Clint Peay and Revolution II looked to turn the tide on Friday night and end their five-game winless streak as they took on the Richmond Kickers for the fourth time in 2021. Revs II for their first win over the Kickers as they suffered a 3-0 loss, a 3-2 loss, and a 2-2 draw in their previous three meetings in 2021.
Peay had reinforcements on hand as a total of five first-team players would appear in the starting XI. Revs II regulars Damian Rivera, Justin Rennicks, and Colin Verfurth were joined by Jon Bell and Luis Caicedo, who made their second appearances for Revs II as the duo rehabilitates from their respective injuries.
On top of the five first-team players, Friday’s match saw the return of midfielder Jake Rozhansky. Rozhansky had been sidelined since August 14th’s match as he has been recovering from an injury.
Revolution II entered the match in 10th place on USL League One standings with 25 points on the year and a 7-9-4 record. As the 2021 regular season nears an end, it was important for Peay and Revs II to get back on track and earn points.
It was an abysmal start for the defense as Zacarías Morán’s free-kick from the right side of midfield would find an unmarked Jonathan Bolanos atop the left corner of the Revs II box. Connor Presley trailed Bolanos as he cut to his right and evaded Presley. Bolanos would get a shot off on net before Verfurth could get a foot to it. Bolanos shot would sail to the top left corner and into the back of the net as he beat his former Kickers teammate Joe Rice. A murky situation for Revs II, who had yet to win a game in 2021 after conceding first.
Ryan Spaulding looked to get the Revs II offense rolling in the fifth minute as he drove the ball in along the Richmond goal line. Spaulding sent a pass inwards, but it was scooped up by USL League One’s leader in saves and clean sheets, Akira Fitzgerald.
Verfurth looked to find New England’s opening goal in the 18th minute as he got on the end of Presley’s pass from inside the box. Verfurth’s touch would be too much as the ball sailed out for a Richmond goal kick.
Richmond looked to net their second goal in the 22nd minute as Bolanos got on to Colin Verfurth’s poor clearance. Bolanos would flick the ball behind him towards goal, where Emiliano Terzaghi got on to it and avoided a raging Rice, who came off his line to clear the ball away. Terzaghi cut to the left side of the box where and ran towards the goal line. He looked to send the ball into a wide-open net from an awkward angle. The angle was too much for Terzaghi as his shot came nowhere near going in the net.
Rennicks would net his second goal of the year in the 33rd minute as he headed home a beautifully placed cross from a returning Rozhansky. Rennicks’ header would take one bounce off the pitch and into the left side of the net past a diving Fitzgerald. Rozhansky’s assist would be his sixth of the year.
Promising midfielder Esmir Bajraktarevic came close to putting New England ahead in the 36th minute, but his shot would take an unfortunate bounce off the woodwork.
Things took a controversial turn in the 36th minute as it appeared Terzaghi had headed home a cross past Rice and into the back of the net. Almost instantaneously, the referee’s whistle blew as he disallowed the goal as Terzaghi’s hand was what made the ball go into the back of the net as the Argentine native came close to replicating Maradona’s famous “Hand of God” goal, but it wouldn’t fool the referee this time.
Clint Peay had to have been happy with the team’s performance after giving up a goal in the opening minutes as everyone was doing their part to get back into the game and were able to find the equalizer by the end of the half.
There was one substitution at halftime for Revs II as defender Pierre Cayet would replace Jon Bell.
Damian Rivera would get lucky in the 47th minute as he got on to the end of Noel Buck’s pass inside the box. Rivera drove in towards the net as defender Ivan Magalhães attempted a sliding challenge. Magalhães challenge would make contact with the ball, but the clearance was directed right back at Rivera as it bounced off his knee and bounced into the back of Richmond’s net.
Up 2-1 in the 47th minute, Revs II needed to buckle down if they wanted to escape with all three points and put an end to their winless streak.
The Revs II offense was in a mad scramble in the 50th minute after they caught Fitzgerald off his line. The offense looked to capitalize as they sent in multiple shots but were denied by Richmond players in the box.
Caicedo looked to add a goal to his name in the 61st, but like Bajraktarevic, Caicedo would have his distanced shot denied by the woodwork as well.
Colby Quinones would make his 14th appearance in 2021 as he came on for Presley in the 70th minute. Meny Silva would also make his 10th appearance of the season as he replaced Bajraktarevic in the 77th minute.
Buck came close to netting his 6th goal of the season in the 86th minute but would be denied by defender Jalen Crisler as he cleared the ball away from the net on the goal line. Buck would later shut the door on Richmond’s evening as he received Rivera’s pass from the center of the box to the right and put a shot on the net that blew past Fitzgerald and gave Revs II a two-goal lead in stoppage time.
Friday’s 3-1 win not only snapped a four-game skid but also gave Revs II their first win in 2021 over the Richmond Kickers. With the win, Revs II propels to 5th place in the USL League One Standings.
Revs II return to action on Saturday, September 25th, as they travel to CHI Memorial Stadium to take on the Chattanooga Red Wolves at 7:00 PM EST on ESPN+.