The Battery got their 2016 USL campaign back on track at Pittsburgh's Highmark Stadium Saturday night, taking down the struggling Riverhounds 2-1.
In the previous week's match Charleston saw their magical 29 game home unbeaten streak come to an end at the hands of Louisville City FC who currently sit at the top spot in the Eastern Conference table.
The match got off to a slow start for the Battery, possibly due in part to a shuffled team sheet, with several key players missing from the starting XI. On the backline, Forrest Lasso got the start over Battery captain Shawn Ferguson and at Midfield Neveal Hackshaw received the nod in place of Justin Portillo.
The most notable absence from the team sheet would be the Battery's leading goal scorer, forward Romario Williams, who was serving a one game suspension resulting from a late red card against in last weeks loss to Louisville.
The Riverhounds looked to have the advantage for most of the opening half, controlling possession and turning up the pressure on the Battery back four.
Despite the sluggish start Charleston would jump out to a 2-0 lead late in the first half, scoring two goals in under three minutes.
O'Brian Woodbine would get things started for the Battery in the 38th minute, drawing a penalty off a takedown by the Pittsburgh defender. Woodbine would step up to take the PK himself, burying it into the top left corner of the net.
Just a few moments later acting captain Taylor Mueller would put away the second goal for the Battery, volleying a missed clearance by the Riverhounds in for the score.
The second half got underway with Pittsburgh still pressing the Battery defense, with Riverhounds forward Robbie Vincent narrowing the lead to one in the 51st minute. The 25-year-old Englishman, on loan from D.C United, hit a rocket of a shot from about 35 yards out to the left post, leaving Battery keeper Alex Tambakis no chance to get to the ball.
The Riverhounds continued to find chances with the Battery rarely working into the attacking third. But Charleston held strong defensively, on the back of a monster performance in goal by Tambakis in his first USL start since an abysmal showing against Rochester, leading the Battery past Pittsburgh and back into second place in the Eastern Conference Table.
MAN OF THE MATCH
The Battery could have easily left Highmark Stadium with a disappointing 1 point result Saturday, but keeper Alex Tambakis would have none of it. The 23-year-old Greek was a game changer, racking up the saves, and single handedly shutting down nearly every corner and cross the Riverhounds threw his way. Saturday's performance puts Tambakis back in the mix for the starting role at keeper, having lost his spot in the XI to Odisnel Cooper after struggling early on in the season.
KEY TAKE AWAYS
LACK OF OFFENSE
Outside of the short scoring burst, the Battery were hardly ever a threat to score, with The Riverhounds outshooting Charleston 16-7. The shuffled lineup may have been the root cause of Charleston's lack of production offensively, a issue they hope to remedy with Romario Williams' return from suspension.
Home vs The Mickey Mouse B-Team (OCB), Saturday 5/11 7:30 pm