The Charleston Battery shared the spoils on Saturday as they were held to a 0-0 draw with the Ottawa Fury.
On a night where most of the match was played in midfield, both sides lacked the finishing touch in front of goal it took to take home all three points, and were forced to settle for a point each.
Off of a 1-0 win in which seven changes were made in midweek’s US Open Cup tie against Tormenta FC, the Battery headed back into league play hoping to continue what had been a solid run as we begin to hit stride in the 2018 season. The Battery were still without Jay Bolt, meaning Nico Rittmeyer earned the start on the wing in a five man midfield, but Bolt was available off the bench.
An 11th minute Battery corner spelled danger for the visitors, but was cleared at the front post and away.
Kotaro Higashi would nearly steal in a few minutes later after a poor header back left the visiting ‘keeper, Maxime Crepeau, in a spot of bother, but he was able to smother before Higashi could get there.
The first real chance didn’t come until the early moments of the second half, when a Battery corner was cleared away to the edge of the box, reset for an attempted cross on the right, and blocked by an Ottawa defender, for which the referee blew his whistle and pointed to the spot after the ball hit the defender’s arm.
Attaula Guerra would step up to take, and would go to the right of goal, but it was poorly hit as the ‘keeper would save. A rebound would fall to Rittmeyer, who forced a clearance from close range as the ball went out for a corner, which was headed over the bar.
An Ottawa free kick in a dangerous position a few minutes later looked to test goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky, but the bending effort toward the far post would go narrowly wide.
On 58,’ It was Guerra again on the ball as he turned quickly to his right, creating enough room for a shot before it went high and wide.
Just after the hour mark, Ottawa looked to put pressure on Kuzminsky by crowding his six yard box as they took a succession of corners, before eventually their fourth one found a free man at the back post, and looked to be headed in before the ball hit his shoulder and was eventually cleared.
A bouncing ball on 72′ led to a tense moment for ex Battery defender Colin Falvey, as he was forced to head the ball back toward goal hoping for the ball to find the arms of his goalkeeper, only for the ‘keeper to overrun the ball. It drifted wide and would only give the Battery a corner, which would eventually be headed over the bar, and the chance was gone.
And that’s how the match ended up, with neither side able to grab a firm hold in the match, and ultimately sharing the points.
The Black and Yellow face the Elm City Express on Wednesday, May 23rd in the US Open Cup third round. The match will kick off at 7PM.
TOP IMAGE: KOTARO HIGASHI IN A CHALLENGE WITH SEVERAL OTTAWA DEFENDERS IN A 0-0 DRAW. PHOTOS CREDIT ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY