The Charleston Battery lost 3-0 to the Harrisburg City Islanders on Wednesday night at the Skyline Sports Complex in front of 1,605. Defender Kyle Hoffer was sent off in the 26th minute leaving Charleston a man short and the City Islanders took advantage scoring three unanswered goals.
Despite the loss the Battery (11-10-1) remains in 3rd position in the USL PRO standings four points behind the second place Rochester Rhinos and one point ahead of Harrisburg (9-6-6). The top six teams advance to the post-season with the top two sides earning a bye into the semifinal round. Three matches remain.
The Battery started well but suffered a blow with the first-half ejection of defender Kyle Hoffer. Hoffer was shown a straight red-card for a tackle on forward Yann Ekra at the edge of the eighteen-yard box.
With the man advantage Harrisburg pushed forward and opened the scoring four minutes later after goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra could only palm away a strike from Tom Mellor. Brian Ombiji was quickest to the ball and bundled home from close range.
Five minutes later it was 2-0 after the Battery conceded a free-kick twenty-five yards out. Tom Mellor converted the chance curling a good left-footed shot over the wall and into the far corner of the goal.
Charleston showed fight and had two chances to pull a goal back before the break. Nicki Paterson missed wide with a free-kick in the 40th minute and in stoppage time at the end of the half forward Dane Kelly watched his shot from distance fly high.
The game remained within the Battery's grasp after the break with neither side gaining a clear advantage of possession but as the match wore on Charleston's players began to tire and Harrisburg added a third goal on a counter attack through forward Lucky Mkosana in the 85th minute.
Charleston completes its road schedule on Saturday night with a 7:35 PM match versus the Rochester Rhinos (1340 AM) before returning to Blackbaud Stadium on August 18 for the regular season finale.