The Charleston Battery got a monkey off their back with what can only be described as the best performance of the season so far, finally earning their first home win of 2022 in a comprehensive victory over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
The home side got the fun started early, wearing special jerseys honoring Pride Night in aid of charity for We Are Family and Charleston Pride. Top scorer Augi Williams added to his tally on the season after just two minutes, before Andrew Booth‘s header from a corner gave the Black and Yellow some breathing room. Booth would then turn provider shortly before half time when his through ball for Romario Piggott allowed the midfielder to control and finish for a third.
While the visitors came back into the match in the second 45, with Hugo Fauroux being called upon to make more than a few saves as Pittsburgh tried to find a way though, the clean sheet was kept intact as the Battery found their way to only their second win of the season, and first at home.
In what was in essence the first real attack of the game, eventual goalscorer Romario Piggott won the ball high up the pitch off of Danny Griffin. The ball would eventually fall to the feet of Augi Williams, who took a touch, turned and fired past goalkeeper Jahmali White.
It was a role reversal from previous matches, as the Battery had gained a habit of conceding early and often, but a welcome change for a side who’ve had to stick together through adversity.
A Battery free kick shortly afterward would be headed away back toward goal by Andrew Booth, but over the bar harmlessly.
The Battery would continue their dominance throughout the first half, remaining composed on the ball and hungry as they won their challenges.
And then things got even better. A corner from the home side from the left by Piggott had Andrew Booth rising highest at the top of the six yard box to head the ball back across and into the net to double his side’s lead.
As the game entered stoppage time in the first half, the Battery were determined to keep going
Andrew Booth would force his way through the midfield before combining again with Piggott, but this time with roles reversed. Piggott would latch onto the ball and find his way into the box before waiting for the ‘keeper to commit himself and sliding the ball past him for 3-0.
And that was the score at half time. In many of our interview segments with the players, they had been talking about a performance such as this not being far off, and there were positive signs in recent weeks, but against a side that’s usually defensively stout in Pittsburgh, the ability to pick them apart as they had seemed far-fetched.
The visitors would not go down easily though, and Hugo Fauroux in goal for the Black and Yellow would be called upon multiple times in the second 45.
The first big chance came by way of a counter-attack just after the hour mark from Pittsburgh after a giveaway in midfield which eventually forced Fauroux into a kick-save down to his right.
A Pittsburgh corner on 82′ looked destined to trouble the defense as it was headed on from the right of the six yard box into the ground, which notoriously makes it difficult for a ‘keeper to get to, but the ball went high into the stand.
So while they allowed their opponents to come into the game, the sheet was kept clean, and the Battery finally found their way to a second win of the campaign. The result puts them on eight points, which makes the rest of the teams above them look reachable as we head into the half way point of the season, but they will have to find a way to string some good results together, and things do not get any easier.
The Black and Yellow are now away from Patriots Point for their next two fixtures, with the first coming against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday, June 18th. Kick off is set for 7:30, and the match will be streamed on ESPN+.
TOP IMAGE: AUGI WILLIAMS CELEBRATES THE FIRST OF THREE BATTERY GOALS AGAINST PITTSBURGH. PHOTO CREDIT MICHAEL WISER.