Early goals push Richmond past Energy FC, 4-1

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Energy FC forward Adda Djeziri pushes the ball upfield during Friday's match with Richmond
Oklahoma City defender Gareth Evans plays the ball to a teammate in first half action at Pribil Stadium. Energy FC lost the game, 4-1, extending its losing streak to five games.
Energy FC midfielder Kyle Miller avoids two Richmond defenders
OKC head coach Jimmy Nielsen gives Energy defender Kevin Ellis some coaching tips.
Energy FC forward Michael Thomas goes for a tackle Friday night.
Oklahoma City's Paul Wyatt (17) and Richmond's William Yomby (2) battle for the ball.
Energy FC's Kevin Ellis tries to save the ball from going out of bounds as a linesman looks on.
OKC's Michael Thomas and Christian Duke try to defend a Richmond player.
Energy FC's Thomas (8) competes for the ball as defender Mark Howard looks on.

Early goals push Richmond past Energy FC, 4-1

By Tim Farley

Energy FC’s matchup against the third-place Richmond Kickers was almost over before it began Friday night.

Richmond took advantage of a quick Energy miscue to score 40 seconds into the game. The Kickers (4-1-3) never looked back as they posted a 4-1 victory over Energy FC (2-6), which extended its United Soccer League Pro division losing streak to five games.

“We’re extremely disappointed,” said Energy defender Gareth Evans. “There are no excuses for it. Bad starts kill us…it throws off our game plan.”

Richmond grabbed the lead when Matthew Delicate scored on a rebounded shot by George Davis. After Energy FC keeper Jon Kempin blocked the initial shot, the ball bounded to Delicate who chipped the ball into the net for the early lead.

“It’s hard to bounce back from a goal 30 seconds into the game,” said Energy FC veteran forward Kyle Greig, who tallied Oklahoma City’s only goal late in the second half.

Energy head coach Jimmy Nielsen was looking for answers to the losing streak and the team’s defensive lapses.

“It’s tough to win games when you give away goals like that,” he said. “We know how hard we have to work to get goals, and the way we piss away goals is not good enough. The whole team has to defend as a unit. When we lose the ball we’re not hungry enough to win it back.”

Richmond extended its lead to 2-0 in the 30th minute when William Yomby pushed a shot past Kempin after heavy traffic collected in front of the Energy FC net. After several attempts by Oklahoma City to clear the ball, Yomby’s shot was knocked away by Kempin, but officials ruled the keeper’s save was made beyond the goal line.

Richmond, which now has 15 points in league play, tallied a third goal during the final minute of first half stoppage play. Davis maneuvered around Energy FC defender Kevin Ellis near the Oklahoma City goal line and found Alex Lee who fired a shot past the keeper at point-blank range.

“They were very simple goals,” Nielsen said. “We gave them the win tonight.”

Oklahoma City doesn’t play again until May 25 when the team travels to Los Angeles to take on Galaxy II.
“We will go with this defeat all week,” Nielsen said. “It’s good to feel this pain here. Over and over, we’re making the same mistakes. I need to evaluate whether I’m putting the right guys in the right spots out there.”

Oklahoma City cut the lead to 3-1 in the 81st minute when Adda Djeziri sent a free kick from outside the Richmond penalty box that Greig headed past Kickers keeper Joe Willis. The goal was Greig’s third of the season.

Richmond regained its three-goal advantage in the 88th minute after a miscue in the Energy FC defensive zone with Kicker Michael Seaton blasting a close shot past Kempin.

Interestingly, Oklahoma City outshot Richmond, 13-11.

Energy FC returns home May 31 to host the New York Red Bulls Reserves in a 7 p.m. matchup.

FREE KICKS: Oklahoma City won two of its first three games before the five-game losing skid started.

Energy FC has scored only three goals in those five games. All Energy FC games can be heard live on radio station KXY (96.1 FM) or can be seen live and on replay at YouTube Live (OKCEnergyFC)…Oklahoma City defeated the Tulsa Athletics 2-0 Wednesday during the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Energy FC will play USL Pro league team Arizona United in the third round. The time and place will be announced at a later date.

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