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Battery Boosted by Williams’ Late Strike

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 03/27/16, 11:37AM EDT


Stoppage-time winner lifts Charleston after tough opener vs. Cincinnati

CHARLESTON, S.C. – For the past five seasons, the Charleston Battery had a striker that, when the moment came, they could rely on to produce.

In his first chance to replicate fellow countryman Dane Kelly, Romario Williams proved up to the task.

The young Jamaican, with the Battery on loan from the Montreal Impact, scored with almost the final kick of the game as Charleston opened its 2016 campaign with a 1-0 win against FC Cincinnati.

Led into the penalty area by O’Brian Woodbine’s pass, Williams took a great first touch to move past Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt, and still have enough room to finish from a tight angle.

“He picked his head up and I just made a run to the near post,” Williams said of Woodbine’s assist. “Coach emphasized it before the game. Just run to the near post: You never know what may happen. And I was able to tuck it away.”

Williams joined up with the Battery earlier this week after his season-long loan was completed, and came off the bench to replace Heviel Cordoves, who himself came close to an early goal when he hit the post from 20 yards.

Battery Coach Mike Anhaeuser said while the rest of the team isn’t completely in sync with Williams yet, the qualities he’s shown have impressed the rest of the squad.

“You can see that he’s very strong around the box and he can take guys on, so it’s going to be our job to keep him up there around the goal,” Anhaeuser said. “You saw what he did; what a great touch and what a great finish.”

While Charleston was pleased to take three points in its home opener, and continue its remarkable undefeated streak at MUSC Health Stadium, Anhaeuser was full of praise for its expansion opponents after Cincinnati threatened repeatedly to find the opening goal.

For Williams, though, the Battery’s goal of earning a fifth championship this season match up well with his own.

“We have a great group of guys,” Williams said. “Guys that are hungry. They want to make some noise in the USL. Charleston has always been successful at this level. I’m coming in in with that same mentality, the same drive, the same hunger, the same desire to help this team any way I can.”