The Charleston Battery eased a month of frustration tonight with a 1-0 victory over Dayton at Blackbaud Stadium, boosting the squad’s hopes for the USL Pro playoffs.
Nicki Patterson scored on a penalty kick an hour into the match, and the Battery made it stand up for its first victory since June 8, to the delight of 3,034 fans.
Charleston had lost two straight and gone 0-3-4 in its last seven matches, capped by a 4-2 drubbing at Tampa Bay last Saturday. The Battery averaged little more than a goal and dropped from third to a tie for sixth place in the standings during that stretch.
With tonight’s three points, the Battery (8-5-6) climbed out of that three-way tie for sixth with 30 points The top eight teams make the playoffs. Dayton fell to 7-5-6 with 27 points.
Patterson’s penalty kick was set up by Dane Kelly, who broke free down the middle and was taken down in the box. Patterson’s curling shot found the top left corner in the 60th minute.
Play was chippy during a scoreless first half, with Battery keeper Odisnel Cooper foiling a Dutch Lions corner with a block and a diving save. Cody Ellison had the Battery’s best chance in stoppage time, his attempt saved by Dayton keeper Matt Williams.
The Battery played without defender Mark Wiltse, who suffered a broken nose during training Thursday. Midfielder Ben Fisk, out for nearly two months with a knee injury, is due back this weekend.
Charleston plays the second of three straight home games July 24 against Phoenix.