Posted by: brad – May 02, 2016
RICHMOND, VA - Richmond Kickers love playing at the City Stadium. Back on home soil for the first time in three weeks, it did not take long the Kickers long to impress their passionate fans. As early as the 9th minute, Jason Yeisley swung in a dangerous cross which the outstretched Brian Ownby expertly looped home on the volley - a goal which turned out to be the match-winner.
The effort seemed to take an age before finding the net, but Ownby, and the Red Army did not care, it was the versatile midfielder's first goal of the season - and a very welcome one at that following two away defeats in the last two weeks.
This was an impressive team performance from the Kickers, and in truth, the margin of the scoreline should have been far greater.
Ownby, Fernando, and Jane, in for the injured Yudai Imura (hamstring), dazzled in the attacking third for Leigh Cowlishaw's men at times, with Jane forcing Alex Bono into a low save in the 29th minute.
Rookie goalkeeper Matt Turner, who signed on a loan from the New England Revolution of MLS due to Ryan Taylor's knee injury, was then forced to save Salvador Bernal Flores' curling shot in the 30th minute as Toronto threatened for a brief spell.
Two minutes later, Turner held Raheem Edwards' 30-yard free-kick, before Richmond finished the first half on top with Yeisley firing over from a corner and Ownby seeing a shot saved from Bono.
And it was the Kickers who carried the bigger goal threat in the second half. In the 53rd minute, after collecting a clever pass from Fernando, Yeisley's deft touch left a Toronto defender on the floor, with the striker powerfully crashing a shot off the foot of the post.
Six minutes later, a brilliant slide tackle from Ownby on dithering Toronto defender Mitchell Taintor presented the ball to Fernando, who then returned the ball to the instigator, but his effort arrowed just wide.
At just 1-0, Toronto were always a threat, and Richmond's search for a killer second goal looked to have ended in the 75th minute when substitute Fred Owusu Sekyere unleashed a shot seemingly destined for the net, only for Bono to produce a terrific flying save.
A late flurry of substitutions, to add to the light rain, helped Richmond close out a commanding performance with three valuable points.
9th minute: Brian Ownby (Jason Yeisley)
Kickers: GK Matt Turner, William Yomby, Hugh Roberts, Braeden Troyer, Alex Lee, Samuel Asante (Michael Callahan - 45'), Lucas Paulini (Travis Pittman - 89'), Sunny Jane (Fred Owusu Sekyere - 67'), Brian Ownby (Matthew Delicate - 84'), Luiz Fernando, Jason Yeisley (Anthony Grant - 76')
Toronto: GK Alex Bono, Wesley Charpie, Skylar Thomas, Mitchell Taintor, Andrew Dias (Robert Boskovic - 80'), Adam Bouchard (Liam Fraser - 63'), Brian James, Malik Johnson (Martin Davis - 69'), Jordan Hamilton (Shaan Hundal - 76'), Salvador Bernal Flores (Luca Uccello - 76'), Raheem Edwards
48th minute: Michael Callahan (Richmond)
60th minute: Mitchell Taintor (Toronto)
Referee: Mark Gorak
Assistant Referees: Nolan Costigan, Jamie MacRitchie
Fourth Official: Justin Greenberg
Weather: Light rain, 57
Words via Richmond Kickers, photos via James Loving Photography