Lexington scrap a point from brawl with Richmond

Lexington continues to make Toyota Stadium a tough place for opposing teams to come in and escape with 3 points. Stockley’s boys in green scrapped out a 2-2 draw in front of 2,105 fans on an unpleasantly warm July Saturday night. The draw moves Lexington to 4-6-9 (18 points) and remains 10th in the USL1 table, while the Kickers move to 6-8-6 (26 points), remaining 7th in the league table. 

The Kickers got on the board first after Nil Vinyals’s knuckleball shot that slipped under Lexington’s keeper Amal Knight’s arm in the 7th minute. Not to be outdone (and setting records in the process), Lexington was quick to put pressure on the Kickers, earning a penalty after Richmond keeper Fitzgerald shoved Lexington’s Nico Brown in the back while attempting to make a play on a back-post corner kick from Terique Mohammed. Don Smart, Lexington’s PK specialist of the year, would bury the chance to equalize the game in the 10th minute for his 4th goal of the year, becoming the oldest goal scorer in USL League 1 history.

However, Vinyals continued being a problem for Lexington, burying a 21-yard free kick into the upper corner in the 16th minute to retake the lead for the Kickers. The score would remain 2-1 until a costly error by Richmond midfielder Simon Fitch led to an own goal off a cross by Lexington super-sub Khalid Balogun.
Coach Stockley ran with the same 3-5-2 formation that saw them get a massive victory over Omaha last time. However, the magic they captured the previous week did not remain, as the boys in green had to play from behind all night. 
The match was certainly a tale of two halves for Lexington; Coach Stockley said best in his post-game press conference – “We didn’t start right for 15 minutes and found ourselves down 2-1 but as you’ve seen with this group the resilience is there and they keep going. We asked them to be more aggressive at halftime, step into them and be brave and I think they did that. We’re very excited about that. The new system suits us, it gives us that ability to be aggressive. The momentum is there.”
Now, the officiating within this match must be brought to light. The refs lost control of the game, plain and simple. The lack of control was evident in the 88th minute when Richmond Nathan Aune and Lexington’s Ates Diouf got into an altercation before the Lexington bench that Balogun and Robertson had to break up. At the same time, the chief official Drew Klemp and the line judge watched on for about 3 minutes before approaching the scuffle. Officiating has been a point of controversy throughout the USL pyramid all season long, so this came as no surprise. 
Overall, Lexington looks like a completely different team from the one that went on a 4-match losing streak. Not only do the positional groups look in sync with one another, the boys seem to have found an extra level of competitive spirit within themselves, playing with a lot more heart during this home stretch. Hopefully, Stockley’s boys in green can continue their newfound energy as they have a 2 match week ahead of them, all on the road. First, they will head to Omaha to take on the Owls for the 2nd time in 3 games, with Omaha looking for revenge and coming off another extra-time winner. The road trip will finish against top-of-the-league Northern Colorado, who have dropped their last two matches. 
And as always, follow Bluegrass Soccer Cast (@BGSoccerCast on all social media platforms) for full coverage of Lexington SC and all things soccer in our beautiful Commonwealth!

Photo By Lexington Sporting Club


  • Jon Hunt

    Jon Hunt is an avid and enthusiastic soccer podcast host. Originally from the Detroit area, he now resides in central Kentucky. Jon brings passion and his love of soccer history to the Bluegrass Soccer Cast community. His ultimate goal is to continue the growth of soccer in America with a focus of the thriving soccer scene in Kentucky. #ProRelForUSA

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Lexington scrap a point from brawl with Richmond

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