Kickers drop season opener at Bethlehem Steel FC, 4-1

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The following comes from a Richmond Kickers media release

BETHLEHEM, PA — The Richmond Kickers (0-1-0) fell to Bethlehem Steel FC (1-0-0) to open the 2018 USL season Sunday afternoon on the road. Oscar Umar scored his first goal for the Kickers as goals from Eric Ayuk, Derrick Jones and a brace from Brandon Allen gave the home side the victory.

Steel FC looked to create the first opportunity of the match in the fourth minute. Matthew Mahoney won the ball out wide right in the attacking third for Bethlehem. He looked to place a cross into Brandon Allen at the top of the Richmond six-yard box as Travis Worra came off his line to make the stop.

Brian Shriver created the first chance for the Kickers in the 11th minute. Yudai Imura picked up possession inside the center circle as Shriver started making a run out wide right. Imura chipped the Bethlehem backline to find Shriver. At the top of the Steel FC box, Shriver looked for the far post as his shot rolled just wide.

Eric Ayuk broke the deadlock in the 24th minute to give Bethlehem the lead. Mahoney controlled the ball out wide right and played in a cross near the endline. Worra leaped to try and make the save and was only able to tip the ball. Ayuk beat Alex Lee to the ball and shot to the near post from the left and past Worra.

Bethlehem would double their lead in the 40th minute behind a goal from Derrick Jones. Marcus Epps played a simple pass to Jones in the center of the field. Jones took a touch around Scott Thomsen and made a 40-yard run inside the Kickers box and shooting from just right of the goal into the far post under Worra into the back of the net.

Oscar Umar scored the first goal of the 2018 season for the Kickers, and his first goal for the club, to get Richmond back into the match in the 57th minute. Braeden Troyer controlled the ball out wide left inside the Bethlehem end of the field. He played a simple pass for Shriver towards the middle of the field. He saw Umar with plenty of space to his right and sent in a quick pass. Umar took one touch and sent a rocket of a shot from 30 yards out into the top left corner of the Steel FC goal.

Brandon Allen scored in the 64th minute to give Steel FC another two-goal lead. Matthew Mahoney sent the ball up the field, over the top for Derrick Jones making a run towards the Kickers goal. Jones collided with Worra as Allen snuck in to regain control for Bethlehem avoiding a challenge from Troyer. With three defenders converging on Allen, he sent his shot into the far post from the right side to score his first of the season.

A brace from Allen in the 90th minute sealed the victory for Steel FC. Santi Moar won the ball inside the Richmond end of the field and played a quick pass to Mike Catalano in space in the center of the field. Catalano found Allen with good positioning in line with the Kickers backline and slipped the ball through. Allen needed to get a touch to get around Worra and took his time for the shot from near the endline on the left side into the far post.

The Kickers open the home portion of their schedule next Saturday night, March 24 at 5:00 p.m. as they play host to USL newcomers Indy Eleven for their 26th Home Opener

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