Saturday, March 29, 2014 Blackblaud Stadium
Charleston Battery 2 (van Schaik 22’, Sanyang 59’)
Richmond Kickers 2 (Davis 14’, 67’)
CHARLESTON, SC – The Richmond Kickers opened the 2014 campaign with a 2-2 draw on the road against the Charleston Battery. End to end action saw Richmond midfielder George Davis IV score on either side of Jared van Schaik and Amadou Sanyang tallies to send the Kickers into next week’s home opener with a draw to start the season.
Hungry for three points on their home pitch, the Battery tested the Kickers defense early and were immediately awarded consecutive free kicks inside the first 10 minutes. Forcing Kickers goalkeeper Joe Willis into action, Sanyang lined up a laser strike that was tipped over the crossbar before a wayward strike soared skyward.
Despite the early pressure, it was the Kickers who first took the lead when a Collin Martin through ball found Davis at the top of the box. As Battery goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper charged out to challenge, Davis calmly slotted the ball past him into the open net for his first goal in a Kickers uniform.
The Battery retaliated within eight minutes and pulled a goal back when van Schaik made a darting run through the midfield and connected on Andre Lewis’ perfect cross to redirect the ball into the far corner.
The frenetic pace continued after the break when van Schaik turned from goal scorer to delivery man when he served a well-placed free kick to Sanyang. The Battery midfielder made no mistake with his nod from point blank range to give the home side the advantage just before the hour mark.
The Battery’s lead was short-lived, however, as the back and forth affair continued in the 67th minute when the Kickers’ midfield duo Martin and Davis teamed up again. This time, Martin’s cross from the right side connected with an unmarked Davis, whose swift header from six yards out drew the score level once more.
With full time rapidly approaching, the Kickers’ all-time leading scorer, Matthew Delicate, nearly gave the visitors a late lead. An Alex Lee cross from the right side fell to a wide open Shay Spitz at the top of the six yard box, but his botched header bounded directly to Delicate stationed at the near post. The 6’4” marksman beat the scrambling goalkeeper but his header ricocheted off the underside of the crossbar before being swept away to send the Kickers home with one point.
The Richmond Kickers home opener on Saturday, April 5 officially kicks off the club’s 22nd season at City Stadium. Loveland Distributing will once again be the official sponsor of the outdoor bar area, located on the south side of the main concourse. The expansive area serves as a unique, gathering place for fans before and during games, offering a variety of food and beverage options, including the Kickers-specific craft beer, Kick It Hunny, and live music.
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Box Score First Half Second Half Final
Charleston 1 1 2
Richmond 1 1 2
14th minute: Richmond: George Davis IV (Collin Martin)
22nd minute: Charleston: Jared van Schaik (Andre Lewis)
59th minute: Amadou Sanyang (Jared van Schaik)
67th minute: Richmond: George Davis IV (Collin Martin)
Battery: GK Odisnel Cooper, Jackson Farmer, Colin Falvey, Shawn Ferguson, John Wilson, Zach Prince (Aminu Abdallah – 76’), Amadou Sanyang, Jared van Schaik, Andre Lewis (Maikel Chang – 45’), Heviel Cordoves (Mamadou Diouf – 69’), Omar Salgado (Adam Mena – 56’)
Kickers: GK Joe Willis, Sascha Gorres (Shane Johnson – 89’), William Yomby, Henry Kalungi, Alex Lee, Michael Callahan (Shay Spitz – 56’), Samuel Asante, Luke Vercollone (Juan Arbelaez – 89’), Michael Seaton (Matthew Delicate – 68’), Collin Martin, George Davis IV
Shots Saves Fouls Corners
Kickers: 8 Kickers: 1 Kickers: 7 Kickers: 3
Battery: 5 Battery: 1 Battery: 11 Battery: 3
58th minute: William Yomby (Richmond)
71st minute: Amadou Sanyang (Charleston)
89th minute: Shane Johnson (Richmond)
Referee: Agostimo Minasola
Assistant Referees: Brian Bozard, Kevin Roberts
Fourth Official: Michael Catlett
Weather: Partly cloudy, 65º