Mariners lead Battery 1-0
Series heads to Charleston for second leg
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA -- The Charleston Battery lost 1-0 to the Virginia Beach Mariners tonight in the first of a two-game home-and-home playoff series that will decide the A-League's Southeast Division.
Former US National team Striker, Roy Lassiter scored the only goal in a tight and occasionally bad-tempered match.
Charleston looked to have scored in the 6th minute when Josh Henderson fired the ball past Mariners goalkeeper, Matt Nelson from just inside 6 yards out. The referee consulted with his assistant, however, and disallowed the goal saying Henderson was in an offside position.
In the 18th minute Virginia Beach opened the scoring. A sustained period of pressure resulted in the ball coming out to midfielder Roland Aguilera on the near side. Aguilera whipped a quick cross into the middle that forward Roy Lassiter headed home at the near post.
Battery goalkeeper Dusty Hudock made an excellent save five minutes later to deny Mariners striker Dante Washington from 12 yard out. Washington evaded three defenders before firing a shot that Hudock parried away diving to his left.
At the stroke of half-time Paul Conway almost leveled it but his right-footed curling free-kick cannoned back of the right-hand upright and then was scrambled clear by the Mariners defense.
After the break, Conway was denied for a second time. He snapped a header on-target after Chris Goos had played a sharp ball across. Nelson reacted well saving on his line.
The best chance of the half for the Battery fell to substitute midfielder Ryan Trout in the 74th minute. Henderson drove a pass between two defenders picking out Trout inside the box on the right side. Trout steadied himself then fired a shot that missed just left.
Both teams return to Blackbaud Stadium Sunday for the second game of the two match, aggregate score series; kick off is set for 6:00 pm.
VB: Lassiter (Aguilera) 18
VB: Danbusky 75
Referees: Dan Stead, Chip Boatwright, Sam Foster, Rob Vesbis