• David Cunningham

Lionsbridge FC Falls 2-1 to Virginia Beach United in Home Opener

Virginia Beach United got revenge for their 2-0 loss on May 14 by defeating Lionsbridge FC 2-1 in Newport News on Wednesday.

The brand new club from the Southside of Virginia Beach picked up their first win in club history, knocking off their previously undefeated rival.

Virginia Beach United did it in great fashion - they dominated the midfield and were very physical, an intensity level that Lionsbridge had a tough time matching.

First Half

In the sixth minute, Virginia Beach midfielder Oliver Peters received the ball on the left wing. As Peters crossed it in, the ball took a deflection off a Lionsbridge defender and fell to the feet of striker Thomas White, who was sitting in front of goal and tapped it into the net. Goalkeeper Richard Dearle could not do much about it, and Virginia Beach United took an early lead.

Lionsbridge played with much more intensity after the goal and gathered a few chances, including two corners just 11 minutes into the match. Adrian Rebollar had a shot on the second corner but just put it over the bar.

In the 34th minute, Thibaut Jacquel had a solo run for Lionsbridge into the penalty area. Jacquel set-up Rene White, whose shot was saved by Brett Johnson, the Virginia Beach United goalkeeper. However, the ball floated out to Ivan Militar, whose shot deflected off Johnson right to Rene White of Lionsbridge. A quick reaction from White put the ball in the net, tying the game at one goal apiece.

The teams remained tied at halftime, and neither manager chose to use a substitution to start the second half.

Second Half

Lionsbridge's best chance of the second half came in the 54th minute. Rene White's shot from inside the box flew past the keeper but was headed off the goal line by a defender.

Just seven minutes later, Virginia Beach United capitalized on an opportunity.

A through ball from center midfielder Luis Martinez was dummied by Thomas White to Guilherme Leme. The defenders did not expect it, and Leme slotted the ball by Dearle.

The goal for VBU in the 61st minute gave Lionsbridge plenty of time to even up the score again.

Lionsbridge coach Chris Whalley used five substitutions in hope to advance the attack, to no avail. Brennen Burton, Max Poelker and Travis Cooke, three Hampton Roads natives, substituted on to create chances.

In the 80th minute, a shot by JP Scearce barely floated over the bar for Lionsbridge. The home side had three more shots on target in the four minutes of stoppage time, but could not capitalize.

Virginia Beach United defeated Lionsbridge 2-1, giving them their first three points of the season.

Future Outlook

Above is the USL League 2 Standings for the South Atlantic Division after Virginia Beach United's 2-1 win.

After defeating Lionsbridge, Virginia Beach United now moves into a third place tie with North Carolina FC U23. VBU has a three-game home stand over the next three weeks, hosting Tobacco Road FC on June 1st, followed by Wake FC and North Carolina Fusion U23.

Lionsbridge FC holds a two-point cushion in first place with points over Wake FC, who they face on Saturday, May 25 at Pomoco Stadium.

The Defenders of the Bridge hold a 2-1-1 record after four games, while Virginia Beach United holds a 1-2-0 record after three games.

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