Wilmington, N.C. — Charleston fought back to score a late goal Friday night at Legion Stadium, but the comeback bid fizzled as Wilmington won, 2-1, to snap the Battery’s three-match winning streak.
Despite the loss, Charleston (10-6-6) remains in fourth place in the USL Pro standings.
Wilmington opened the scoring in the 39th minute after an attempted clearance by Cody Ellison fell straight to a Wilmington midfielder on the right side of the penalty area. The ball was squared quickly to forward Kyle Grieg, who slammed the ball past Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper into the goal.
The Battery tried to respond before the break and came close five minutes later after Jose Cuevas latched on to an errant clearance 18 yards out. Cuevas spun on the ball, but his right-footed curling attempt went wide of the target.
The task became harder for Charleston in the 56th minute after a late challenge by Dane Kelly led to a scuffle between the teams at the halfway line. The referee showed winger Quinton Griffith a red-card, reducing the Battery to 10 men for the remainder of the game.
Wilmington took advantage of the extra man in the 75th minute with a quick counter-attack following a Charleston free-kick. The Battery were caught shorthanded at the back with Wilmington forward Michael Olivera applying a good finish to make it 2-0.
The Battery finally broke through in stoppage time after Jarad van Schaik won a tackle on the right side. He poked the ball across to Nicki Paterson, who played a pass into the path of striker Heviel Cordoves. Cordoves controlled the ball with a deft touch and then lifted a shot past the goalkeeper and into the goal.
In the end it was too little, too late as Wilmington dug in defensively for the remaining few minutes with Charleston unable to find a second goal.
The Battery returns to Blackbaud Stadium on Saturday to take on the Richmond Kickers at 7:30 p.m.