The Richmond Kickers were back in action at UR Stadium for a Saturday evening match against the Harrisburg City Islanders. The 7 PM match, which would end 2-0 in the Kickers favor, was the third meeting between the two clubs; Richmond tied the City Islanders in the first meeting only to oust them in a 1-0 match at Skyline Sports Complex back in June. The Saturday night win extended the Kickers’ 7-2-4 record over Harrisburg by adding another in the left-hand column.
The match was underway just minutes after the hour. Four minutes into the game, Kicker forward Matthew Delicâte missed a header attempt on goal. Seven minutes later, Delicâte would set up a pass to fellow forward Edson Elcock who would score the first goal of the evening; Harrisburg goalkeeper Danny Cepero saved Elcock’s first shot only to let the rebound slide past him into the net.
Delicâte was back in tip-top shape after exiting last week’s home game against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the 23rd minute due to a gash above his right eye. Delicâte continued his search for a goal in the thirty-six minute when his header went just wide.
Harrisburg midfielder Jason Hotchkin attempted a header following Delicâte’s; however Kickers goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale was in the box for the save.
Delicâte made another attempt in the 43rd minute of play when he took a shot just a few yards shy from the goal. The half concluded with one minute of stoppage time and the halftime performances took the field.
Kicker fans took to their feet to celebrate a successful first half and participate in halftime activities. Several youth present for the game played in a contest for the most goals scored on Kickeroo, the Richmond mascot. Following the contest, the routine HCA VA Frisbee Toss took place; fans tossed frisbees in hopes of having them hit the target.
Pascale led to Kickers to a second half start with a save in the 49th minute. Just into the 50th minute, Richmond succeeded in adding another point to the scoreboard; midfielder Gerson Dos Santos scored, Delicâte credited with the assist.
In the 55th minute, Pascale made another save from an offsides shot by Harrisburg. The City Islanders followed their offsides call with a foul near their own goal. Delicâte would take another shot that Cepero would save during the 63rd minute of play.
A foul whistled on Richmond in the 67th minute led Kicker midfielder and fan-favorite Mike Burke to push City Islander Hotchkin; the match referee dismissed the hands-on contact and play resumed.
Richmond made their first substitution of the night after the 70th minute with midfielder Stephen Nsereko coming on the field for Elcock. Just after the substitution, Delicâte tried to break through when City Islander defender Jerrit Thayer cut in to clear the ball.
A caution was issued to City Islanders defender Anthony Calvano and the game would end after three minutes of stoppage time.
The Kickers (8-5-5) will travel north to meet the City Islanders (4-7-6) once more next Saturday, August 7. With 29 points, Richmond still holds tight to the second place standing in the USL-2 division. The Kickers still remain ahead of third place Pittsburgh, of whom they defeated last week in a 1-0 match at City Stadium.
Richmond will return to UR Stadium August 14 for their final home game, and season closer, against the Real Maryland Monarchs. The match will also mark the third between the two clubs; the first resulted in a 1-1 tie; the second, 3-1 Richmond. Currently, the Monarchs hold last place in the division who are still shy of 20 points. Tickets for next weekend’s match can be purchased in advance via RichmondKickers.com.
As August beckons, USL-2 2010 Semifinals quickly approach. In order to secure a home seat, Richmond needs to gain as many remaining points as possible in their final regular season matches as the USL-2 runner up is guaranteed a home field game prior to the championship. Times for the August 21 match have not yet been released.