The Richmond Kickers earned their first road win of the season against an up and coming Orlando City B squad during an afternoon showdown in Florida. The game was bumped up to midweek due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Irma. OCB was on a twelve match unbeaten streak, but the Kickers controlled possession and stunned the home team. Travis Worra traveled with Richmond and made three crucial saves to keep the game in hand. Mikey Minutillo earned a rare start up top for the Kickers, adding height to a stable of Richmond forwards under six feet tall.
Both Richmond goals came in the first half. The first came when Matt Bolduc earned a free kick 30 yards out on a give and go. Sunny Jane, a forward for the Lesotho national team, sent in a cross to the far side of the box where defender Mallan Roberts headed the ball back across goal. Tall man Minutillo was on the end of it and snapped a header point blank into the back of the net, earning his first goal of the season.
The Kickers weren’t done. A failed Orlando clearance saw Luiz Fernando fighting to regain possession and passing the ball to Jane at the top of the box. Jane turned to make a run straight at goal but was brought down. He claimed the free kick, beat the wall, and his shot found the left side of goal. Richmond, a team that has struggled to defend set pieces all season long, scored one of their own.
In the 70th minute, a shot on target from Zachary Ellis-Hayden forced Worra to tip the ball over the bar, and nothing came of it. In the end, Richmond held on in the second half and gained another three points.
With their third win in five matches, the Kickers are clawing up the Eastern Conference table, but still nine points out of playoff position. Their three week road trip continues Saturday, September 16th, against long-time rivals Charleston Battery. They return to Richmond September 23rd to face Rochester Rhinos during City Stadium’s annual Oktoberfest event.