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By Admin, 07/03/10, 3:00PM EDT


Defending Champions Close Gap on First Place


Richmond Kickers  2 – 0  Charleston Battery
Elcock (21’)
Dos Santos (90)

RICHMOND, VA – (Saturday, July 3, 2010) – The Richmond Kickers wrapped up their second annual Independence Day Bash in impressive fashion, besting current table leaders, Charleston Battery, 2-0 at Richmond City Stadium.  Forward Edson Elcock gave the Kickers an early lead when he connected on a Matthew Delicâte cross in the 21st minute.  Despite a heavy attack in the waning minutes of regulation, midfielder Gerson dos Santos registered in traffic to put the Battery away.  A crowd of 1,761 was on hand to take part in numerous pre-game activities before witnessing their home side deliver a dominant presentation.

The victory now brings the Kickers within two points of the Battery atop the USL Second Division standings with seven matches remaining in this season’s campaign. Richmond and Charleston conclude their second home-and-away series with their final bout taking place at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston this Friday, July 9th.

The first half of this critical confrontation clearly belonged to the Kickers.  A stingy defense led by the stifling back pair of Henry Kalungi and William Yomby prevented the league’s most potent offense from registering a single shot attempt. 

The 17th minute brought about Richmond’s first real offensive threat in the form of a Luke Vercollone effort.  An attempt from outside the box contained a nasty dip which forced visiting keeper, Tim Melia, into action resulting in a corner.  The Seton Hall University product has been extremely effective in his last few outings, presented in a more attacking role which has seen the midfielder flourish.

Four minutes later, Elcock got the home team on the board after breaking in the box and receiving a pass from Matthew Delicâte.  Elcock made no mistake after gaining possession and slotted the ball home in the lower right corner.

In the 31st minute, Sascha Görres played a clever cross in the box which found the head of Vercollone, who directed his attempt downwards at the goal into the waiting hands of Melia.

The end of the first half signaled an outstanding outing for the Kickers midfield, which threatened pass sequences together at will while constantly advancing forward.

The second half began no differently as the 58th minute saw scoring marvel, Delicâte break into the box after claiming a pass from Mike Burke and unleash a venomous effort which just sailed over the top bar.

As the second grew older, the Battery applied a series of offensive attacks in search of an equalizer to acquire an important away point.

Forward Tom Heinemann had a flurry of opportunities to pull his side level with his best opportunity presenting itself in the 79th minute.  A brilliant piece of individual work saw the forward break into the box and go one-on-one with Pascale.  The Kickers keeper came up with a remarkable stop as Heinemann tried to go high with his shot.

Stoppage time signaled the end of any comeback attempt by the visitors, as the home side was able to unearth a second tally courtesy of Gerson Dos Santos.  Vercollone dribbled through the opposing box with some incredible footwork before trying his luck on goal.  The visiting keeper was able to muster an initial save, but the rebound fell back to the feet of Vercollone, who slipped a short past to an on looking Dos Santos who converted from close distance.

Following a three-game road stand that sees the Kickers travel to Charleston, Charlotte and Pittsburgh over the next two weeks, Richmond returns home on Saturday, July 24th to host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Richmond City Stadium at 7:00 p.m.  In honor of SPCA dog night, fans are allowed to bring their four legged companions along with them for a night of soccer.  Save big on admission by ordering tickets in advance at 

Box Score      First Half     Second Half       Final
Richmond              1                     1                  2          
Charleston            0                     0                  0

Starting Lineups

Kickers:  GK Ronnie Pascale, Henry Kalungi, William Yomby, David Hertel, Stephen Nserko  (Neil Barlow – 69’), Bobby Foglesong, Luke Vercollone, Sascha Görres, Edson Elock  (Evan Harding – 82’), Mike Burke  (Gerson Dos Santos – 69’) , Matthew Delicâte

Battery:  GK Tim Melia, O’Brian Woodbine, Josh Bolton  (Ian Fuller – 83’), Nigel Marples, Caleb Norkus, Jon Gruenewald  (Lamar Neagle – 60’), Kevin Jackson  (Zach Prince – 57’), Alioune Gueye, Stephen Armstrong  (Brandon Massie – 45’), Amaury Nunes, Levi Coleman  (Tom Heinemann – 60’)

Shots              Saves            Fouls                Corners
Kickers:  10     Kickers:  2      Kickers:   8        Kickers:  3
Battery:  6      Battery:  6      Battery:  11      Battery:  2

18th minute:  Nigel Marples (Battery)
51st minute:  Stephen Nserko (Kickers)


Referee:    Kai Goodrich
Assistant Referees:   James Conlee, J.T. Alukonis
Fourth Official:  Wesley Howell
Attendance:    1,761
Weather:    Sunny, breezy, 82°    
Stadium:    Richmond City Stadium, Virginia
Union First Market Man of the Match:  Luke Vercollone