Quickly rebounding from Tuesday's Open Cup exit against the Red Bulls, Charleston powered past Pittsbugh as Nicki Patterson netted two goals in as many minutes to lift the Battery in Thursday night's win over the Riverhounds.
Coming on strong, despite facing a highly competitive New York team only two days earlier, Charleston enjoyed possession in the first half. The game seemed to lack pace and the ball soon became bogged down in midfield. However, towards the end of the first half, the Battery began turning the screw. Intricate combination play from Zach Prince to Ryan Richter afforded Dane Kelly a fine shot on goal in the forty-second minute. The Jamaican's effort was palmed away, resulting in a Charleston corner. Entering stoppage time, Charleston managed a lobbed throw-in which fell squarely for the advancing Patterson. The Scotsman blasted an unstoppable goal from point-blank range to nudge the visitors ahead. Merely seconds later, Kelly was felled just outside the box by a grim foul from Pittsburgh's Flunder. Ever the set piece connoisseur, Patterson lifted a bending ball over the wall and into the top right corner of the net, earning his brace in scarcely a minute!
Continuing where they left off, Charleston again pressured the Riverhound's defense, and forcing another bad foul, Dane Kelly's loss was the Battery's gain when Pittsburgh's Matt Kassel was shown red in the fifty-eighth minute. A man down but driving with conviction, the Hounds were awarded a penalty on the hour and Costanza converted neatly from the spot. Sensing another goal, Pittsburgh surged and forced a save from Andrew Dykstra. The would-be equalizer was transposed to a counterattack as Richter and Prince collaborated once more to stride the full length of the field. Finding Kelly on the inside, the second year Charleston striker avenged his earlier losses by redirecting the ball and netting a goal of his own.
With the win, Charleston sit a scant five points adrift of league leaders Orlando with a game in hand and could overtake them in the table if they win Saturday against the giant-killing Dayton Dutch Lions, and again in a week's time against the lions of Orlando City. Its been a demanding week for the boys already but they've been fantastic so far, so lets cheer them on to another three points in Ohio!!