A first half double from Nico Rittmeyer was supplemented by a second half Attaula Guerra header as the Charleston Battery ran out 3-0 winners against the Richmond Kickers Saturday.
Both goals from Rittmeyer were from service by Obi Woodbine, who would play the winger 1v1 early on, and he would finish well off of the far post, before another ball, this time crossed from the right, would be parried by the keeper into the path of Rittmeyer, who would finish into an empty net. Attaula Guerra’s back post header from a Leland Archer cross would round things off, and give the striker his 13th of the year.
The Battery would score from their first shot in earnest on 15′, as Obi Woodbine would take the ball through the middle and play a through ball into Rittmeyer, who would take a touch before slotting it past Travis Worra in the Richmond goal, getting a touch on the ball, but not enough to stop the ball from going in off the far post. The goal was Rittmeyer’s first competitive goal as a professional, and was a great reward for his improved performances in recent weeks.
The rest of the first half was played mostly in midfield before a ball to the right bounced its way through the Richmond penalty area, but no one could get enough of a touch on the ball to force it home, and the score remained unchanged.
That was until first half stoppage time, when Woodbine would provide again, this time from the right, and though the ball would be parried out by Worra, Nico Rittmeyer was there, correcting his run to get to the ball and double the lead.
And that was how the teams went in at half time. The Battery seemed in control, but were probably in need of a couple more just to put the result to bed.
And they came out in the second half in the same way they ended the first, with their tails up and ready to create.
Tah Brian Anunga would open up play on 49′ with a pinpoint ball to Attaula Guerra, whose ball back across would be kept alive by Anunga, who had continued his run to play the overlapping pass to Leland Archer, who would take the two defenders and the ‘keeper out of the play with a brilliant cross that gave Guerra the easiest of finishes at the back stick.
It was a deserved goal and gave the Battery a bit of breathing room, but they still had hopes of putting a wee bit more distance between their rivals.
That nearly came on 57, when Neviel Hackshaw went on one of his now-trademark marauding runs up the left before pulling back for Attaula Guerra at the top of the box with time and space, but his shot was just wide of the far post.
On 64′, Richmond then had a chance to pull a goal back from a free kick in a dangerous position, but the shot went just high of Joe Kuzminski‘s goal.
Victor Mansaray would replace Gordon Wild after 65′, who earned a decent curtain call from the Battery faithful.
On 69′, Kuzminski was forced into action, saving a ball that worried the Battery defense in the middle before smothering to cut out the danger.
And he would do one better on 80′ when scrambling to cut out a cross from the right not unlike the ball that led to the Battery doubling their lead in the first half, but the Battery stopper would rise quickly to his feet to parry the second effort before smothering the rebound.
With four minutes to go and with Richmond still looking for at least a consolation goal, a cross from the left again had Kuzminski scrambling as it nearly snuck in at the back post, but he was again equal to the effort to keep his sheet clean.
And that’s the way it finished, with the Black and Yellow prevailing by a score of 3-0 and exacting a small measure of revenge after a 2-0 defeat in Richmond earlier in the season.
The Battery will be away from home for the next two weeks, first facing North Carolina FC on Saturday, August 4th. Kick off is at 7PM, and you can watch it on MyTV Charleston and ESPN+.
TOP IMAGE: NICO RITTMEYER CELEBRATES HIS FIRST COMPETITIVE GOAL IN A 3-0 WIN AGAINST RICHMOND. ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO