the remainder of the game.
Wilmington took advantage of the extra man in the 75th minute with a quick counter-attack following a Charleston free-kick. The Battery were caught shorthanded at the back with Wilmington forward Michael Olivera applying a good finish to make it 2-0.
The Battery continued to look for a way back into the game and finally broke through in stoppage time after Jarad van Schaik won a tackle on the right side. He poked the ball across to Nicki Paterson who played a pass into the path of striker Heviel Cordoves. Cordoves controlled the ball with a touch and then lifted a shot past the goalkeeper and into the goal.
In the end it was too little too late as Wilmington dug in defensively for the remaining few minutes with Charleston unable to find a second goal.
The Battery returns to Blackbaud Stadium tomorrow night to take on the Richmond Kickers at 7:30 PM.