While the Charleston Battery were held to a 0-0 tie by the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Friday night at Chartiers Valley Stadium, it was enough to move the now 3-1-2, 11 points team into sole possession of second position in USL PRO's American Division.
The Battery were forced to play the final 40 minutes with only ten players after midfielder Evan Taylor was shown a straight red card in the 53rd minute after tangling with Pittsburgh's Shintaro Hirada.
The dismissal proved to be the decisive moment of the match. After controlling the pace of the game throughout the first half Charleston were forced to defend after Taylor's ejection as Pittsburgh tried in vain to push their advantage.
The Battery were lively from the opening whistle with forwards Dane Kelly and Levi Coleman causing problems for the Riverhounds back four with their movement and pace.
Kelly drove a shot just over the bar in the 10th minute and then had a strike deflected wide in the 33rd after Nicki Patterson had played him through.
The best chance of the half fell to Patterson just before the break from a corner-kick. Stephen Armstrong picked Patterson out at the back of the six-yard box but his snap header flew wide.
The Battery continued to press after half-time with midfielder Cole Peverley forcing Pittsburgh goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap to make a save in the 50th minute. Peverley found some space at the edge of the box but his shot was smothered by Gilstrap.
The dismissal allowed Pittsburgh to attack with more purpose but Battery goalkeeper Keith Wiggans was largely untroubled as the back four held firm in front of him.
Substitute forward Chad Severs had the best chance for the Riverhounds in the 89th minute but his spin and volley attempt was well wide.
Charleston conclude the two-match road trip tomorrow night in Rochester, NY with a 7 PM match versus the Rochester Rhinos (1340 AM/www.charlestonbattery.com).