Richmond Kickers 2-2 Wilmington Hammerheads: Yomby injury proves to be turning point

Suz Kitsteiner

A first-half brace by Matthew Delicate gave Richmond the lead, but Wilmington pulled two goals back after William Yomby went out injured.

After the first ten minutes, which were fairly even, the Richmond Kickers took control. The first goal came off of a free kick earned by Shay Spitz; he initially attempted to take the free kick quickly, but referee Danielle Chesky called him back. He took his second attempt long, and put it right on the head of Matthew Delicate, who easily nodded it past Toronto FC loanee Quillan Roberts for the Kickers' first goal. 30 minutes later, Shay Spitz started the sequence that lead to the next Kickers goal. His cross was headed on by Jason Yeisley, who smashed a header past Roberts again to put the Kickers up 2-0.

The second half was a much choppier affair than the first, with neither team able to exert much control over the other; the most interesting parts were the various substitutes that came in. Christiano Francois came on early in the second half to make two D.C. United players on the field for the Richmond Kickers, and had a number of nice runs where he was able to burn past the Wilmington defense. Nate Robinson, the 2013 USL PRO Rookie of the Year, made his first appearance for the Kickers since an offseason ACL injury while on trial in Sweden.

The key injury, however, was when William Yomby had to come off due to an injury; prior to this, Yomby had played every minute of every game this season, and has been the Kickers best defender these past two years. After Yomby went out, and Hugh Roberts moved back to defense, the Hammerheads made their move. Jordan Hamilton, the 18-year-old Toronto FC loanee, scored a header off of a Mickael Oliveria corner kick. And then after that, in the 84th minute, Oliveria scored a long-range bomb that beat Willis as he was fully outstretched. Joe Willis made a number of great saves in the waning moments to preserve the tie.

The Richmond Kickers are back in action this Wednesday, when they host the New England Revolution in the US Open Cup.

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