USL Rewind: Joe Cole helps Rowdies to win over Battery

Extending an unbeaten streak to a modest three games is rarely newsworthy, but by posting its first victory this season over Eastern Conference leader Charleston, the Tampa Bay Rowdies also moved to within four points of the top spot.

Goals by Joe Cole and Martin Paterson subdued the Battery, which dropped a second consecutive game for the first time this season. The victory also gave the Rowdies some measure of revenge for a 3-2 home loss to Charleston in late April.

Paterson and Alex Morrel set up the chance that Cole converted in the 40th minute for a 1-0 lead that they doubled in the second half, three minutes after a shot by Georgi Hristov hit the woodwork. Marcel Schäfer played the ball into Paterson, whose shot on the turn wound up in the top corner.

Despite back-to-back losses Charleston (10-4-5, 35 points) leads the conference by three points but the fourth-place Rowdies (8-5-7, 31 pts.) are one of several teams in close pursuit.

USL 2017:
Scoreboard | Standings

Elsewhere ….

-- The two teams closest to Charleston are Charlotte and Louisville City FC. Both teams are three points back with records of 9-3-5. Four different players scored in the second half for LCFC, which rallied strongly after conceding a goal just before halftime to beat Saint Louis FC, 4-1.
-- Orange County SC is just a point out of the Western Conference playoff tier after extending its unbeaten streak to six games (three wins, three ties) by downing Rio Grande Valley SC, 4-0. It has scored the first goal in the last four games while boosting its record to 6-4-4 (22 points) to close within a point of eighth-place Seattle Sounders FC 2, which is mired in a four-game losing skid.
-- The USL scheduling has its quirks. OCSC has six games in hand over the Sounders (7-11-2), who have just 23 points from their 20 games.

USL Leading Scorers:
14 Romario Williams (Charleston)
13 Dane Kelly (Reno)
12 Chandler Hoffman (Real Monarchs)
11 Djiby Fall (FC Cincinnati)
11 Jorge Herrera (Charlotte)
9 Brandon Allen (NY Red Bulls II)
9 Enzo Martinez (Charlotte)
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