The Charleston Battery weren’t able to hold onto an early lead Wednesday, losing 3-2 to the Ottawa Fury.
It was an open game, such as the score suggests, but the Black and Yellow failed to turn their early dominance, which included a goal in the 20th minute, into points as their poor away form continued.
The visitors would create the first chance of the game, with AJ Paterson doing well to keep the ball in play, finding striker Arthur Bosua, but he couldn’t put a header on target and the chance would go begging.
Nico Rittmeyer would try for the spectacular on 7′, shaping up an effort from a bicycle kick inside the box but it was pushed wide, and the corner that followed led to nothing.
But then, Rittmeyer would play provider on 20′, when he would make a run into the box and draw three defenders to the ball before playing a cross in for the onrushing Vincenzo Candela to head home and open the scoring.
While the home side kept themselves in it before the goal, it was clearly the Black and Yellow who were the aggressors early on, and made their dominance pay through Candela’s first goal of the season.
Bosua had a chance to double the lead shortly after, when he connected with a Nico Rittmeyer pass through, but he was unable to keep his shot down and the opportunity went begging.
And then, Ottawa would find themselves level. It came in the 29th minute, as a foul on the right led to a free kick just outside the box, leading to Carl Haworth stepping up for the away side. Given the tough angle, it was hard to see the striker having a go, but he used the defense expecting a cross to his aid and shot far post, taking a slight nick as it beat Joe Kuzminsky in the Battery goal.
It was well taken, but the Battery could not afford to let their heads drop. They were in the game, playing well, and to that point it took a well placed effort to draw things level.
On 36′ came another big chance for the home side. Kevin Oliveira would be played through with a slow pass into the box. Given the lack of pace, Joe Kuzminsky did his best to come and claim, the though the striker used his speed to get there first and tried to round the ‘keeper, though Kuzminsky did his best to close down the angle and the chance was eventually gone.
Arthur Bosua created a chance for the goalscorer Candela with a flick on after 43′, but Candela couldn’t keep his shot on target.
And that was how the first half finished. Both teams had their chances, both trading goals, and the score showed as much.
Haworth nearly provided a chance on 50′ but his cross from the left was redirected over the bar.
On 57′, the Battery were looking dangerous on a counter, but Dante Marini‘s cross went begging across the box untouched.
Candela stepped up to a free kick a short time later from 19 yards out, but the effort went straight into the wall and was cleared.
Substitute Kotaro Higashi would open things up with his first touches on 61′, speeding past his man on the left before shooting toward the near post and forcing a save out of the goalkeeper before the ball was cleared away.
And then, down the other end of the pitch, the Fury would find themselves in a great position at the top of the box, and a mishit shot would fall to Haworth who finished well to put his side in front.
It was tough for the Battery, whose best spell in the game most likely came in the spell before the goal, which came after some sheer bad luck, but they found themselves behind nonethe less.
New signing James Cox would make his debut on Wednesday as a second half sub, and provided Tah Brian Anunga with an opportunity at the top of the box, but his curling effort would be saved and out for a corner, which would be cleared away.
Zeiko Lewis would make his return from international duty as a late sub with 20 minutes left, and it was him that got the Battery back in it. A give and go at the top of the box with Dante Marini gave Lewis the space, and it was a tidy finish at the near post with his left foot that levelled the scoring with six minutes left.
The Battery midfield continued to have trouble managing game, but the chances were there in that the Black and Yellow didn’t exactly deserve to lose the game, and with the goal so late, it looked to be enough for at least a point.
But the home side would have the final say. Two minutes later, on 86′, Ottawa earned themselves a corner on the left.
It was played in, and a clearing header from AJ Paterson was missed as Tah Brian Anunga looked to clear the second ball. Instead, the ball dropped off of Anunga’s shin, falling to Elhadji Mour Samb, who rifled a first time shot into the bottom corner to put the Fury back in front.
And though there were four minutes of added time given, the Battery couldn’t find an equalizer. The final whistle blew, and it was a particularly hard one to swallow.
There was plenty to be happy about for the visitors, and realistically, the result flattered the Fury, but the Black and Yellow’s troubles away from home have become a real problem as we creep ever closer to the second half of the season.
They look to bounce back as they return home against New York Red Bulls II on Saturday, June 29th. Kick off is set for 7:30PM.
TOP IMAGE: TONIGHT’S FIRST GOALSCORER, VINCENZO CANDELA, AGAINST OTTAWA IN A PREVIOUS MATCH. PHOTO CREDIT ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY