Richmond faced tough opposition on the road in the form of FC Cincinnati. In front of a crowd of 21,000, goals that bookended the match saw Richmond lose 2-0. The rapid expansion of the United Soccer League and the influx of new investors has caught up with the Richmond Kickers, who are now 2-9-6 on the season and at the bottom of the table.
Against a raucous crowd at Nippert Stadium, Richmond’s worst nightmare came true in the 3rd minute. A long ball from Kenney Walker caught Conor Shanosky looking and Dijby Fall ran in behind the Richmond defense. He chested the ball down and found himself one-on-one with Richmond keeper Matt Turner. Fall took a crack at the ball and scored, putting his side up 1-0 early in the game.
To their credit, the Kickers created their own chance immediately after. Chris Durkin traveled with the Kickers and was a bright spot on the day. He played the ball over the top to Franck Tayou, but celebrated Cincinnati keeper Mitch Hildebrandt came off his line and broke up play.
Fall nearly doubled the Cincinnati lead when he rattled the crossbar in the 41st minute. The ball bounced around the box, and thankfully for Richmond play was blown dead when the referee called a foul on the home side.
A Raul Gonzalez long throw in the 75th minute saw Brandon Eaton, in his first start and appearance for Richmond, take a shot from distance that deflected and forced a save from Hildebrandt.
The day was made even more difficult when substitute Fred Owusu Sekyere was shown a straight red card in the 87th minute. Fighting to maintain possession, an errant elbow from Sekyere found the face of Aodhan Quinn and the referee didn’t hesitate to send the Richmond veteran off. Immediately after, Danni Konig charged at goal trailed by Braeden Troyer. Turner saved Konig’s initial shot, but the deflected ball bounced off Troyer’s arm. Cincinnati was awarded a penalty kick for the handball.
Quinn had to take the penalty twice after a re-kick was called for encroachment, but he didn’t miss either shot. Cincinnati was up 2-0 to the delight of the home fans.
Suffering their worst season in decades, the Kickers will search for answers this Saturday when they visit Harrisburg City Islanders. The away match will be aired live on WTVR CBS in Richmond. The English Premier League returns to the River City on Wednesday, July 19th, as the Kickers host Swansea City FC.