Thursday, May 26, 2011

Break Down and Turnaround!

By looking at the scoreboard, it would be safe to assume that two entirely different teams took the pitch for the Charleston Battery in their last two matches.  Our boys from the Low Country were dismantled Saturday at Wilmington in a three-nil blowout against an old USL rival.  Things never seemed to tilt in the Battery's favor, the score line worsening as the match progressed.  The Hammerheads netted first about midway through the first half.  There were a few glimmers of hope for the Battery with near miss goals in the closing seconds of the first half and also in the 72nd minute.  Charleston was also honored to feature new signing Diego Walsh in midfield.  However, that faint hope was to be extinguished as things went from bad to worse when defender John Wilson was given a straight red card in the 78th minute.  Then the wheels fell off...A goal in the 85th minute and another in stoppage time sealed the result and ended what had been a dismal evening for the Battery.  The Hammerheads had proved a fierce opponent and a force to be reckoned with in the USL American Division.

Dane Kelly opens his account!
The tone of Saturday's match left a grim forecast for the Richmond Kicker's visit to the Blackbaud on Tuesday evening.  With a long history between the two sides, and Richmond's current undefeated streak, on paper, the Battery seemed destined for another night of punishment.  A dream start for the Kicker's saw arguably the league's best striker Matt Delicate take advantage of a defensive miscue and score in the first minute of play.  Happily, it was the darkest minute of the match and the Battery responded admirably.  Dane Kelly got the goal he has been clamoring for all season in the 26th minute of play ending a franchise record goal drought.  The crowd of almost 2,500 soon realized they had a real match on their hands.  An almost goal before the break left Charleston optimistic and motivated to find the winner.  It came in the 76th with a nice piece of skill between Nicki Patterson and JD Gruenewald as number 17 buried it to bring the boys in Black and Gold back to winning ways!  It was a privilege to deliver Richmond's first defeat of the season and I'm beginning to suspect that the 'Baud has a hoodoo on our neighbors from the north!  We must have started a trend because Richmond lost their next match in Orlando and the Lions replaced them at the top of the table with 23 points.  These results leave the Battery in 4th place only nine points adrift from the top.  I'm especially looking forward to this weekend's match against the Harrisburg City Islander in Charleston.  Keep scoring and Up the Battery!!

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