WILMINGTON, N.C. -- The Charleston Battery had the tying goal waved off, then gave up two more after going a man down in a 3-0 loss to the Wilmington Hammerheads on Saturday night at Legion Stadium in front of 4,752 fans.
Midfielder Luke Mulholland led the way with a pair of goals as the Battery (3-4-2) slipped into fifth position in USL PRO's American Division.
The match was chippy from the start, and the Battery was forced to finish the game with 10 men after captain John Wilson was sent off for a hard challenge in the 78th minute.
Wilmington (4-1-0) started well and was rewarded with the opening goal in the 26th minute as Mullholland tucked the ball away neatly from eight yards after a strong run from midfield.
Charleston appeared to have tied the game in the 72nd minute with a close-range volleyed goal from midfielder Nicki Paterson following a long throw-in from the right side. The Battery celebrations were cut short, however, as the assistant referee waved the goal away for offsides despite Charleston's protests.
The Battery's fight back was ended minutes later with Wilson's dismissal and then a well-taken second goal from Mulholland, who volleyed home from a deep corner kick.
Wilmington capped the game with a third goal in stoppage time as substitute forward Jack Avisyan rounded Battery goalkeeper Keith Wiggans and slotted the ball into the goal.
Charleston will host the league-leading Richmond Kickers at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Blackbaud Stadium.