Saturday, July 14, 2012
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Charleston Battery defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads 3-1 on Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 4,782 fans. Midfielder Navion Boyd recorded an early goal, followed by finishes from Dane Kelly and Nicki Paterson in the second half to lead the Battery to their 11th win of the season.
“Anytime you have a setback with a couple losses like we did there is pressure on the team to perform,” said Battery Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser, “but the guys responded well early in the first half and scored two more great goals to put the game away giving us a deserved three points.”
The win moves the Battery (11-6-0) into second place in the USL PRO standings and sets up a blockbuster game on Thursday night at Blackbaud Stadium as league-leading Orlando City comes to Charleston to take on the Battery.
Charleston opened the scoring early in the first half when Boyd found himself in the penalty area on the right side. Boyd dribbled with speed, pushing the ball past two Wilmington defenders and fired a hard shot home out of the reach of Wilmington goalkeeper Alex Horwath. The Battery had several more threatening chances in the opening half, including one just before the halftime whistle from the top of the penalty area when midfielder Ryan Richter smashed a shot just wide of the target.
The Hammerheads responded in the 47th minute with a volley scored by Andry Budnyy. The Wilmington forward capitalized on a loose ball after two failed clearances in the box to finish the chance and pull his side even 1-1.
But in the 60th minute the Battery rallied with a connection from Richter to Kelly. Just off the edge of the 18-yard-box, Richter played a perfectly bent ball in behind Wilmington's defenders and found Kelly’s head for the halftime substitute to tuck the ball home with a sharp headed finish. The goal was Kelly's fifth of the season.
Five minutes later, Charleston midfielder Nicki Paterson fired a long range shot from 35 yards out past Wilmington goalkeeper in the upper left corner of the net to put the Battery ahead 3-1 and take the game beyond Wilmington's reach. The goal put Paterson back in sole possession of the USL PRO lead in goals, with his ninth of the season, and he almost added a second minutes later, hitting the post with a free kick.
The Battery’s next match is on Thursday night when they take on first-placed Orlando City at Blackbaud Stadium; kick off is set for 7:30 p.m. The Hammerheads return home to host the Dayton Dutch Lions at Legion Stadium at 7:30 p.m.