Woodbine, Battery too much for Red Bulls

— The Charleston Battery extended their USL unbeaten streak to six games Saturday afternoon, defeating New York Red Bulls II, 3-2, at Red Bull Park.

The Battery snapped the Red Bulls’ 12-game unbeaten streak, handing the New Yorkers just their second loss of the season.

Midfielder Maikel Chang opened the scoring early, heading in an O’Brian Woodbine long throw at the near post in the ninth minute. The opening goal was the first Charleston has scored from an attacking throw-in this year.

Woodbine, who was involved in all three Battery goals, doubled his assist tally 20 minutes later. The Jamaican defender played a through ball behind New York’s center backs into the path of Romario Williams’ slashing run. The center forward slotted the ball under Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara to bring his season goal total to eight.

Coming out of the break trailing 2-0, the hosts put the pressure on the Battery immediately. The Red Bulls cut the lead in half in the 55th minute when Stefano Bonomo capped off an impressive attacking move. Anatole Abang turned with the ball just outside the penalty area and played Florian Valot in behind the Battery back four. Valot dragged a cutback across Alex Tambakis’ six-yard box that found Bonomo, who knocked it in from a few yards out.

NYRB academy prospect Kevin O’Toole scored the equalizing goal six minutes later. The left back floated a cross to the back post that missed everyone and bounced into Tambakis’ goal. The goal was O’Toole’s first as a professional.

The fireworks continued in the 66th minute, and it was again Woodbine putting the pressure on the Red Bulls’ defense. The veteran outside back played a long ball over the top in the direction of Chang on the right flank. The Cuban midfielder latched onto the ball and dribbled toward the end line before delivering a low driven cross into Meara’s penalty area. Substitute Heviel Cordoves beat his defender to the near post, getting enough on the ball to misdirect it past the goalkeeper.

The Battery closed out the rest of the match, limiting the Red Bulls’ clear chances in the attacking third. The win puts space between fourth-place Charleston and fifth-place Rochester and moves the Battery just two points behind third-place FC Cincinnati.

Charleston, which has earned 16 of 18 possible points in its last six road matches, will put its impressive road record on the line again next week when the team travels to Nippert Stadium for a rematch with FC Cincinnati and a chance to overtake third place in the Eastern Conference.