Dane Kelly’s first-half goal lifted the Charleston Battery to a 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo Reserves on Sunday in an inter-league match at BBVA Stadium in Houston.
Kelly volleyed home the winner in the 35th minute as Charleston (6-2-0) moved back into second position in the USL Pro standings.
The Battery enjoyed the better of the first half and created a number of good chances. Defender Taylor Mueller came close in the 4th minute, but his header from a Nicki Paterson corner rose over the crossbar.
Paterson was involved again in the 25th minute as Jose Cuevas picked out his run with a weighted pass down the right side. Paterson allowed the ball to come across his body, but his right-footed volley looped over the bar.
Minutes later, defender Colin Falvey picked out Cuevas with another long pass that carried beyond the Houston defense. Cuevas controlled the ball onto his left foot, but his attempt from just inside the box curled wide.
The Battery’s breakthrough came from a free-kick 10 minutes before halftime as Cuevas played the ball quickly down the line, catching Houston by surprise. Defender Emmnanuel Adjetey lifted a cross to the back of the box for Kelly, who cushioned home his volley into the far corner of the goal.
Dynamo forward Brian Ching almost scored in the 82nd minute, meeting a corner at the penalty spot, but his header flew wide.
With time running out, Houston defender Christian Gonzalez tried his luck from 20 yards, but his drilled strike was tipped around the post by Battery goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper.
Next up for the Battery is a second round U.S. Open Cup game against the Portland Timbers U23s at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday in Portland, Ore.