BETHLEHEM, PA - Charleston Battery and Bethlehem Steel FC drew, 1-1, at Goodman Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Both sides spent the majority of the first half feeling each other out before Skylar Thomas opened the scoring in the 42nd minute. The scoring opportunity came after Ataulla Guerra forced Bethlehem's goalkeeper into a save, earning a corner kick for the Battery. On the ensuing corner, Thomas ran unmarked to the back post where he rose up and met Jarad van Schaik's inswinger to put the Battery in front.
The one-goal lead didn't last long, however, the hosts answered with a set piece goal of their own just a few minutes later. The heavy wind in Bethlehem carried Anthony Fontana's corner kick goal wards, forcing Odisnel Cooper to swat it off the line. The ball bounced around a mass of bodies before Cory Burke got a toe on it to turn it in.
The scrappy goal was enough to earn Bethlehem a point at home. Both teams played well defensively in the second half, limiting the other's chances. Neither had a clean look at goal in the second 45 minutes and the teams split the points.
The draw brings the Battery's record to 1-2-1 heading into their only bye weekend of the season. Charleston will return to USL action on Saturday, April 21 against Penn FC at FNB Field. Prior to the bye weekend, the Battery will take on Jacksonville Armada in a friendly at MUSC Health Stadium on Thursday, April 12. The match is free and open to the public.
CHARLESTON: Odisnel Cooper, Jay Bolt, Taylor Mueller, Skylar Thomas (goal, 42), Jarad van Schaik, Victor Mansaray (Gordon Wild, 70) Tah Brian Anunga, Neveal Hackshaw (yellow card, 88), Kotaro Higashi, Ataulla Guerra, Ian Svantesson (Patrick Okonkwo, 73)
Substitutes: Joe Kuzminsky, Ryan Arambula, Vincenzo Candela, Angelo Kelly
BETHLEHEM: John McCarthy, Prosper Chiluya, Mark McKenzie, Matt Mahoney, Eric Ayuk (yellow card, 90), Derrick Jones, Adam Najem, Anthony Fontana, Fabian Herbers (Santi Moar, 67), Marcus Epps (Chris Nanco, 83), Cory Burke (goal, 45; Brandon Allen, 74)