CHARLESTON,SC (news release courtesy Charleston Battery) — Charleston, SC. The Charleston Battery fought back to a 2-1 win over their USL PRO American Division rivals the Wilmington Hammerheads Thursday night at Blackbaud Stadium. Manny Guzman gave Wilmington the lead in the 76th minute but goals from Brandon Massie and a late winner from forward Dane Kelly were enough to lift Charleston to victory.
“They got the goal and I saw all the heads go down. Everybody was thinking we can’t, the players, the fans, and then we got 2 goals in 10 minutes. That shows we can,” said Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser.
The Battery’s first major chance of the evening came in the 12th minute as midfielder Zach Prince struck a long ball pass to meet a running Seedy Bah. With a settling touch and a quick strike, the ball sailed just over the cross bar.
The Battery battled their way towards the goal again in the 20th minute where midfielder Kevin Jackson paused holding the ball looking for his next plan of attack. As Jackson watched, defender Mike Zaher ran for help making an overlapping run up the sideline for the cross, which barely missed an open Alex Caskey for the shot.
Just minutes after, Battery midfielder Nicki Paterson stood for a free kick just outside of the Hammerhead box. Paterson’s free kick deflected hard off of the defending wall meeting an eager and well-placed Mike Zaher at the top of the box for a shot that crept mere inches above the crossbar.
Retaliation was in mind for Wilmington in the 37th minute when a deflection off of the Battery defense was met by a quality strike from Hakop Avesyan. Avesyan’s shot caused Battery goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra to dive off the goal line and tip the shot away.
The first goal of the evening was scored in the 76th minute when Hammerhead Manny Guzman met the corner kick taken by Chris Spendlove, for the header.
The Battery leveled three minutes later as Brandon Massie scored from a ball that leaked through the back door. The ball was played across the field from Stephen Armstrong and after the initial shot was saved Massie’s placement left the goalie off balance as he slotted a shot inside the far post.
With just seconds remaining Charleston found the game winner after defender Colin Falvey lifted the ball forward looking for Dane Kelly. Kelly timed his run perfectly just beating Wilmington goalkeeper Kyle Polak to the ball and slipped a header home into the empty net.
The Battery head to Dayton next Saturday night to take on the Dutch Lions at 7:30 PM (1340 AM / www.charlestonbattery.com). The Battery return to Blackbaud Stadium on Wednesday, July 27 to play England’s Portsmouth F.C. in an international exhibition match.
Match Summary Half 1 Half 2 Final
Charleston Battery 0 2 2
Wilmington Hammerheads 0 1 1
Referee: Skye Arthur Banning
Assistant Referees: Eric Proctor, Howard Ash
Weather: 85 light rain
Blackbaud Player of the Game: Dane Kelly
Scoring Summary Goal (Assist) Minute
Wilmington Hammerheads Guzman (Spendlove) 76
Charleston Battery Massie 81
Charleston Battery Kelly (Falvey) 90
Charleston: Andrew Dykstra, Mark Wiltse, Colin Falvey, John Wilson, Mike Zaher, Kevin Jackson (Stephen Armstrong 61), Nicki Paterson, Alex Caskey (Brandon Massie 79), Zach Prince (Cole Peverley 59), Dane Kelly, Seedy Bah (Levi Coleman 61)
Players Not Used – Keith Wiggans, Nigel Marples, Evan Taylor
SHOTS: 11 (Paterson 2); SAVES: 1 (Dykstra 1); FOULS: 9 (Paterson 2); CORNER KICKS: 5; OFFSIDES: 0; PENALTY KICKS: (NONE); CAUTIONS: Wiltse 58, Coleman 90; EJECTIONS: (NONE)
Wilmington: Kyle Polak, Tom Parratt (Dylan Riley 68), Gareth Evans, Ivan Becerra, Chris Spendlove, Luke Mulholland, Paul Nicholson, Manny Guzman (Richard Jata 79), Jack Avesyan (Chris Murray 64), Andres Cuero (Tanner Wolfe 65), Andriy Budnyy (Diego Barrera 83)
Players Not Used – Brock Duckworth, Tom Taylor
SHOTS: 6; SAVES: 1 (Polack 1); FOULS: 11 (Mulholland 3); CORNER KICKS: 4; OFFSIDES: 1; PENALTY KICKS: (NONE); CAUTIONS: Mulholland 59, Evans 90; EJECTIONS: Evans 90