BY JOHN ACE
The Battery slumped to another defeat on the road, this time against Carolina rivals Charlotte Eagles. An early goal set the Battery behind early, and Charlotte then doubled their lead midway through the first half. The Battery got a goal back early on in the second half before Charlotte sealed the points with a goal late on.
The match started off initially on the front foot for the Battery, who gained an early corner. The corner, however, led to a counter by Charlotte, which broke down as the ball found Odisnel Cooper’s arms. Cooper would make a mistake in his distribution as it went straight to the feet of Eagles striker Juan Guzman, who capitalized, sliding the ball into the net.
The Battery had a chance from a corner after two minutes, but Dane Kelly would head the ball over from close range. Three minutes later, Kelly had another chance off a long ball from Taylor Meuller, but he was easily shoved off the ball and the danger was cleared.
Following the early going, the game quieted down, until the Eagles got a free kick after Colin Falvey committed a foul in the 27th minute just outside the box. Jorge Herrera’s cross found an unmarked Fred Sekeyre, who doubled the lead with a header into the bottom corner.
The Battery thought they pulled a goal a goal back with ten minutes left in the half, when Amadou Sanyang powered a header of his own into the back of the net from a Dane Kelly free kick, but it was called offside. On a second look, Sanyang had come back from his original offside position before the ball was kicked. He raced forward as the ball came in, and challenged and beat the ‘keeper, but the goal was called off.
That’s how the first half ended, with the Battery feeling hard done by after the harsh offside call. They would make two substitutions at half-time, Maikel Chang and Heviel Cordoves replacing Taylor Meuller and Mamadou Diouf, with the subs immediately making an impact. Some decent play in midfield led to a through ball to Chang, who slid the ball home for his first ever USL Pro goal just seconds after the restart.
The Battery continued to press for an equalizer, though they found it hard to create much more than a half chance. The Eagles defended well and were rewarded for it after 65 minutes, when a through ball found Jorge Herrera, who added to his earlier assist with a goal of his own.
That goal seemed to have knocked the stuffing out of the away side. It was another tough one for the Battery to take, especially with the earlier offside call.
With 15 minutes left, Colin Falvey came off to be replaced by Adam Mena as the Battery would commit an extra man forward.
Despite the late push, the Battery wouldn’t find a lifeline. The Battery would be disappointed with the result, having played well in the lead up to this match. They return home next Friday, July 27th, for a match against the Richmond Kickers.