Last night, through the wind and the rain, the Charleston Battery added to their point total for the year with a 2-1 win over the Dayton Dutch Lions.
The first half was played mostly in the midfield and the scoring chances that fell, fell for the Battery.
Charleston did well early earning a corner kick in the 1st minute. They couldn't capitalize on it, as the ball sailed over the box for a goal kick.
Starting forwards Seedy Bah and Levi Coleman were showing some good chemistry up front, but had trouble breaking through a tough Dayton back line. Bah broke through a couple of times, but Dayton keeper Jesper Leerdam did well getting off his line quickly to gather those balls that were played forward.
The Battery's back line played very well, and really played the balls forward to try to get the counter attack going. It was hard to play it forward quickly though, so not many chances came from it.
There was a lot to be learned during these rainy conditions. Both teams were trying to play long balls over the back line, but in these awful conditions, they would either get caught by the wind, hit the ground and skid away, or both.
Charleston figured out how to connect with each other early in the first half, while Dayton didn't really figure it out until the second half.
As Charleston continued to get in the attacking third, they earned multiple free kicks and corners.
Charleston's Evan Taylor took a free kick in the 27th minute from about 35 yards out. He made solid contact, but it sailed just over the bar.
Just a minute after that, Nigel Marples took a free kick from around 45 yards out. He crossed it in and some physical play caused a few Charleston players to get knocked down inside the box. They appealed for a penalty, but the official would have none of it.
At this point, it was obvious that neither team would score in the first half, and they wouldn't. We went into the half at 0-0.
In the first half, Charleston dominated the possession, but it was still a midfield game as both back lines were standing strong.
The second half started out great for the Battery.
A ball was played into the box, and Seedy Bah galloped onto the ball getting it to Nicki Paterson who would tap it in for Charleston's first goal of the game.
After their first goal, the Battery started getting forward with more confidence and making better passes.
Dayton would try to create more pressure, but their crosses weren't working out quite as they planned.
In the 55th minute, Seedy Bah received a ball from Nicki Paterson, and spun off his man for a turn around shot just outside the 18. It sailed just over the bar. So close in fact, that it hit the cross bar of the field goal posts that were up during the game.
In the 57th minute, Charleston would strike again.
Coleman worked the ball from the right side to Paterson at the top of the 18, who would slot it over to JC Mack on the right side who would pass back to Zaher, who earned a free kick. Nicki Paterson would step up to take the free kick from 25 yards out.
He crossed it in for Colin Falvey, who had come up for the free kick, who headed it in to the back of the net to put the Battery up 2-0.
8 minutes later in the 65th minute, Dayton would pull one back when Luciën Seymour sent a low cross into the box from the right side. Dykstra couldn't handle the cross and it popped out for Kolby Lacrone who easily gathered it and slotted it home.
Dayton would push men forward for the rest of the game, but couldn't find an equalizer, and Charleston would win the match 2-1.
Seedy Bah: Bah didn't play outstanding in his first start with the Battery. The game was mostly played in the midfield and he didn't get very many touches thew whole game. He did take some shots that were speculative, but he made them work. Because of the poor conditions, he couldn't really get any chances to receive balls that were sent over the top. It looks like he could be successful in the future with those. Overall a mediocre performance.
Levi Coleman: In the sense of getting touches and making plays on the ball, Coleman did much better than Bah. Coleman was a lot more active in the midfield, and got up and down the field a lot more. He still deserves a starting spot, but I'd like to see him take some shots on goal.
Nicki Paterson: Paterson had a great performance. He took all of the free kicks and corners well. Not to mention he had the first goal, and had the assist on the second. Great performance.
Cole Peverley: Peverley had another decent performance. The whole midfield was effective really, but Peverley moved the ball forward well, and actually had some nice tackles in the midfield to get the counter going. He seems to be better on sending long balls, but today he couldn't really send them over the top because of the poor conditions, which he adjusted to early and started to keep them on the ground.
Evan Taylor: Taylor is a confusing case. He showed that he could get shots from long range off and get them close, but he didn't really pass the ball very well. He wasn't making effective tackles and he got a yellow card in the 40th minute for a reckless tackle. He did show that he could take long throws well, and got a lot of those into the box. Dayton showed to be vulnerable on the long throws that Taylor sent in.
JC Mack: Mack played well today. He got some shots on target and put a lot of pressure on Dayton's back line. He worked the ball well to Coleman, and sent some nice long balls into Bah.
Nigel Marples: The whole back line played well, but Marples had a little trouble on defending the crosses. He didn't really help at all on the goal that Dayton had, but besides that he had a decent performance.
Colin Falvey: Falvey made his season debut for Charleston, and showed that he hasn't lost a beat from last year. He came forward for most of the set pieces, and got that goal. It was a great headed goal, and hopefully he'll continue to come forward for corners and free kicks in the future.
John Wilson: He's still got it. Wilson was again the best player on the back line. He had 2 crucial clearances in the first half that both looked to be goals. Wilson was again making great tackles all game and even went forward a little more than expected. Hopefully he'll keep this up.
Mike Zaher: Zaher really did well today. I liked the way he got forward and sent in some crosses. He should continue to get a starting spot if he continues this play.
Andrew Dykstra: Dykstra played well besides the one goal he gave up. The goal could be contributed to the bad weather, but he did lose a handle on the ball, which you just can't do. His highlight of the night was a crucial save he had in the 90th minute. Davis IV crossed in a ball for Seymour who headed it right at Dykstra. It looked like it could have gone through his legs, but Dykstra handled it and preserved the 3 points.
Dane Kelly: Kelly came in for Levi Coleman, and immediately got 2 straight offsides in 2 minutes. He's the kind of player that has so much potential, but is having trouble using his talents. He shows that he can use his pace to get around players, but gets their and doesn't really know what to do. When he can do that, he'll do great.
Zach Prince: Prince came in for Mack in the 69th minute. He was quite, but came on and helped the Battery preserve their lead. He had one nice tackle in the midfield, that stopped a quick counter by Dayton.
Kevin Jackson: Jackson came in for Evan Taylor in the 74th, and used his 16 minutes to play defensively and help run down the clock. In stoppage time, he and Nicki Paterson wasted the final four minutes over in one of Dayton's corners.
Brandon Massie: Massie came in for Bah in the 80th minute, and immediately made an impact. He had a shot from the left side that the keeper had to deflect into the side netting for a Charleston corner. He also took a corner or two.
Man of the Match: Nicki Paterson
No question here. Paterson had a great performance and showed that he deserves an everyday spot in the Starting XI. He took free kicks so well, got that goal, and the assist on Falvey's goal. We should see Paterson scoring a lot of goals, and getting many assists this season.
Overall it was a good performance by the Battery. I honestly think that Charleston is one of the best teams in the league. They have so many pieces that you need for a good side, and if they can put the pieces of the puzzle together, we'll be seeing a good finish for the Battery.
As for the lack of goals (really only 2 in the first 2 games considering we had one that was an own goal), I have this to say:
If you keep making good runs, you're tactically smart, you play hard, the goals will come. Its as simple as that.
If you need to contact me, e-mail me at SCSoccerblog@gmail.com.