The Charleston Battery ended their May homestand Saturday night with a 0-4 loss to The Miami FC. The South Florida side got on the board early and often, scoring three times in the first half and giving the Battery little chance to battle back. While the Black and Yellow created plenty of chances, the attack could not find the back of the net. The Patriots Point faithful were out in force with over 3,000 in attendance supporting the team until the final whistle.
Charleston and Miami kicked off the night under a pleasant overcast sky. The visitors got off to an early lead when Othello Bah found the back of the net in the 5th minute. The Battery looked to counter by making advances into Miami’s final third following the goal, however they were unable to come away with anything. Miami added a second goal in the 16th minute via Florian Valot from roughly 25 yards out. There was a contentious challenge by Miami’s Boluwatife Akinyode in the build-up that the Battery appealed for a foul but nothing was called.
Goalkeeper Joe Kuzminsky made a decisive save on a close header by Miami moments later as the Battery looked to find some momentum. On the other end, the Black and Yellow pressed forward into Miami’s defensive area. Aidan Apodaca registered a strong shot in the 28th minute that curled just wide right of the post. DZ Harmon connected with Apodaca with a cross on the next advance, but the headed attempt was also wide of the post.
Miami added a third goal in the latter stages of the half when Bah tallied his second goal of the night. Harmon would take another shot before the end of the half, a curling strike that was too tall for the crossbar. The visitors took the 0-3 advantage into the break despite the hosts holding 52.7% of possession, more passes in the opposition half and higher passing accuracy in the final third.
As play resumed the Battery looked for a way back into the match. Harmon sent in a clever ball from near the byline to Booth, however the Jamaican midfielder was unable to redirect the service on target. Miami were unfazed by Charleston’s energy and managed to strike again in the 50th minute with Romeo Parkes finding the back of the net. Things compounded for the hosts when Harmon was sent off minutes later for his second yellow card of the night, reducing the side to 10 men.
Past the hour mark, Charleston looked to salvage something from the night. A good defensive stand saw Augi Williams lead a counterattack in the 65th minute with a shot that forced goalkeeper Connor Sparrow into action to make a save. Matt Sheldon would do the same with a strike from the right side of the box.
The most redeeming moment of the night for Charleston was when defender AJ Paterson made his return to action in the 77th minute off the bench. A vocal leader for the squad, the Grenadian international worked his way back from injury and received an ovation from the crowd upon entering the match. Paterson would make 23 touches during his shift, completing 94% of his passes (17 of 18).
The final opportunity for the Battery came during a corner kick in the 84th minute taken by Mauro Cichero. Cichero’s in-swinger was placed perfectly to where EJ Johnson was initially positioned, however Johnson appeared to get taken down by Miami’s Sean McFarlane with no call from the referee. Johnson would’ve had a clean look on goal. Miami saw out the 0-4 victory from there.
Battery Head Coach Conor Casey rendered his assessment on the night.
“We didn’t give up, the first half obviously didn’t go our way at all, but I saw a lot of togetherness with the group,” said Coach Casey. “They fought until the end, regardless of the score and being down a man. They’re hurting right now, because they care.”
While the Black and Yellow were able to make advances into Miami’s defensive third, Coach Casey believes the team needs confidence in finishing those chances.
“Confidence is a big thing, and right now they’re low on confidence,” said Coach Casey “We’ve spent a lot of time in front of goal over the last couple of weeks, but it hasn’t translated.”
Paterson said the team will look to put this result behind them in an effort to turn things around.
“The four-nil scoreline, there really are no positives,” said Paterson. “I think the best thing for us to do right now is to forget it and look toward the next week, that’s really all we can do.”
Paterson registered some key playing time back on the pitch in his first match of the season. ch
“It’s always good to get those first minutes back with the team,” said Paterson. “However, we’re disappointed with the result and we’ll move forward from here.”
The defender applauded the home crowd for their overwhelming support throughout the night and the ovation given upon his entrance.
“It’s always nice to hear the fans cheering for us, even when we’re not doing too well, they’re always supporting,” said Paterson. “It was nice to hear them call my name coming back and everything. They’ve stuck with us this whole season and we can’t thank them enough for their continued support.”
The Battery closed the three-game homestand and next head on the road where they’ll look to turn things around against Loudoun United FC. The Black and Yellow will return to Patriots Point on Saturday, June 4, to welcome Indy Eleven back to the Holy City for the first time since 2019. Tickets are available now via SeatGeek, the Battery’s exclusive digital ticketing provider.