RICHMOND, VA – (Saturday, June 25, 2016) – The Richmond Kickers (5-5-5) and the Bethlehem Steel FC (4-4-6) played out a 0-0 draw at City Stadium on Saturday night.
RICHMOND, VA – (Saturday, June 25, 2016) – The Richmond Kickers (5-5-5) and the Bethlehem Steel FC (4-4-6) played out a 0-0 draw at City Stadium on Saturday night. The Kickers dominated possession and created the better of the chances but were unable to find the back of the net on the night.
The Kickers were inches away from taking the lead just 12 minutes into the game. Yudai Imura drew a foul on the right side of the field, Fred Owusu Sekeyere whipped the ball the into the box from the free kick and found Brian Ownby, whose header went just wide of Bethlehem’s goal.
Bethlehem responded with a chance of their own in the 17th minute. A low cross found Steel FC forward, Seku Conneh, at the near post who, first time, hit a low shot towards the far post, but Charlie Horton dove down to his left to make the save.
The best chance of the first half came in the 20th minute. Samuel Asante collected the ball in midfield and played a long ball over the top to Brian Ownby, whose first touch put him in one on one with Bethlehem goalie, Samir Badr, but he was unable to direct his shot past the keeper, resulting in a Kickers corner.
Bethlehem threatened Horton’s goal again in the 33rd minute. Steel FC won a free kick center of goal, 20 yards out. From the free kick, Seku Conneh curled a ball over the wall and struck the top of the crossbar, before going behind for a goal kick.
Kickers tested Badr twice more in the closing minutes of the first half through Owusu Sekyere and Jason Yeisley but were unable to find the back of the net.
Second half saw the Kickers continue to dominate possession and continue to test Badr in goal. In the 54th minute Bethlehem made two huge saves to keep the ball out of the net. Alex Lee played a ball into the box that was cleared only as far as Yudai Imura, whose shot was deflected towards Fred Owusu Sekyere, but his shot was then saved off the line by the Bethlehem defense.
Charlie Horton was called into action again in the 71st minute. A long throw in from the Steel FC found James Chambers inside the six-yard box, who would volley the ball low towards the left corner, forcing Horton to make a good save, keeping the game deadlocked at 0-0.
The Kickers continued to press for the first goal of the game and almost found it through Samuel Asante. Alex Lee played a delightful ball from the right side and forced Samir Badr to dive and punch the ball clear, but fell to Asante who collected the ball and fired a left footed shot at goal but was saved by Badr.
In the 90th minute of the game the Kickers thought they had scored the winner. A shot from Sunny Jane was saved by Badr but fell kindly to Anthony Grant, who placed the ball in the back of the empty net, but the celebrations were cut short as the goal was deemed offside by the assistant referee.
Charlie Horton recorded two saves and his second clean sheet of the season. With the draw, the Kickers have recorded 20 points this season, 17 of those at home, with a 5-1-2 record at City Stadium this season.
The Kickers will be back at City Stadium on July 16 to host Premier League side, Swansea City. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.