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Bethlehem, Battery Finish Deadlocked

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 04/08/18, 5:07PM EDT


First-half goals result in 1-1 draw at Goodman Stadium

Photo courtesy Bethlehem Steel FC

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Bethlehem Steel FC and the Charleston Battery exchanged goals late in the first half in a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon at Goodman Stadium. Steel FC went close twice in quick succession midway through the first half as both Marcus Epps and Cory Burke just missed the target on their respective chances, while the Battery went close just before halftime as defensive mistake opened a chance for Ataulla Guerra that was tipped over by Bethlehem goalkeeper John McCarthy. Off the ensuing corner Charleston struck as Skylar Thomas headed home to give the visitors the lead. Bethlehem leveled in first-half stoppage time, however, off a corner kick of its own that curled in and caromed off the crossbar and was then blocked into the net by Burke on an attempted clearance by a Battery defender. The second half saw few good chances, and while Steel FC pushed late to find a winner the game remained all square at the final whistle.

42’ – CHS – Skylar Thomas (Jarad van Schaik)
45+4’ – BST – Cory Burke

Three Things That Matter:

  • 1. Bethlehem had arguably never had a better opportunity to take victory against the Battery in the all-time series between the clubs, but Steel FC was unable to take full advantage in the first half when it held a clear upper hand in the flow of play. The hosts had far more of the play, but it took a broken play to end up earning the side a point thanks to Cory Burke’s hustle to charge down a Battery clearance from a corner that ended up finding the back of the net. After looking outstanding in Week 1, Steel FC’s attack needs to regain its sharpness.

  • 2. The Battery had created very little in the first half until they were gifted an opportunity by the hosts as Steel FC tried too hard to retain possession in its own end. While Ataulla Guerra’s initial chance was well-saved by Steel FC goalkeeper John McCarthy, it set up a set-piece chance that Charleston has thrived from over the years. Jarad van Schaik’s far-post cross from the right side was perfectly placed for Skylar Thomas to capitalize for his first goal for the Battery in the USL, and another picture-perfect set piece goal for the Battery.

  • 3. Both teams could look at Sunday’s draw as a moment of stabilization, with Steel FC having suffered two consecutive defeats and the Battery being blasted a week ago by the New York Red Bulls II. While it’s a point gained in the standings, though, it still leaves two sides that reached the USL Cup Playoffs with only four points from four games. It’s still early, but neither side will want to fall off the pace too far. Man of the Match

Jarad van Schaik, Charleston Battery – Van Schaik’s deliveries from set pieces provided the best opportunities for the Battery on the road, and he was also solid defensively winning seven of 11 duels.

Upcoming Games:

Bethlehem Steel FC vs. FC Cincinnati – April 15, 3 p.m. ET, Goodman Stadium

Charleston Battery at Penn FC – April 21, 7 p.m. ET, FNB Field

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