Orlando City B and the Charleston Battery played to a scoreless draw in Charleston, SC -- the second consecutive such score line on the road for the young Lions. The point, won under Rob Valentino while Anthony Pulis was in New York with the senior club, moves OCB momentarily into seventh in the USL's Eastern Conference on 24 points out of the team's first 18 games.
It was an open first half with both teams having multiple chances to break the deadlock. The first big chance of the game came in the 13th minute, when Lewis Neal sent a curling cross toward Charleston's back post. Striker Michael Cox split Taylor Mueller and Quinton Griffith to get a head on the ball but it sailed just wide of Odisnel Cooper's post for a goal kick.
Five minutes later, Charleston had its best chance of the half. After beating Tyler Turner down the right, Maikel Chang played a low cross for Emmanuel Adjetey, who fired on the OCB goal. Goalkeeper Mark Ridgers quickly brought his legs together to make the save but the deflection went to Justin Portillo at the top of the box, who hit the follow-up just wide of Ridgers' goal.
In the 52nd minute, former Orlando City U-23 striker Romario Williams nearly gave the home team the lead when he fought off OCB center back Craig Nitti to fire a shot against the run of play. However, the attempt went right of Ridgers' net, keeping the game scoreless.
In the 58th minute it was Williams again. Maikel Chang played the ball to the top of the box for Chris Tsonis, who laid the ball off for Williams with his first touch. But, yet again, Williams hit the ball just wide of Ridgers' post.
The Battery had one final chance two minutes into injury time off a corner kick. A poor clearance by Johnny Mendoza inside the six allowed Dante Marini to head the ball across for Heviel Cordoves just eight yards out. However, Cordoves' attempt went sailing over the bar as the referee blew the whistle for full time.
While the first half was pretty even, with both teams having multiple chances at goal, Charleston dominated the second half, leaving OCB with few chances to score. Williams had several chances to give the home side the lead and Cordoves should have won all three points for Charleston but, luckily for the Lions, neither were able to finish.
The draw extends OCB's unbeaten streak to six, dating back to the team's 4-3 loss at home to Lousiville City FC on June 5. It was also Ridgers' second straight clean sheet, largely due to his strong play during the first half. The Lions will return to the field after an 11-day layoff to face the Wilmington Hammerheads in Melbourne on July 24.
Starting XI: Ridgers; Hayden (Ambrose, 88'), Nitti, McFadden, Turner; Ribeiro, Rocha, Laryea (Mendoza, 42'), Neal (c) (A. Garcia, 75'), Obekop (Da Silva, 46'); Cox
Unused Subs: Fenlason, Matarazzo, Smith.
Yellow Cards: ORL - Hayden (5'), Da Silva (81') CHA - Portillo (42').