Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pair of Losses Leaves Postseason in Doubt

Wednesday evening the Battery locked horns with Orlando City at the Citrus Bowl. The match was the third meeting of four between the two sides this year. The Lions came on strong in the first half, scoring early in the 16th minute. Sloppy defending by the Charleston back line allowed the Orlando offense to open up and OC's Watson maximized on the opportunity. The Lions would continue to threaten but the Battery's Andrew Dykstra kept his team in the match. Registering no less than five saves, the GK had a tremendous night. Charleston saw their best opportunity in the 37th minute when the Battery were awarded a free kick. Armstrong bent the ball towards frame, his effort eluding the goalie, however the shot was cleared from the line at the last second. Charleston looked a different side in the second half of play, but for all their momentum, were unable to convert any goals. Charleston mounted a last ditch effort in stoppage time but Colin Falvey's header whizzed over the bar. Finishing 1-0, the Battery slipped further away from the fourth place playoff spot.

In a rematch of Wednesday's fixture, the Battery again confronted USL powerhouse Orlando City Saturday night. An uneventful first half was followed by a lengthy weather delay. The game turned gritty after the restart and Orlando were gifted a penalty kick in the 63rd minute. The Lions converted and tacked on another goal ten minutes later. Dane Kelley scored an impressive goal for the Battery in the 84th, receiving a neat back heel from Zach Prince. Charleston surged forward in the final minutes but were unable to overturn the deficit. Battery defender John Wilson was shown a red card in the final minute of regulation and will miss the final match of the season against the Charlotte Eagles.
Frustrating results for the Battery
The Battery are winless in five matches and these results leave Charleston one point behind Charlotte. This means we are currently OUT of playoff contention. Charlotte have a game in hand and should they win midweek against Harrisburg, it would end our season. A draw or loss against the City Islanders would mean Charleston could advance to the postseason with a win over the Eagles on Friday night. Either way, we've got to support the boys as they face Charlotte this weekend, battling for that last playoff spot and the Southern Derby.

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