In front of a record-setting crowd at City Stadium, the Richmond Kickers were able to capture their first win of the 2017 USL season by defeating the Harrisburg City Islanders
1-0 thanks to goalkeeper Travis Worra’s save on a first half penalty shot and the offense
of Kickers defender Conor Shanosky.
The first scoring chance of the match was in the hands of the City Islanders during the 13th minute following a foul inside the Richmond box committed
by defender Mallan Roberts against Harrisburg’s Aaron Wheeler.
The resulting penalty kick taken by Wheeler was stopped by Richmond goalkeeper Travis Worra thanks to a sprawling save that deflected the ball out of
play for a Harrisburg corner kick that was cleared out of Richmond’s defending zone by the Kickers.
Both teams traded chances back and forth during the opening half of play, with a corner kick for Harrisburg during the 24th minute finding its way into
the top corner of the Richmond box as the City Islanders worked to establish offensive pressure, but the Kickers’ defense helped clear the ball out of the zone to allow play to move back to the middle third of the pitch.
Four minutes later, Richmond had a scoring chance of their own thanks to the efforts of Kickers defender Alex Lee, as he was able to swing the ball
in Richmond’s attacking zone to midfielder Yudai Imura, who was challenged by the Harrisburg defense, resulting in a corner for the home team.
Corner taker Imura sent the ball into the Harrisburg 18-yard box, but the City Islanders’ defense was able to get a head on the ball and clear it away
from danger and give a second corner kick to the Kickers, which was quickly cleared by Harrisburg.
The closing minutes of the first half saw a promising chance for the City Islanders on the rush end after a through ball intended for midfielder Danny
DiPrima glanced off the player’s boot and was taken by the Richmond offense as the clock wound down to the end of a scoreless first half.
The 0-0 tie would be broken in the early minutes of the second half following a foul on Harrisburg and a free kick just outside the City Islanders’
penalty box. Richmond midfielder Fred Owusu Sekyere was able to swing the ball into the heart of Harrisburg’s 18-yard box, finding Richmond defender Conor Shanosky, who was able to head the ball past Harrisburg goalkeeper Brandon Miller and give the Richmond
Kickers the opening goal of the game.
Harrisburg worked to respond to the Kickers’ second half goal during the 69th minute as City Islanders defender Abass Mohamed was able to drive along
the left wing of the Richmond zone before dishing the ball off to Harrisburg midfielder Paul Wilson, who fired a quick shot down the middle of the Kickers’ penalty box, calling goalkeeper Worra into action, who was able to make a diving save to his right to
help to score 1-0 in Richmond’s favor.
In the final minutes of stoppage time, the City Islanders made an attempt to level the score as midfielder Paul Wilson was able to make a break for
the Richmond goal, but he was challenged closely by Kickers midfielder Chris Durkin, who applied pressure, leading to Wilson’s shot going wide to the right of the Kickers’ goal and cementing Richmond’s first win of the 2017 USL campaign in front of a record-setting
crowd at City Stadium, with Saturday’s home opener setting a new regular season home game attendance record of 8,020, besting the previous record of 6,163, which was set on Sept. 17, 2016.
Richmond will head on the road for their first away game of the 2017 USL season as they face New York Red Bulls II on Sat. April 1 at the MSU Soccer
Park in at 4 p.m.
The Kickers return home to City Stadium on Sat. April 8 as they take on Louisville City FC at 5 p.m.
Kickers: GK Travis Worra, Alex Lee, Braeden Troyer, Mallan Roberts, Conor Shanosky, Luiz Fernando Nascimento (Alhaji Kamara
– 70’), Yudai Imura (Pat McCann – 88’), Chris Durkin, Maxim Tissot (Finnlay Wyatt – 70’), Fred Owusu Sekyere, Anthony Grant
City Islanders: GK Brandon Miller, Travis Brent, Abbas Mohammed, Shawn McLaws, Lee Nishanian, John Grosh, Danny, DiPrima (Paul Wilson
– 60’), Rasheed Olabiyi, Jonathan Mendoza (Cardel Benbow – 71’), James Thomas (Manolo Sanchez – 83’), Aaron Wheeler