Wilmington, N.C. - The Charleston Battery lost to the Wilmington Hammerheads, 1-0, on Saturday night at Legion Stadium in front of 2,315.
Substitute striker Jordan Hamilton scored the only goal of the game in the 65th minute, slotting past Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper after forcing his way past the Battery's last defender.
Both teams were reduced to 10 men minutes later after a penalty appeal by Battery forward Mamadou Diuof was waived away. Wilmington counter-attacked, but a melee ensued at the halfway line after a Battery foul. The referee showed red cards to Charleston defender Shawn Ferguson and Wilmington goalkeeper Quillan Roberts.
The Battery created the first chance in the fifth minute after midfielder Andre Lewis set the ball back to Aminu Abdallah 20 yards out. Abdallah tried a first-time strike, but his effort curled wide of the target.
Lewis was involved again in the 19th minute, this time running onto a pass from Haviel Cordoves. Lewis carried the ball to the bye-line, then cut a short pass inside to forward Mamadou Diouf, but Diouf's shot spun just wide.
The Battery kept the pressure up and threatened again five minutes later, with Lewis slotting a pass behind the Wilmington defenders for Cordoves to run onto. Cordoves got to the ball first, but his angled shot was parried away by Wilmington goalkeeper Quillan Roberts.
The Battery returns to Blackbaud Stadium next Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. match against Pittsburgh.