The Charleston Battery‘s playoff hopes got a lot more complicated on Sunday afternoon, following a 2-1 loss to Loudon United at home.
The Battery came fast out of the blocks, with Arthur Bosua scoring for the Black and Yellow just six minutes after the opening whistle, but their lead didn’t last long, with Alioune Ndour replying with a goal for the visitors in the 12th minute.
Despite the Battery having most of the chances following the half time break, they couldn’t finish their opportunities, and Ndour would break hearts and bag his second goal of the match with five minutes of normal time left to make them pay.
The Battery’s goal came from the first real attack of the game, with the Battery involved in some slick build up play before Tah Brian Anunga found Nicque Daley on the edge of the six yard box, which the attacker chested down. The ball ran away as it bounced back to the turf, by Arthur Bosua was there to pounce as he slotted home to open the scoring.
It was a goal that was needed to set the table in an important match, but they would have to keep their heads.
Unfortunately for the Battery, they didn’t. In buildup that seemed a near mirror image to the Battery’s goal, Loudon would build up their attack well before a ball over the top would find Alioune Ndor on 12 minutes, who chested down and fired past a sprawling Joe Kuzminsky in the Battery goal.
They say that you’re most vulnerable to conceding after you’ve scored, and that old adage proved true as the defense was parted through the middle, and we were level.
But the Battery looked to answer quickly thanks to great transition play after 20′, which eventually gave Bosua the chance for his brace, but his shot on the turn from inside the six yard box was deflected wide. Despite the corner being cleared on two occasions, nothing would eventually come from the set pieces.
On 38′, Nicque Daley would do well to create space for himself in the box with some trickery to beat his man, before firing over the bar with a powerful shot.
With a minute to go in the first half, Arthur Bosua would collect a cross on his chest before laying off to Romario Piggott on the edge of the box, but his shot lacked conviction and ultimately went wide.
And that’s how the first half would finish. A goal apiece and not devoid of chances, it looked as if the game was set for an interesting second 45.
The Battery again came out looking sharp, knowing a win was all important, and had a free kick given that stopped a breakaway on 47′, but nothing would come from it.
Good work came from Nicque Daley on 53′, crossing toward Romario Piggott, who then laid off for Arthur Bosua, but his shot went straight to the ‘keeper without causing trouble.
With ten minutes left to go, Ian Svantesson came on, replacing Nicque Daley. Daley could be pleased with his afternoon’s work, setting up the Battery goal and creating many chances for himself, though he might have been frustrated to not bag a goal himself.
But on 83′, with the visitors on the attack, a cross came in low on the right, and Ndour finished from close range to put his side in front, tallying his second goal of the evening.
It was a bit tough on the Battery, who supplied the bulk of the creativity on the evening, but their lack of a ruthless streak would come back to haunt them, and they were behind.
With three minutes to go, Kotaro Highashi would replace Vincenzo Candela as a last roll of the dice, sacrificing a defensive minded midfielder for a more attack minded winger.
He and his team would earn two corners in the dying minutes, both of which came with a sense of anticipation, but ultimately led to nothing.
And that’s how it ended. Not at all the result the Battery needed going into the final two games of the season, on the outside looking in to a playoff place.
The saving grace being that Birmingham Legion lost on Saturday night, giving the Battery another chance to fight their way into that final post-season position when they face Memphis 901 FC on Wednesday, October 16th, with kickoff at 7:30PM.
COVER PHOTO COURTESY ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY