BEAVERCREEK, Ohio – The Richmond Kickers defeated the Dayton Dutch Lions 5-2 on the road Saturday night. The Kickers conceded a 4th minute goal to Eli Garner but former Dutch Lions midfielder George Davis IV sparked the comeback four minutes later. Kickers forward Matthew Delicate answered with a pair of goals with Shay Spitz and Luke Vercollone rounding out the scoreline in the second half.
The home side jumped out to an early lead when forward Aaron Schoenfeld played a long ball over the top, meeting Garner who split a pair of Kickers defenders to win the ball. As Kickers goalkeeper Joe Willis charged off his line to challenge the onrushing forward, Garner effortlessly tapped the ball into the open net.
The Kickers retaliated quickly with an 8th minute equalizer and never looked back. Defender Alex Lee whipped a cross into the mix, but goalkeeper Matt Williams punched the ball out to the top of the box. An awaiting Davis blasted the rebound into the back of the net, leaving Williams with little chance to make the block.
Delicate gave the visitors the advantage in the 25th minute when he got on the end of Spitz’ corner kick to nod home his second goal of the season.
The newly acquired lead shifted the momentum in the visitors’ favor as the Kickers continued to pepper Williams’ goal, forcing him to make a point black save when a quick counter attack left him 1v1 with Spitz just before the break.
Ten minutes after the restart, the Dutch Lions were reduced to 10 men when Shane Smith was sent off for denying Delicate a scoring opportunity in the 55th minute. Vercollone stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted the resulting penalty kick just inside the left post.
Looking to pull a goal back in the 60th minute, second half substitute Jesjua Angoy Cruyff chased a loose ball deep into Kickers territory and served a well-placed cross to Ryan Finlay but his header from eight yards whistled just wide.
The Kickers responded with their fourth goal of the night 10 minutes later when midfielder Michael Callahan battled for control at the end line before slicing a dangerous ball across the goalmouth. Williams leapt for the interception but could not stop an lurking Spitz who made no mistake with one touch for his first goal in a Kickers uniform.
With less than 15 minutes remaining in regulation, Delicate nodded home his second goal of the night. Stationed at the back post, the Kickers’ all-time leading scorer got on the end of a cross by Davis to send a header just past the diving Dayton goalkeeper.
In a last minute effort to cut the deficit, Dayton delivered an in-swinging corner kick from the left side, and found Kevan George in scoring position, but the defender’s header soared skyward.