Jamaicans Kelly, Williams continue to shine in USL
TAMPA, Florida (CMC):
Jamaican strikers Dane Kelly and Romario Williams continued in their rich vein of form, helping push their respective sides to victory in the United Soccer League (USL) over the last two days.
Kelly, the USL all-time leading scorer, was one of four different players to find the net as Reno 1868 FC took a 4-0 victory against Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Wednesday at Greater Nevada Field, less than a day before Williams's strike was the only goal, as Charleston Battery prevailed 1-0 over Bethlehem Steel FC on Thursday at Goodman Stadium.
The Jamaicans are now the two leading scorers in the League with Kelly, a former Tivoli Gardens player topping the chart with nine goals, one ahead of Williams.
In Reno, Nevada: Kelly came close to adding to his league-leading goals tally in the 19th minute with a curling shot that went just over the crossbar.
The Jamaican threatened twice more in the first half, but 1868 FC took the lead two minutes before the half-time break when Jimmy Ockford headed home a cross by Chris Wehan from the left into the left corner of the net.
Kelly again went close two minutes into the second half but extended Reno's lead in the 57th minute as he put home the rebound of his own penalty kick after Roughnecks goalkeeper Bryan Byars had made the initial stop. Lindo Mfeka made it 3-0 in the 63rd minute with a good left-footed shot into the right corner from 20 yards, and Antonio Hoppenot ensured that there would be no hope for Tuls four minutes later with a strong finish from just outside the penalty area.
It was the third consecutive shutout for Reno, whose record three wins, three losses, and two draws have earned them 11 points in ninth place in the Western Conference, edging them closer to one of the eight playoff positions.
In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: Williams's strike ensured that the Battery moved three points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference.
The Battery got into their groove more as the half progressed and almost took the lead in the 29th minute when Skylar Thomas's flicked finish was denied by an outstanding save by Steel FC goalkeeper Jake McGuire.
Three minutes later, though, Williams drove home a finish from 25 yards out as he drifted in from the left and fired a low shot that clipped the left post and found the net.