BY JOHN ACE
The Battery’s woes continue after another disappointing night, this time away from home against the Wilmington Hammerheads in the 2nd of a home-and-home series, losing 1-0.
Though the Battery had some 1st half half chances, it wasn’t until the 65th minute that the deadlock was broken. A long ball out of the back found Jordan Hamilton, who took the ball down on the bounce, and beat his defender with strength before firing past Odisnel Cooper in the Battery goal.
Things got worse for the Battery late on as defender Shawn Ferguson got in a fight with Wilmington’s ‘keeper Quillian Roberts after a Battery foul, and a potential Battery penalty that wasn’t given, and both players were sent off, almost putting the nail in the coffin for the away side.
Despite the result, the Battery started off well. Andre Lewis was finding space and working hard, creating a chance for Aminu Abdallah with five minutes gone, though the shot never harmed the Wilmington goal, as it went wide.
With 19 minutes gone, it was Lewis who set up Mamadou Diouf with a short pass for an opportunity, but the shot went wide.
Lewis then put in Heviel Cordoves a little bit later with a through ball, but Roberts in the Wilmington goal saved well, and the ball was cleared.
The Battery continued to have possession in the second half, but found it increasingly difficult to do anything with it. Some decent passing ability was on show, the ball was mostly kept in and around midfield, with any attempt into the box being cleared by Wilmington’s defense. This was something that was also a problem for the Battery in the reverse fixture a week prior.
As the game dragged on, the Battery’s foothold began to loosen more and more, and the Hammerheads pounced on a chance just past the hour mark.
The Battery were committing men to the attack, when Wilmington gained possession just outside the box to the left. The defender played a long ball forward in search of someone to latch on to it, and it found the feet of Jordan Hamilton on a bounce. Hamilton jostled with Colin Falvey, and left him on the ground, before going clean through on Odisnel Cooper and firing past him into the net.
This was Wilmington’s first goal at home all season, breaking a scoreless drought of over 300 minutes.
It got a little chippy after that, when Mamadou Diouf went down in the box, appealing for a penalty, though nothing was given. A Wilmington foul was given a few seconds later after the ball was cleared, and as both teams reset following the referees’ whistle, a fight broke out between defender Shawn Ferguson and Wilmington goalkeeper Quillan Roberts, who had run all the way from his box to midfield to argue.
After a discussion with his linesman, the referee saw fit to send both players off, which means both players will miss their respective clashes against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds next week, Roberts with Wilmington on Friday, and Ferguson back in Charleston the following night, the Saturday.
And though the Battery looked for a late equalizer, bringing on Adam Mena and Dante Marini (who had a bit of success in the second half of last weeks’ match, coming on at half time), the score remained the same as the final whistle blew.
It was another disappointing result for the Battery, whose only wins have come against Harrisburg and Dayton in the league, (both away from home) as well as a win in the US Open Cup against the Panama City Beach Pirates.
The Battery continue their search for a first league win at home next Saturday against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
TOP IMAGE: Shawn Ferguson gets chopped down in a duel with Cody Arnoux in the first half Saturday night. Dan Conover photo.