Keens Park Rangers Reserves 4 v Chobham Burymead Reserves 0
Scorers: James Nixon, Steven Kemp, Ryan Midgely, Radu Burlacutu
Man of the match: Ryan Midgely
After last weeks heroics against the league leaders the ressies enjoyed a comprehensive victory over bottom side Chobham Burymead.
It was not, in the early exchanges at least, all one way traffic however. The opposition clearly had a few first team players involved given their fixture-free weekend and their confidence was demonstrated immediately when shooting direct from the kick off.
The effort was quite a surprise but keeper Tom Coles was untroubled as the ball missed the target by a distance that Plato would describe as ‘the breadth of a mule’s day work on fallow land’ (there you go Demon). Despite this wayward effort Chobham were threatening when in the ressies half but the bulk of the play was heading in their direction and it did not take long for Ryan Midgely, playing in midfield after a spell up front with the first team, to begin his deserved man of the match performance.
Receiving the ball in his own half a quick turn left two of the opposition floundering in his wake before he threaded a ball forward that the opposition defender could only deflect into skipper James Nixon’s path. After last week’s hat trick a confident Nixon set himself before calmly slotting the ball past the oncoming keeper.
Matters might have go even better only moments after the re-start but, regrettably, the ball fell to Steven Kemp who was playing in borrowed boots two sizes too big., With only the keeper to beat ‘Co Co the Clown’ Kemp took, in what would prove to become a frustrating pattern, a heavy touch thus allowing the keeper to gratefully smother the ball.
The ressies supporters may have had their collective heads in their hands after this miss but they were soon pointing accusatory fingers after a nasty challenge on Connor Reeves that ought to have warranted a red card. Bar managers Chainey and El Boy, in particular, were most upset and El Boy was enjoying his verbal joust with the opposition’s No. 7.
Actions, of course, always speak louder than words and the players, particularly George Searle in the midfield, stood up to the opposition’s physicality very well. Chances were abundant and Kemp, through again, forced an excellent save from the keeper low to his right. The keeper, however, was to go from hero to zero in a matter of moments as Kemp, having squandered two easy chances, then scored an improbable free kick from distance that the keeper allowed to go through both his arms and legs.
The most remarkable play of the half was not a goal however. Chobham were still looking dangerous in attack and they would have scored from a header that looped over keeper Coles were it not for Midgely who acrobatically cleared the ball off the line with an overhead kick that would have torn every muscle and sinew in Chinga’s crumbling carcass.
Chinga probably about to injure himself
The ressies were riding their luck at this stage and, moments later, Coles was required to save superbly from a free header inside the six-yard box. The back four, despite this lapse in concentration, were, otherwise, playing superbly but manager O’Shea was forced to change this defensive line-up before the end of the half as the games physicality claimed its first victim.
Kemp had been upended and fallen heavily but as much as everyone hoped he’d had some sense knocked into him it was the impressive Jonathan O’Shea who had to leave the field after a flailing arm accidentally looked to have broken his nose. The blood was not pleasant to see but many observers were more concerned he might be left resembling his uncle James if the swelling didn’t go down.
With the slope, a following wind and Radu Burlacutu now playing in midfield, the ressies were posing the opposition new questions in the second half. But, yet again this season, the excellent Coles was required to maintain the lead when bravely meeting a shot from El Boy’s new pal No. 7. Having done so it was only right his efforts were rewarded.
The midfield now had the upper hand, and appeared able to create chances at will. Sadly most of these fell to ‘Co Co’ Kemp who really ought to have scored five, if not six, goals on the day. And yet, it was he of the oversized footwear that created the ressies third goal with a through ball that Midgely ran onto and slotted home with aplomb.
Another fruitless run from Co Co Kemp
Now safe in the knowledge the game was won, the supporters celebrated with abandon. Conversely some of the opposition appeared to throw the towel in (and their weight about) and yet more defending was required with a well-timed block from Reeves a stand out challenge.
Almost anyone could have scored and this stage (and goodness knows Adam East was trying) but the cherry on the icing of the KPR cake was delivered by Burlacutu who slotted a well delivered free kick in at the near post before sinking to his knees in celebrations that continued in the bar afterwards.
Easty misses out again
As always, James O’Shea was enjoying his post-match beer and he will be celebrating again next week as his fixed-term tenure as ressies manager comes to an end. But, having endured a very difficult start to the season, it would be a great shame if he weren’t celebrating handing over the reigns to James Nixon with another victory.
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