Orlando City B fell to the Richmond Kickers 1-0 on a 77th-minute goal by Scott Thomsen at City Stadium in Richmond, VA. After a nine-game unbeaten streak, the Lions have now lost three of their last four in USL play and are winless in four (0-3-1).
OCB (8-9-8, 32 points) had some chances in the first half but were unable to really threaten Kickers goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra. Several OCB chances were the result of good runs from the outside, but the crosses often reached the top of the box with no Lions running on to them.
The best chance of the first half came from Richmond after 35 minutes. Kickers striker Anthony Grant found himself at the top of the box, where took a shot on goal. With obstructions in his view, Mark Ridgers was late to get down but was able to make the save.
The Kickers had another good opportunity to open the scoring in the 43rd minute when Braeden Troyer found himself on the end of a cross. But the defender's shot was right at Ridgers' chest, allowing the OCB goalkeeper to catch it without any real danger.
The second half saw better opportunities for both teams. In the 52nd minute, Sunny Jane played the ball for Grant, who just couldn't get on the end of the pass. Just a minute later, OCB had an identical opportunity with Richie Laryea looking for Michael Cox.
With Laryea and Rafael Ramos subbed out of the game in the 61st minute, Richmond began to dominate and a goal looked to be forthcoming.
Richmond looked like it might have finally got its chance in the 63rd minute. To the left of goal, Alex Lee played the ball across the box. Tyler Turner jumped in front of the cross, blocking it out of play for a Richmond corner. The Kickers protested that Turner had handled the ball, and replays showed that the ball did, in fact, hit his arm, keeping the ball from sailing across the box. But no penalty was given and it was a corner instead.
In the 77th minute, the Kickers finally struck. Alex Lee sent a bending cross into the box which found the foot of Scott Thomsen, who volleyed it on goal. The ball crashed off the post and directed to Kyle McFadden. It bounced off the falling defender and rolled over the line for the opening goal.
In the dying minutes, OCB looked to equalize and nearly did in the 90th minute. As Pierre Da Silva played the ball back for Lewis Neal, the Lions captain lifted the ball to the right of the box, where Michael Cox and Tyler Turner were calling for the ball. Turner's header looked to be on target, but Dykstra made a diving save to maintain the Kickers' lead.
There were a couple of late half chances on scrambles in the Richmond box, particularly on a late corner, but the Lions couldn’t pounce on them for the equalizer, and the Kickers hung on.
Notable from the game was the play of Ramos. The first-team right back returning from injury played 45 minutes last week in Melbourne against the Kickers and played 60 minutes tonight as he continues his return from a hamstring injury. Ramos played well on the right side defensively and caused some trouble for Richmond going forward.
With this loss, OCB remains in eighth in the USL's Eastern Conference — the final playoff spot — with just five games remaining. The Lions will take the field again next Saturday night when they host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the season’s home finale at Titan Soccer Complex.
Starting XI: Ridgers; Ramos (Turner, 61'), McFadden, Nitti, Hayden; Neal (c), Ribeiro, Mendoza (A. Garcia, 73'), Laryea (Smith, 61'), Da Silva; Cox
Unused Subs: Fenlason, Donovan, D. Garcia, Matarazzo
Goals: RIC – Thomsen (77')