RECAP: BETHLEHEM 1, RICHMOND 1 Fernando Scores His First Goal of the Season in Road Draw
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC
(7-6-2, 23 points, 4th East)
(2-8-6, 12 points, 14th East)
Fernando (Jane) 40'
BETHLEHEM, PA – (Saturday, July 1, 2017) – The Richmond Kickers (2-8-6) earned a point on the road at Bethlehem Steel FC (7-6-2) after a 1-1 draw Saturday evening. Luiz Fernando scored his first goal of the season just before halftime as Aaron Jones leveled the score in the second half for Bethlehem.
Following a one and a half hour delay due to lightning, Steel FC looked to get on scoreboard in the 6th minute. Fred Owusu Sekyere was called for a foul on Fabian Herbers about 35 yards out from goal. Bethlehem’s leading scorer Seku Conneh stepped up and put the free kick in to Matt Turner’s right just inside the post. Turner dove and was able to get a hand to it and push it wide.
Just a minute later, Bethlehem would have another chance. Aaron Jones played in a cross and found Conneh. He headed the ball down towards Fabian Herbers. Unable to turn in the box, Herbers left the ball for Adam Najem, looking to put his shot in towards the far post as it ends up sailing over.
Richmond would be the first team to find the back of the net. Sunny Jane found a break and started to make a run up the center of the field. With two defenders on him, Jane slotted the ball through to a wide-open Luiz Fernando. He put his shot to the right of McGuire and into the goal for his first of the season.
Anthony Fontana came close to giving the home side their first goal of the game to tie it up, but Matt Turner would have nothing of it. Matt Turner looked to play a pass to Alex Lee. Before Lee could get to the ball, Corey Burke picked up possession and laid the ball off to Fontana making the run towards goal. Fontana quickly went for a shot to Turner’s right as he dove correctly to make the save.
The Kickers nearly doubled their lead just three minutes after scoring the first goal of the game. Samuel Asante controlled a loose ball and played it up to Sunny Jane. Jane fed the ball through for Raul Gonzalez on the edge of the Bethlehem box as he was breaking past the Steel FC backline and slide his shot under a diving Jake McGuire, into the back of the net. Before the celebrations could start the linesman raised his flag for the offside call on Gonzalez’s run.
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Steel FC would get the break they were looking for in the 51st minute. Adam Najem controlled the ball just inside the Kickers end of the field. He played the ball up the field to Seku Conneh, who quickly laid the ball off for Anthony Fontana making a run towards goal. Fred Owusu Sekyere tried to stop the play, but was called for a foul and set up a free kick about 25 yards from goal. Conneh looked to take the free kick as he stepped over allowing Aaron Jones to take the kick, putting it into the top, near post corner for the game tying goal.
Richmond gained a man advantage in the 66th minute after a straight red card was issued to Bethlehem’s Hugh Roberts. Roberts and Samuel Asante battled for a loose ball in midfield after Roberts headed down a Richmond free kick. As he was going for the ball, Roberts kept his foot too high and caught Asante in the knee, forcing the referee to give the red card and having Steel FC play down a man for the remainder of the match.
The Kickers tried to capitalize on the man advantage in the 71st minute. Alex Lee was fouled on the endline setting up a free kick opportunity for Richmond. Raul Gonzalez stood over the free kick and connected with Fred Owusu Sekyere at the near post. Owusu Sekyere looked to head the ball on frame as it glanced across the goalmouth and out for a throw in.
The Kickers continue their road trip next Sunday at FC Cincinnati at 6 p.m. From there, Richmond heads to the Harrisburg City Islanders July 15 for a 7 p.m. kickoff and will be shown live on WTVR CBS 6.3 (Comcast 206/ Verizon FiOS 466). Both matches will be available to stream online live on the USL Match CenterThe Kickers return to City Stadium Wednesday, July 19 as they host Swansea City AFC of the English Premier League. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Tickets and more information can be found at RichmondKickers.com.
Bethlehem GK Jake McGuire, Matt Real, Auston Trusty, Hugh Roberts, Aaron Jones, Brian Carroll (62’ – Santi Moar), Adam Najem, Anthony Fontana (69’ – Matt Mahoney), Cory Burke, Fabian Herbers (31’ – Chris Nanco), Seku Conneh
Unused Substitutes: Tomas Romero, Charlie Reymann, Josh Heard, Yousef Samuel
Richmond GK Matt Turner, Braeden Troyer, Mallan Roberts, Conor Shanosky, Alex Lee, Sunny Jane (55’ – Finnlay Wyatt), Samuel Asante (71’ – Yudai Imura), Luiz Fernando, Fred Owusu Sekyere, Raul Gonzalez, Franck Tayou (63’ – Anthony Grant)
Unused Substitutes: Marcel DeBellis, Evan Lee, Oliver Minatel, Patrick McCann