Matchday #8 FC Cincinnati vs. Richmond Kickers
City Stadium – Attendance: 4,008
In a match that had FC Cincinnati on their heels early on, Coach Koch’s side persevered and earned a solid draw (1-1) on the road. The point brings FC Cincinnati to (2-3-3) on 9 pts., 7 pts. behind leaders Charleston Battery. Richmond moves to (2-4-1) on 7 pts.
FC Cincinnati would be without midfielder Kenney Walker in the match, who was missing due to a hamstring injury. Coach Koch would be forced to make several personnel changes including using new loanee Cristian Martinez on the right wing and using Daryl Fordyce and Aodhan Quinn in the midfield. He would also give Forward Andrew Wiedeman the start up top in the absence of Djiby Fall and Andy Craven due to suspension.
Things started rough for the Orange and Blue as a cross into the box from Chris Korb (DC United), was deflected past FC Cincinnati keeper Mitch Hildebrandt in the 7′. The goal was originally credited as an own goal by FCC center back Harrison Delbridge, but under further review, it was awarded to Fred Owusu Sekyere.
After the goal, both things struggled to find a rhythm. FC Cincinnati would manage a chance in the 30′ off a corner kick, but never truly threatened aside from an additional corner kick opportunity. Newcomer Cristian Martinez struggled to work with right back Matt Bahner early on, but did make positive moves transitioning the ball up the field. I wouldn’t be surprised if Martinez would get a run out more centrally next week if he remains with FC Cincinnati.
The Second Half saw things get more lively for FC Cincinnati. Coach Koch substituted winger Kadeem Dacres on for Martinez in the (58′) and the former LouCity man jump-started the Cincinnati attack. The familiarity shown by Dacres and Bahner on the right allowed space for other members of FC Cincinnati to get chances. FCC would have 7 shots in the Second half compared to 3 in the First.
A great passing sequence on the right between Bahner and Dacres saw the right back get free and send a pass to the top half of the box to an awaiting McLaughlin. Jimmy calmly put the chance away in the bottom right corner to equalize for the Orange & Blue.
FC Cincinnati would have a chance in the dying minutes of the game as Kadeem Dacres would again create an opportunity. Dacres put on one of the best dribbling displays we’ve seen all season and was brought down just outside the box. Unfortunately, midfielder Aodhan Quinn would put the ensuing free kick high.
A draw might not seem great since Richmond had only scored 3 goals prior to Saturday’s contest, but any point earned is a step in the right direction. If you take out the flukey goal scored against us in Bethlehem, we would be in the midst of a 5 game unbeaten streak. Something to think about there.
FC Cincinnati Starting XI (4-3-3): Hildebrandt (GK); (R-L) Bahner, Berry, Delbridge, Polak; Quinn, Bone, Fordyce (80′); Martinez (58′), Wiedeman (67′), McLaughlin
Subs: Jaye (GK), Cummings (80’+), Dacres (58’+), Dominguez, Mansaray (67’+), McMahon, Nicholson
Richmond Kickers Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Turner (GK); Lee, Lee, Roberts, Korb (71′); Troyer, Asante, Fernando, Sekyere; Oliver; Kamara
Subs: Debellis (GK), Wyatt (76’+), Eskay, Jane (71’+), Grant, Minutillo, Yomby
7′ – Richmond Kickers -Sekyere, (Korb)
70′ – FC Cincinnati – McLaughlin, (Bahner)
Postmatch Recap Video:
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Who Can Play Up Front– The absence of Djiby is still looming large over the team. On how many crosses did you ask, “man I wish Djiby would have been there.” Of the 3 players that were in the central forward position at times on Saturday, none registered a shot. With the performance of this corps, I would assume the signing of OKC Energy FC Forward Danni König is a must. I don’t mean to say that this group are incapable as forwards. The system FC Cincinnati is using needs a big force up front and none of these guys looked to have an answer in their short runout.
Sorting Out the Midfield– I am not going to put the struggles of the midfield on Martinez. You could tell there was talent there in the young midfielder, but he was sometimes caught out of position or would make some great runs where his teammates couldn’t pick him out. I really hope to see him again for FCC, but maybe in a central role. Our three central midfielders, Quinn, Fordyce, and Bone looked out of sorts at many points. The defending of Quinn and Fordyce is sub-par and the needed return of Walker cannot be understated. Dacres brings so much effort and energy out on the right wing and I’m not sure how you don’t play him vs. OCB. Koch will have his work cut out deciding the roster next week if Walker is unable to go.
Never Say Die– Give the squad and Coach Koch some credit. They were pushing Richmond solidly after the goal. Yes, chances weren’t always completed, but FCC wouldn’t give up. The spark of Dacres was a driving force in getting the equalizer and the pressure the shown after the goal looked as if they were still chasing to win. The mentality of this team is strong. Just imagine if we can get on a great winning run over the next three-match homestand.
Saturday 5/13 – vs. Orlando City B – 5 p.m. EST – Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH.