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Photos and Game Summary: Kickers Give Up Lead Settle for Draw

For the second game in a row the Kickers had the lead and gave it up for a draw.

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Official Kickers Game Summary

RICHMOND KICKERS  1    36′ Bryant (Bolanos)

CENTRAL VALLEY FUEGO FC  1 69′ Crisler (Own Goal)

The Richmond Kickers (13-7-7, 46 pts) extended their unbeaten streak to six with a 1-1 draw against visiting Central Valley Fuego FC (9-10-8, 34 pts), Saturday night, as Jonathan Bolanos recorded his 11th assist of the season, the most in a single season in league history, and the club set a new attendance record of 5,304 fans.

While Central Valley enjoyed the majority of the chances in the first half, it was the Kickers who capitalized with their lone shot on target.

In the 36th minute, Ethan Bryant found an open space and took the dribble, finding Bolanos who was making a wide run. Bolanos carried the ball forward before cutting the ball back to Bryant in space just outside the 18-yard-box. The midfielder took a touch and shot a rocket into the top corner of the net, giving the Kickers the lead going into the locker room.

The Kickers continued to press for more chances in the second half, and every chance became more and more dangerous.

In the 52nd minute, Matthew Bentley took the ball from the defensive half and was able to find Nil Vinyals. The Spaniard found Bolanos with a pass who rifled it to Bentley who made a run into the box. The forward had enough time to get off a point-blank shot but it was saved by the charging Fuego goalkeeper.

Immediately after, Akira Fitzgerald was able to save a low near post shot from Central Valley’s Maxi Schenfeld.

Another near chance came in the 62nd minute when Emiliano Terzaghi crossed midfield with the ball and saw the Fuego goalkeeper off his line. The Argentine ripped a shot that caught the keeper off guard but didn’t curl enough en route and went just wide of the goal.

In the 70th minute, Central Valley leveled the scoreline from a corner kick. Fuego put the ball in a dangerous area that appeared to take a touch off a Kickers player in the box before crossing the line resulting in an awarded own goal.

The Kickers would control the remaining minutes of the match as Fuego went down to 10 men in the 80th minute after Sergio Chavez collided with Owayne Gordon in transition and received his second yellow of the night.

In the 85th minute, Stephen Payne received the ball and dribbled all the way into the box, crossing the ball to a charging Ethan Vanacore-Decker. The sub got to the ball but his one-time effort went just over the crossbar.

Two minutes later, the Kickers were rewarded with a corner kick. Vinyals took the kick and found Jalen Crisler who moved ahead of his marker and got his head on the ball. However, his effort would go just over the crossbar.

With the point against Fuego FC, the Kickers extended their lead in the USL League One standings and currently sit five points ahead of second-place Greenville Triumph SC. Richmond still holds serve on earning the first spot in the league playoffs with three matches remaining in the regular season.

The Kickers have two upcoming road matches on Saturday, Oct. 1 at South Georgia Tormenta FC and Saturday, Oct. 8 at Forward Madison FC before returning home to host Greenville Triumph SC in the USL League One regular-season finale. The club will host Fan Appreciation Night. Kickoff on Oct. 15 is set for 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available at richmondkickers.com/tickets.

Stay up to date with the latest news from the Kickers at RichmondKickers.com and on the official team app.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.