Saturday, May 12, 2012
RICHMOND, Va. – Back-to-back goals on either side of the half saw the Richmond Kickers battle the Harrisburg City Islanders to a 2-2 draw on Saturday night. The Kickers took an early lead when forwards Matthew Delicate and Christopher Agorsor teamed up in the eighth minute before conceding a goal to Harrisburg forward J.T. Noone seconds later. The teams went back and forth once more in the second half when Agorsor recorded his first goal of the season before City Islanders newcomer Yann Ekra notched the equalizer two minutes later.
The excitement began immediately out of the gates when the Kickers had the opportunity to break the ice in the seventh minute. Shane Johnson stole the ball off his mark deep on the left wing and fed it to Delicate who played it quickly back to Stanley Nyazamba positioned 20 yards out. With one touch, he served a perfectly placed cross to an awaiting Agorsor but his miss hit was forced wide of the far post.
Lining up the resulting corner kick, Sascha Görres played the ball back to Luke Vercollone who served an inswinger into the box. Kickers defender William Yomby won the ball in the air but his determined header rattled the crossbar.
Not to be denied again, the Kickers opened scoring seconds later when Agorsor carried the ball to the top of the 18 and slotted it to Delicate just inside the box. The big forward turned and fired a low driven ball inside the far post, just past the diving Harrisburg goalkeeper.
The home side’s lead was short-lived and their celebrations were cut short when the City Islanders leveled the score 30 seconds later. A poor pass out of the back allowed Noone to pick up the ball unmarked 12 yards out and he one-timed a shot into the far left corner.
A high energy first half saw several missed chances as both teams attempted to take the lead before the break but it was not until the 78th minute that the Kickers broke through the Harrisburg defense. Delicate and Agorsor teamed up once again when Ryan Heins delivered a cross into a crowded box. Positioned at the far post, Delicate beat his marker and volleyed the ball against the inside of the post. The rebounding ball slipped across the goalmouth and connected with an onrushing Agorsor who tapped it over the line.
Minutes later, the Kickers gave up their lead for the second time of the night when Jason Pelletier put a cross into the box where Ekra was waiting eight yards out. The second-half substitute won the ball in the air and made no mistake when he headed it to the near post to bring the score level once more.
As the final whistle loomed near, the Kickers had one last attempt to take all three points when Görres’ cross found his target in the box, but Agorsor’s diving header sailed just over the crossbar.
Next up, the Richmond Kickers head north to take on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Previously scheduled to play on Saturday, the Kickers and the Riverhounds match has been rescheduled to Friday, May 18 at 7 p.m. at Chartiers Valley Stadium. The Kickers return to City Stadium one week later to host the Wilmington Hammerheads on Saturday, May 26 at 7 p.m.