Eight-man Battery defeated in Memphis
Hosts 901 FC score five in frustrating night for visitors Charleston
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Charleston Battery fell 5-0 to Memphis 901 FC in a frustrating Friday at AutoZone Park. Charleston were reduced to eight men during the contest as three players and Head Coach Conor Casey were all issued red cards. The Battery will look to bounce back at home, where they’re undefeated in September, next Friday against Rio Grande Valley FC Toros.
For the first time since 2019, Charleston kicked off against Memphis at AutoZone Park. The hosts made the most of the early opportunities and struck first in the 8th minute via Phillip Goodrum. Goalkeeper Hugo Fauroux made an initial save but Goodrum scored on the rebound. Memphis would add another in the 12th minute from Goodrum.
The Battery looked to get back into the match and Avionne Flanagan nearly found the back of the net after receiving a free kick from Robbie Crawford. Flanagan’s attempt was just wide of the far post. Laurent Kissiedou found the back of the net for 901 FC at the half-hour mark to make the score three-nil. Charleston were reduced to 10 men when DZ Harmon was shown a straight red card following an altercation with Kissiedou.
Despite the deficit, the Battery looked for a way through Flanagan on the left, who was able to cause 901 FC problems. Memphis held firm and maintained the three-goal advantage at halftime.
Play resumed with Charleston searching for a way back into the match in the second with Flanagan and Augustine Williams leading the forwardadvances. The Battery, however, were dealt a series of disadvantages at the hour-mark when Mauro Cichero picked up his second yellow card of the night and was dismissed from the contest, along with Head Coach Conor Casey, who received a straight red card after exchanging words with the referee.
The Black and Yellow were reduced to eight men in the 62nd minute when Leland Archer also picked up his second yellow card of the night. Memphis would make the most of their three-man advantage and would score in the 72nd minute via Zach Carroll. Nighte Pickering added a goal in stoppage time to close out the 5-0 defeat for the Battery.
Battery Head Coach Conor Casey and defender Avionne Flanagan discussed the match after the final whistle, with key quotes to follow.
Coach Casey on his assessment and explanation of the night’s proceedings…
We started the game very poorly and dug ourselves a really big hole. It’s hard to get points when you start a game like that. We were late and just not on the front foot to start. Obviously, the first red card changes the game a lot, but I thought that our guys continued to fight and create chances and back each other up. I thought we came out in the second half and were good at the start, even with a man down. Unfortunately, there were a few more calls that didn’t go our way and we were at a huge disadvantage with the cards.
Coach Casey on the message to the team moving forward from this match…
The message is that I’m proud that they continued to fight and back each other up. I think this is a team where, two months ago, maybe we’d go down a goal or two and we’d hang our heads. But, tonight, they kept fighting for each other. We’ll be digesting this match and then we’ll prepare for next week come Monday.
Coach Casey on turning the page past tonight with a home match next Friday…
With the cards now, and Romario still out from last week, we’ll be short players going into next week. But, it’s going to be an opportunity for other guys that maybe haven’t got as many minutes this year to step up. And it’s an opportunity for those guys to perform and to get this taste out of their mouths.
Flanagan on what was difficult about tonight’s match…
Memphis are a good team, probably one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. But the difficulty for us was on defense, Memphis were finding good spaces in the attacking third and middle third from players like Laurent Kissiedou and Jeremy Kelly, which allowed them to drop in and create chances. Those two were heavily involved in a couple of their goals in the beginning and it took us a little while to settle in.
Flanagan on the chances being created along the left side…
As a wingback, we all know that by playing that position, we’re required to get up and down but, more importantly, we’re required to stretch the field and see if we can get in behind. It’s just a matter of making those runs and players finding me, and that’s what was happening a couple of times in the first half. Of course, it wasn’t enough, which is something we’re going to have to look back on and see where we can become more effective.
Flanagan on bouncing back next Friday at home…
It’s always good to come back home and be in a familiar environment with familiar faces. This is something that you just can’t dwell on. Obviously, guys are going to be very down, myself included, throughout the night. But, when tomorrow hits, it’ll be time to flush it out of our system and we’ll hit the ground running on Monday. We’re going to be missing a couple of players now but it’s a great opportunity for some other players to step up and show everyone and show each other what we’re really about.
The Battery are back at Patriots Point on Friday, September 23, for their next match, against the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. The club will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Night with Berkeley Electric Cooperative and tickets are available now through SeatGeek.com, the Battery’s exclusive digital ticketing provider.
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