Battery Wins USL-2 Championship.

Charleston, S.C. A ten-man Charleston Battery clinched the USL-2 title with a hard-fought 2-1 win against the Richmond Kickers at Blackbaud Stadium in front of 4,523. USL-2 MVP Lamar Neagle and Battery midfielder Ian Fuller supplied the goals as Charleston won its third USL championship.

“To beat them we knew it was going to have to be a battle, but the guys played strong and everyone on this team deserves to be a champion,” said Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser. “To score a goal after losing a man was fantastic and they defended with 100% commitment to hold on for the win.”

Charleston’s first chance of the evening came in the 23rd minute from Battery winger Stephen Armstrong. Armstrong struck a powerful cross from the far right side of the field looking to meet the feet of forward Neagle, but the cross proved just too far wide for Neagle to get a quality strike away.

Minutes later, Battery midfielder Mike Zaher took the corner that put the Battery ahead by one goal. The ball came in to Fuller who fired a shot at goal. Forward Tom Heinemann cushioned the strike and flicked the ball to Neagle who buried his chance from three yards out.

Charleston were reduced to ten men in the 29th minute after defender Colin Falvey was sent-off for tangling with Matt Delicate as he ran through on goal

With the man advantage Richmond fought back and came close in the 48th minute with a cross from defender Sasha Gorres to Delicate. Delicate finished with a powerful shot but Charleston goalkeeper Tim Melia was well placed to make the save.

Charleston doubled its advantage with a second goal in the 52nd minute. Zaher found Heinemann in the box from a throw-in and Heinemann just managed to flick the ball on to Fuller. Fuller held off his defender and smashed the ball home with a spinning volley.

Richmond replied in the 70th minute after a perfect cross from Gorres found Edson Elcock at the back post. Elcock hit a first time strike that flew past Melia into the top right corner.

With momentum swinging towards the Kickers the Battery hung on with some resolute defending. Delicate had a chance to tie the game in stoppage time but his dipping volley was headed off the line by Fuller and away to safety.

This was the Charleston Battery’s third USL Championship; the Battery won the USL-2 title in 1996 and the USl-1 title in 2003.

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