The First Team bounced back from last week’s shocker with an impressive 4-0 win over Premier Division side Parkside United in the Premier Challenge Cup.
Dave Harris and Gary Mitchell demanded the side went back to basics and to stand up for the challenge after they folded so easily last week against Windlesham United, though were forced into a record-breaking substitution, with Dan Way having to be replaced before the game even started, who claimed his sickness was caused by a ‘one hour drinking session’ the night before.
Keens Park controlled the opening stages of the game with their direct and aggressive approach and it didn’t take long to get the breakthrough. Captain, Michael Woods, was a thorn in Parkside’s defence all day and he was rewarded with a freakish lob off his toe after applying pressure on the centre-backs.
Stephen Kemp, who was himself feeling the troubles of going out the night before, made sure his 30 minutes on the pitch was worthwhile after feeding Liam Harrison one-on-one to smash home the second after a great team move.
The Golds had the chance to go three goals up from the penalty spot in the first half after the lively Radu Burlacutu was brought down in the box, but Owen Stuchbury’s penalty was well saved to the keeper’s right.
The two sides went in at the break at 2-0, with Parkside having rarely threatened the Keens Park goal. Dave Harris and Gary Mitchell demanded that the side stayed focused, knowing that one goal for the home side could completely change the dynamics of the game.
Parkside started the half lively, but again struggled to force any real chance on the Keens Park goal thanks to the tireless work of the entire back four. The defensive discipline of the team frustrated the home side and the win was secured after Liam Harrison swept home Seamus Leonard’s corner.
Not content with three, Keens Park continued to throw men forward and were awarded another penalty after Michael Woods had his face rearranged for the tenth time in his life with no thanks to a shockingly late ‘header’ from Parkside’s centre-half. Fortunately, the captain was okay, but he wasn’t around to watch Liam Harrison scuff home his hat-trick from the penalty spot.
Ben Wicherek struck the bottom of the post from a 25-yard free-kick in the latter stages of the game, but the game was won and Keens Park Rangers started their Premier Challenge Cup campaign with a statement result.
Although Liam Harrison bagged a hat-trick, there were too many candidates for Man of the Match, so this week it’ll be easier to present our newest award, the ‘Baby of the Week’.
Dan Way’s five-minute warm-up cameo was enough to earn him this week’s prestigious prize.
Next week, the First Team host Division 1 side Hambledon, as they look to continue their 100% Group A record.
Keens Parks Rangers is a Guildford based football club and we are always looking for new players and sponsorship opportunities. Get in touch with us through our website or our social channels.