Romario Williams scored his eighth goal of the USL season in the Charleston Battery’s 1-0 win over Bethlehem Steel FC at Goodman Stadium Thursday morning.
Williams scored the game’s only goal in the 32 minute to break the deadlock. The Jamaican center forward gathered a pass from O’Brian Woodbine 35 yards from goal and turned and ran at the Steel’s back four. Williams beat right back, Aaron Jones, for strength and pace before firing a low shot off goalkeeper Jake McGuire’s right post and in.
Williams’ goal was his eighth of the year, making him joint top scorer with former Battery striker and current Reno 1868 man Dane Kelly. The center forward is now two goals away from tying his 2016 mark (10) after just ten games.
The Battery led in most statistical categories, aside from the possession battle, a stat line that is becoming a trend for Head Coach Mike Anhaeuser’s 2017 squad. Charleston doubled Bethlehem in the shot category and created more quality scoring opportunities than the hosts, but were out-possessed 60-40 in the match.
Goalkeeper Alex Tambakis earned his second shutout of the season in the match and his second consecutive start. Tambakis’ Atlanta United teammate, Miles Robinson, earned his first professional minutes at Goodman Stadium Thursday morning, replacing the suspended Forrest Lasso at center back. Skylar Thomas also earned his first USL start in the match, playing a full 90 minutes at right black, while Quinton Griffith got the day off.
The win moves Charleston three points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand on second-place Tampa Bay Rowdies who dropped a result in New York against the Rhinos Wednesday night. The Battery are now unbeaten in their last eight games including the 2-1 win over the Atlanta Silverbacks last week in the US Open Cup.
Charleston will remain on the road following the win in Pennsylvania. The Battery will take on defending USL champions New York Red Bulls II Sunday afternoon at 2:00 PM. The match will be available on charlestonbattery.com and MyTV Charleston. The Battery return to Charleston on Saturday, June 3rd to play third-place Louisville City FC at MUSC Health Stadium.
CHARLESTON: Alex Tambakis, Skylar Thomas, Taylor Mueller, Miles Robinson, O’Brian Woodbine, Maikel Chang (Jeffery Otoo, 90) Justin Portillo, Neveal Hackshaw, Kotaro Higashi (Dante Marini, 72), Ataulla Guerra, Romario Williams (goal, 32; Heviel Cordoves, 78)
Unused substitutes: Odisnel Cooper, Quinton Griffith, Chris Goslin, Ricky Garbanzo
BETHLEHEM: Jake McGuire, Aaron Jones, Hugh Roberts, Ken Tribbett, Matt Real, James Chambers, Dawson McCartney (Josu Monge, 74), Yosef Samuel (Santi Brown, 63), Corey Burke, Chris Nanco (Amoy Moar, 84), Seku Conneh
Unused substitutes: Tomas Romero, Charlie Reymann, Mark McKenzie, Matt Mahoney