Battery fall flat in 0-3 loss to Detroit

Published: Aug. 27, 2022 at 11:45 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery fell 0-3 to Detroit City FC on Saturday in their only home match of the month. Despite a scoreless first half, Detroit found the back of the net three times in the second half to secure the road victory. The home crowd at Patriots Point put on a strong display during the night, setting a season-high for attendance in 2022. Charleston will be back home on Saturday, September 3, against New York Red Bulls II after a quick road match on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Action began at Patriots Point with both sides sizing each other up to see who would flinch first. Detroit had the first real chance of the night in the 6th minute with some movement inside the box that was ultimately cleared by Patrick Hogan. Both Avionne Flanagan and DZ Harmon registered shots within the opening 10 minutes, but the attempts were blocked. Hugo Fauroux made his first save of the night in the 14th minute, a comfortable one, on a header by Connor Rutz. The tempo began to slow as the half wore on and the two sides matched evenly.

Robbie Crawford nearly broke open the game at the half-hour mark with a strong shot from the edge of the box that was blocked. The Scottish midfielder cut through Detroit’s rigid defense to create the opportunity. On the opposite end, Matt Sheldon flashed his defensive prowess in the 34th minute with a slide tackle to deny Detroit’s advance inside the box. Sheldon would again come up big in the waning moments of the half when Pato Faz caught the Battery on a counter-attack; the defender expertly tracked back and dispossessed Faz to remove the threat.

The half ended scoreless with Charleston holding a majority of possession (55%) and Detroit taking more shots (five to three).

Play resumed for the second half and the visitors managed to break the deadlock quickly. Faz scored the opening goal in the 48th minute after beating the Battery defense following a free-kick. Fauroux would register a pair of saves in the minutes that followed. Faz struck again in the 53rd minute to notch a brace and double the visitors’ lead. Charleston looked to counter on the opposite side when Flanagan sent in a header on target that was saved by goalkeeper Nathan Steinwascher.

Detroit stayed on the front foot and added to their lead in the 66th minute when Hogan committed an own goal. In an attempt to get back into the game, Charleston applied pressure with numbers inside the box. Flanagan’s shot in the 77th minute was blocked and Andrew Booth collected the round with a shot that went dover the crossbar. Newly subbed-on Mauro Cichero tallied two shots in the final minutes of the match, however he was unable to get either on target.

Detroit saw out the match and secured the 0-3 victory, despite the Battery holding nearly 60% of the night’s possession and more passes in the final third.

Battery Head Coach Conor Casey and defender Matt Sheldon discussed the match after the final whistle, with key quotes to follow.

Coach Casey on the contrast between the second half and first half...

“I think that we played OK in the first half, we kept it pretty even and had some chances. In the second half, we fell off from really every standpoint, from a competition standpoint, from an urgency standpoint, from making plays. We won the physical battle the last two games against two good teams but tonight we got bossed from a physical aspect. We get scored on and the reaction wasn’t there tonight to go and have the hunger and belief to go get it back.”

Coach Casey on his message to the team after the game…

“It was not acceptable. It’s not acceptable to leave 0-3 against that team at home. We’ve been inconsistent this year and tonight was unfortunately another example of that. My message was that there are no excuses. This is professional football and for us to come out at home, time and time again, go into our shells when things don’t go our way, and not step up and deal with the adversity, is below the expectation.”

On the fans setting a season-high attendance…

“We’ve seen such strong support again and again. Our fans have been amazing all year long. It makes it even more disappointing for us because we want to give them something to cheer about and it hasn’t happened much this year. We’re incredibly grateful for their support. It’s been a great atmosphere here at the stadium and I take responsibility for the performance.”

Sheldon on the difficulties of the night…

“Detroit is a great team, they’re aggressive, they’re big, they got some fast guys and got some skill guys. In the second half, they just came out with a lot of pressure and it felt like we struggled to get a rhythm and like we were pinned back. Then, the few opportunities that Detroit got early on in the second half, they were able to capitalize on them, so it was frustrating.”

Sheldon on the team looking to bounce back on Wednesday…

“I feel like we have moments or 30-minute spells or even halves that are really, really good. We just need to put a complete 90 minutes together. We had a good game against New York, a good performance against Los Angeles and good moments here in this game. Now, we have a quick turnaround to focus on Pittsburgh coming up and just try to put together a full 90-minute performance.”

Sheldon on the support shown during the night from the home crowd…

“The fans have been so amazing. We’re so thankful for them, especially tonight. To break the season’s attendance record, that’s just fantastic. They’re amazing. I don’t have enough good words to say about them, they just keep on coming out supporting us. Seasons like these are going to happen sometimes and, hopefully, they keep on coming out and standing behind us, and we’ll keep on giving 100% every single game.”

The Battery will have a midweek road match next on Wednesday against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC before returning home on Saturday, September 3, against New York Red Bulls II. The club will celebrate Parks at the Pitch night with Charleston County Parks and tickets are available now via SeatGeek, the Battery’s exclusive digital ticketing provider.