Friday, May 31, 2013 Richmond City Stadium
Richmond Kickers 1 (Robinson 30’)
Phoenix FC Wolves 0
RICHMOND, VA – The Richmond Kickers kept their unbeaten streak alive Friday night, edging the Phoenix FC Wolves 1-0 at City Stadium. Midfielder Nate Robinson tallied the lone goal in the 30th minute while goalkeeper Ryan Jones posted a shutout in his home debut to boost the Kickers into second place in the USL PRO standings.
A high-tempo, end-to-end affair kicked off directly out of the gates as the Kickers immediately pressed forward before conceding a pair of dangerous corners inside the first 10 minutes.
Jones was forced into action in the 25th minute when Phoenix midfielder Netinho played the ball to a speedy Donald Toia barreling towards the box. Splitting the defenders, he was through to goal but pulled his shot just wide of the left post as the 6’6” keeper stretched to his right.
Despite the Wolves early offensive pressure, it was the home side who broke the ice when defender Juan Arbelaez carried the ball deep into Phoenix territory before sending it back to Nate Robinson 20 yards out. The Kickers midfielder stumbled to the ball but steadied himself before firing a left-footed rocket from outside the box, over goalkeeper Andrew Weber’s outstretched hands and into the upper 90.
Hoping to pick up where they left off immediately after the restart, Kickers midfielder Joseph Ngwenya stole the ball in the Wolves half and played Casey Townsend in behind the defense. The speedy forward beat his defender and one-timed a curling shot to the near post, glancing just wide of the target.
Phoenix retaliated soon after, earning a free kick dangerously close to the 18-yard line. Midfielder Scott Morrison lined up the well-positioned ball and chipped it above the defensive wall, only to see it dip just over the crossbar.
The Kickers pushed for a second goal in the 68th minute when defender Taylor Kemp directed a cross into the box to Brian Ownby, but the Kickers midfielder could not get to it in time as the Wolves defense scrambled for the clearance. Kemp recovered the ball and, this time, served it to the far post, finding Michael Seaton in the air but his nod was muted by the sharp angle.
Later, the Wolves searched for the equalizer when forward Aaron King carried the ball down the left wing and sliced it through the box to an awaiting Diego Faria. The midfielder deftly stepped around his mark and struck from close range but his attempt found side netting.
Phoenix continued to press in the 84th minute when they earned a throw-in deep on the left flank. The ball pinged around the box before falling to Faria but his one-time volley was deflected just wide of the target as it skimmed across the goalmouth.
Attempting to shore up their three points, the Kickers nearly doubled the score minutes before the final whistle when defender William Yomby delivered a long ball, connecting with Seaton in midfield. Seaton’s flick-on header found Stanley Nyazamba on the left wing who settled the ball and fed it through to Kemp streaking into the box. The defender whipped a cross into the crowded penalty area, finding his target in Ownby, but his subsequent header soared skyward.
The Richmond Kickers return to City Stadium next Saturday, June 8 to host Food Truck Fest and the Wilmington Hammerheads. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the game kicks off at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are just $5.00 before 6:30 p.m. and can be ordered in advance at RichmondKickers.com using promo code FOODTRUCK.
Box Score First Half Second Half Final
Richmond 1 0 1
Phoenix 0 0 0
30th minute: Richmond: Nate Robinson (Juan Arbelaez)
Kickers: GK Ryan Jones, Taylor Kemp, William Yomby, Henry Kalungi, Juan Arbelaez, Luke Vercollone, Michael Callahan (Philippe Davies – 78’), Joseph Ngwenya (Stanley Nyazamba – 60’), Nate Robinson (Michael Seaton – 60’), Jason Yeisley (Brian Ownby – 60’), Casey Townsend (Shane Johnson – 86’)
Wolves: GK Andrew Weber, Isaiah Schafer (Aaron King – 57’), Renan Boufleur (Josh Bento – 85’), Devon Grousis, Cyprian Hedrick, Anthony Obodai, Scott Morrison, Netinho, Diego Faria da Silva (Brian Holmes – 80’), Donald Toia, Darren Mackie (Peobo – 72’)
Shots Saves Fouls Corners
Wolves: 8 Wolves: 1 Wolves: 8 Wolves: 4
Kickers: 4 Kickers: 2 Kickers: 6 Kickers: 1
58th minute: Juan Arbelaez (Richmond)
83rd minute: Michael Seaton (Richmond)
87th minute: Scott Morrison (Phoenix)
Referee: Ben Hichak
Assistant Referees: Charles Carson, Matthew Nelson
Fourth Official: Hagan Barnett
Weather: Sunny, 91º