RICHMOND, VA – The Richmond Kickers captured three points at City Stadium Saturday night with a 4-1 win over the defending USL PRO Champions Charleston Battery. Zimbabwean International Joseph Ngwenya opened scoring and D.C. United forward Casey Townsend registered a pair of goals for the Kickers while Battery defender John Wilson’s tally prevented the shutout in front of 2,497 fans.
|Photo (c) Suz Kitsteiner|
The Kickers claimed an early lead when midfielder Luke Vercollone collected the ball in the midfield and found defender Taylor Kemp on the left wing. Splitting a pair of defenders with his well-timed pass, Kemp connected with Ngwenya who eluded a tackle and played the ball wide to Alex Lee at the far post. The Kickers newcomer whipped the ball back into the mix, finding Ngwenya in the air, who nodded the ball just over Charleston goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper’s outstretched hands to officially open his Kickers account in the 23rd minute.
Ten minutes later, Kickers midfielder Mike Callahan carried the ball to the top of the box and fed it to Brian Ownby deep in Battery territory. The Richmond homegrown player played the ball back to an awaiting Townsend, positioned six yards out who made no mistake from point blank range to double the score.
Ownby nearly strengthened the home side’s lead three minutes later when he fed the ball to an onrushing Vercollone. The Kickers workhorse did not miss a beat when collecting the service and beat the ‘keeper as he charged off his line, but Battery defender Cody Ellison cleared the ball just in time.
Pressing forward, Wilson pulled a goal back for Charleston seconds before the halftime whistle when he combined with Mike Azira for a give and go at the top of the box. Azira received the ball and slotted it across the goalmouth as the Battery’s veteran defenseman calmly buried the return ball into the back of the net.
Searching for the equalizer immediately after the restart, the Battery sliced through the midfield with a rapid succession of passes, ending with midfielder Nicki Paterson 12 yards out, only to see his low driven ball denied by the near post.
The Kickers retaliated in the 67th minute as Townsend grabbed his second goal of the night. Battling for possession at the left edge of the box, midfielder Stanley Nyazamba muscled his way through traffic to feed the ball to the awaiting MLS veteran to elude Cooper once more.
Kickers goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra weathered a barrage of chances in the last 10 minutes before an 87th minute Battery own goal clinched the 4-1 victory.
The Richmond Kickers return to City Stadium next Saturday, April 13 to host the Rochester Rhinos at 7:00 p.m. Order tickets in advance at RichmondKickers.com.
Box Score First Half Second Half Final
Richmond 2 2 4
Charleston 1 0 1
23rd minute: Richmond - Joseph Ngwenya (Alex Lee)
32nd minute: Richmond - Casey Townsend (Brian Ownby)
45th minute: Charleston - John Wilson (Jose Cuevas)
68th minute: Richmond – Casey Townsend (Stanley Nyazamba)
87th minute: Richmond – Own Goal (Cody Ellison)
Kickers: GK Andrew Dykstra, Alex Lee, Conor Shanosky, William Yomby, Taylor Kemp, Luke Vercollone, Mike Callahan, Brian Ownby (Sascha Görres – 74’), Joseph Ngwenya (Stanley Nyazamba - 49’), Casey Townsend (Philippe Davies – 90’), Jason Yeisley (Henry Kalungi – 74’)
Battery: GK Odisnel Cooper, Taylor Mueller (Mark Wiltse – 64’), Colin Falvey, Cody Ellison, John Wilson, Jarad Van Schaik, Mike Azria (Heviel Cordoves – 74’), Quinton Griffith, Nicki Paterson, Jose Cuevas (Ben Fisk – 45’), Dane Kelly (Zach Prince – 78’)
Shots Saves Fouls Corners
Battery: 10 Battery: 4 Battery: 9 Battery: 6
Kickers: 9 Kickers: 2 Kickers: 7 Kickers: 3
Referee: Mark Gorak
Assistant Referees: James Brooks, Clive Edwards
Fourth Official: Ben Hichak
Attendance: 2,497Weather: Sunny, windy, 70º