The Charleston Battery were beaten 3-0 by FC Cincinnati on Saturday, struggling to get anything going as they couldn’t seem to find the flow of the game.
Problems began early on, when Obi Woodbine went down with a hamstring issue that saw him subbed before the half hour mark. Vincenzo Candela got caught in possession shortly after when the Battery were trying to play the ball out of the back, and Emanuel Ledesma’s shot from long range pinged off the bar and into the bottom corner. Shortly before half-time, Attaula Guerra hit the bar at the other end, before the home side would go down the other end and capitalize, Corben Bone doubling the lead just before the break. Cincinnati then rode out a storm of Battery pressure before an own goal in second half stoppage time by Skylar Thomas compounded the overall bad night for the Black and Yellow.
Following the early substitution of Woodbine, the Battery were forced to regroup with Nico Rittmeyer coming in, playing as the right wing back despite his recent resurgence higher up the pitch.
The Battery would then be caught napping as Vincenzo Candela was caught in possession by Emanuel Ledesma, who took a touch to settle and brought three defenders toward the ball before taking a shot which curled off of the bottom of the crossbar and past Joe Kuzminski.
There was nothing he could do about it as it was a great effort from distance, but the lax defending was something uncharacteristic of a Battery defense.
On 33′, a defensive mixup by Forrest Lasso and the goalkeeper Spencer Richey almost led to a Battery goal as a long ball went bouncing back toward the keeper, which Lasso was looking to shepherd back, before Richey refused to take it. However, no one in a Battery shirt was prepared to pounce on the opportunity and the defender was able to clear.
The Battery continued to press, when just a minute later, good build up from the ensuing throw led to a Gordon Wild shot on the right that was curling but was saved and held by Richey.
Just before half time, Attaula Guerra nearly cracked the bar from distance that had the ‘keeper beaten but wouldn’t go in, and the home side capitalized on the ensuing counter with a 1-2 on the edge of the box before Corben Bone would eventually end up free on the right as he put the ball in the opposite corner for 2-0.
It was somewhat unlucky for the Battery, but they needed to be better in transition, and weren’t making the most of their chances as they went into the break.
The Battery came out in the second half knowing that they had to press the issue, a 54th minute free kick in a dangerous position would lead to corner, but that wouldn’t prove fruitful as it was over everyone’s head.
A few minutes later, substitute Patrick Okonkwo went through after Gordon Wild would open up play for Attaula Guerra on the edge of the box. However, a mixture of a bad first touch and a well timed tackle from Lasso denied the Battery a lifeline.
Play then seemed to shift back toward the home side as time was running out for the visitors, that led to Justin Hoyte going clear on the right with seven minutes left, forcing a good save from Joe Kuzminsky at his near post.
Fanendo Adi would go through from a pass on the left on 85′, but again Kuzminsky was there to save at the near post.
Adi would attempt to chip after going through again on 89′, but Kuzminsky would stay big to deny him once again.
However, in the third minute of stoppage time, Kuzminsky was left helpless by a cross that Skylar Thomas would have to clear in front of the onrushing Adi, but Thomas would mishit the clearance as the ball bounced into the net.
All in all, it was a tough night for the Battery, a mixture of mistakes and wasted chances their downfall away from home.
They next return home to face NYRB II at MUSC Health Stadium on Saturday, August 25th. Kick off is at 7PM.
TOP IMAGE: IAN SVANTESSON (MIDDLE) WAS A SECOND HALF SUB, PICTURED HERE AGAINST CINCINNATI EARLIER THIS SEASON. ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO