Eagles trip up Battery Charleston unable to generate offense in home loss to Charlotte

Charleston Battery's Nicki Patterson fights for control of the ball against a Charlotte defender at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island on Friday, July 6, 2012.(Tyrone Walker/Postandcourier.com)

The Charleston Battery was unable to break through offensively, dropping a 2-0 decision to the Charlotte Eagles on Saturday night at Blackbaud Stadium in front of 4,437.

After a scoreless first half, Charlotte broke the deadlock in the 48th minute with a close-range finish from midfielder Nate Thornton. The Eagles added a second goal 10 minutes from the finish as Charleston lost a second straight game.

Despite the loss, the Battery (10-5-0) remains in second position in the USL Pro League, four points behind the league-leading Orlando City Lions. Charlotte (5-8-2) moves up into a tie for seventh.

The first half was very even with good chances for both teams. Charleston’s best opportunity came in the 36th minute after Jose Cuevas slipped a pass through for Tony Donatelli. Donatelli faked a shot to evade his marker but saw his left-footed attempt well saved by Eagles goalkeeper Clint Irwin.

Just before halftime Charlotte, also came very close with a good ball down the right side to forward Christian Meza. Meza struck a shot on frame, but the attempt was smothered by Battery goalkeeper Brock Duckworth.

Charlotte opened the scoring just after halftime with a goal by midfielder Thornton. The ball was lifted forward at the edge of the box to Mauricio Salles, who lofted a header ball to the penalty spot for Thornton to receive and slip past Duckworth.

Charleston tried to respond and Cuevas volleyed over the bar two minutes later after an excellent cross in form the right flank. Charleston continued to press, and Ryan Richter found substitute striker Dane Kelly 18 yards out in the 69th minute, but Kelly lifted his shot over the bar.

Charlotte put the game beyond doubt in the 79th minute when Juan Guzman took a one time shot at the top of the 18-yard-box that deflected off a Battery defender and into the net.

The Battery and the Eagles will face off again today at Charlotte Christian High School Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. The Battery returns home July 14 to play the Wilmington Hammerheads at 7:30 p.m.