USL Pro Press Release
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Charleston Battery defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads 4-2 on Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium in front of 3,699 fans. Charleston jumped out to a four-goal lead in the first half but had to fight off a Wilmington comeback after the break in a heated second 45 minutes that saw a player from each team sent off. The victory was the Battery's fifth in a row, moving them into second place in the USL PRO standings.
The Battery got off to a flying start with goal in only the second minute after Nicki Paterson played a clever ball over the top for Dane Kelly to chase. Kelly shrugged off the challenge of Wilmington defender Gareth Evans and finished neatly into the right side of the goal.
Ten minutes later Charleston doubled its advantage as Paterson beat the Hammerheads' offside trap with a deep run from midfield. Running onto a pass from Colin Falvey, Paterson controlled the ball with a quick touch and then drilled home a shot past Wilmington goalkeeper Phil Tuttle.
Battery midfielder Zach Prince added a third goal at the 21st-minute mark as Charleston continued to attack with purpose. After a spell of pressure the ball ran loose at the top of the penalty area, and Prince clipped a curling right-footed shot around Tuttle and into the right corner of the net.
Charleston added a fourth goal nine minutes later thanks to a good individual effort from defender John Wilson. The veteran full back dribbled forward on the left side and then cut past his defender onto his right foot before putting a perfectly placed shot into the right corner of the goal.
The Hammerheads fought back after halftime and Paul Nicholson scored two goals in quick succession in the 53rd and 59th minute. With Wilmington in the ascendency the game changed course again as both teams had players sent off. The Battery's Cody Ellison was shown a red card for his part in a scuffle at the edge of the penalty area with just under 25 minutes to play, and then minutes later Wilmington's Evans was ejected after tangling with Kelly.
The ejections took the steam out of the Hammerheads' attack and Charleston was able to see the remainder of the game for the victory.
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