Lexington Sporting Club earned a gritty 1-0 win over Richmond Kickers at Toyota Stadium, marking the third victory for the club in its last four matches.
The win brings the club’s record to 7-11-6 (27 points), improving to 9th in the league standings. The result also saw Richmond fall to 6-10-9 (27 points), falling to 10th in the league.
Lexington SC entered the match on the back of a 1-0 defeat on the road against One Knox SC, which saw the club suffer defeat in the inaugural Barrel Brawl Derby.
Both teams kicked off the third and final meeting of the year for the two clubs a bit later than anticipated after lightning in the area led to a weather delay.
Beginning at 7:55 p.m. ET, the match was a battle from the first whistle with both clubs fighting for an early goal.
A pair of yellow cards would prove to be the only happenings in the first half with the teams entering the break deadlocked at 0-0.
Determined to correct the team’s struggles to start the second half from matches prior, Lexington SC came out firing on all cylinders.
“We’d been very aware of our form from 45 minutes to 60 and we went through our pieces at halftime for about two-to-three minutes because there was a few adjustments that we needed to make but everything was about our mentality and how we come out,” Lexington SC coach Sam Stockley said. “We felt that was the most important part of our season. Those first 15 minutes after the half to come out and get three points. We’ve got another home game coming up on Friday against another quality side, but it’s points on the board and it keeps us in the hunt for ultimately where we want to be at the end of the season.”
The effort was successful as the match remained tied into the home stretch when Richmond’s Dakota Barnathan was shown red after a second yellow in the box. More importantly, the foul resulted in a Lexington SC penalty.
Stepping up to the spot, Ates Diouf sent the ball home for his 10th goal of the season and his second from the penalty spot. The score would prove to be the only of the match when a thrilling save by Amal Knight brought on the final whistle.
“I’ve said this all season, I’ve stood in front of this great crowd that we have and I’ve spoken about how resilient (the team is) and that’s something that, when we look at the end of the season, is a huge part of our identity and what we want to do and how we want to represent the community,” Stockley said. “If we get punched in the nose we want to get back up and carry on. We talked about falling forward. Last weekend, that was a punch on the nose because we had 60 minutes at 10 men and we didn’t quite break it down, but we knew coming here was a very tough game against a quality side and got a clean sheet, 1-0, (for) three points and we’re onto the next.”
Richmond controlled the possession in the match, holding the ball 50.2% of the time while also winning in expected goals, seeing a 1.48 to 1.32 advantage.
Next up for Lexington SC the boys in green will stay at home on September 1st to face off against Greenville Triumph SC.
Fans can purchase tickets to that match through the link here.
About Lexington Sporting Club
Lexington Sporting Club is a U.S. Soccer professional soccer club competing in USL League One (U.S. Soccer third division men’s professional soccer), and in USL Super League (women’s professional soccer launching in 2024). The two professional teams are the pinnacle of the soccer ecosystem in Lexington that features more than 1,400 players within its youth and academy systems. Lexington SC in the process of building the club’s formal stadium, performance center and training fields.