Hammerheads Press Release
Wilmington, NC – The Charleston Battery took a 2-1 victory over Wilmington Hammerheads FC at Legion Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Charleston's Zach Prince and Maikel Chang each tallied a goal for the Battery and Ashani Fairclough notched his first individual goal of the season to add a goal for Wilmington.
The Battery had an early chance to take the lead after earning a penalty kick minutes into the first half, but Hammerheads goalkeeper Andre Rawls had a diving deflection preventing Maikel Chang's low shot from entering the back of the net. Hammerheads midfielder Sunny Jane responded soon after with a shot taken from a free kick just wide of the goal post. Possession between the two clubs went back and forth as time pressed on. Wilmington defender Paul Nicholson prevented further play in the penalty area by knocking the ball out of play as the Charleston offense closed in halfway through the first half.
Charleston took the lead in the 24th minute after midfielder Zach Prince scored his first individual goal of the season. A long ball by Chang found the foot of Prince who brought the ball down with one touch and finished on goal with his second stride, rocketing the ball just inside the upper 90. Chang tallied the second goal for Charleston minutes later after a cross by Memo Rodriguez was deflected off the fingers of Rawls and volleyed into the back of the net. Charleston continued to push into the penalty area before the end of the first half as Prince attempted a cross, but was stopped by Rawls in the air before finding contact with any teammates. Wilmington responded soon after with headers on goal from both Nicholson and Cody Arnoux were denied in the air by Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper.
With a deficit of two on the board starting the second half, Wilmington's Corben Bone took a hard shot off the free kick soaring over Charleston defenders and nearly entered the top left corner of the goal, but was saved on the jump by Cooper. Forward Nick Zimmerman followed closely with a wide shot on goal and the Hammerheads finally found the back of the net in the 60th minute as Ashani Fairclough made contact with the ball after a shuffle in the box following a corner kick.
The Hammerheads forced possession in Charleston territory and Arnoux took a short one-on-one opportunity with Cooper after beating the Battery backline, but ended in a hard deflection as Cooper ran off his line. Zimmerman was close to equalizing for the Hammerheads in stoppage time as he beat Battery defender Emmanuel Adjetey to the touch as Cooper readily approached for the stop, but the shot was just over the crossbar for the potential draw.